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Tips for Taking Your Kids Fishing for the First Time

Even seasoned parents can overlook the basics of fishing with kids, like having an arsenal of snacks and sunscreen, or double the bait you think you might need. But for first timers, reviewing the basics beforehand can be the difference between making fun-loving memories with the kiddos and adding a few extra grey hairs to your head!

To help make the experience as smooth and exciting as possible, we’ve compiled a list of tips to help you prepare for your child’s first fishing adventure at Birch Trail Resort. Amber Lake (previously known as Squaw Lake) is but a few steps away from your cabin’s door, so naturally, your kids will want to play!

Go For The Easy Fish!

Your kids aren't trying to wrangle this season's trophy Pike, so fishing for easy-catch fish to show them some guaranteed action, is a great strategy. Thankfully, Amber Lake is known for its amazing pan fish, especially crappies. Pan fish are the perfect fish to get your kids started on as they're fairly easy to catch, simple to get off the hook, and relatively small enough to fit in their little hands.

Be Prepared

Share with your children the basics of fishing before they even get out to the lake. Talk about fishing safety, respect for the craft, and what to watch out for in case of inclement weather. Teach them what catch and release is, what size the fish need to be in order to keep them, and why patience is a must. Familiarizing yourself with the basics beforehand, and sharing what you learn, will not only help build their excitement, but also ensure that you too know the latest fishing rules before you hit the lake.

Snacks and Water

It's no secret that the key to a happy child is keeping them well fed and properly hydrated. Bring a ton of snacks that will help them stay entertained and satisfied while waiting to snag their next fish. Encourage them to drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration in the heat, and also be prepared for potty breaks. Great snack ideas include: protein bars, fresh fruit, dried fruit and premade lunch meat sandwiches.

Teach them to Bait Their Own Hooks

If this is your first time fishing with the kids, let me share what YOUR day will look like while they giggle and dip their toes in the water, seemingly carefree...

Untangle the line, bait the hook, show child how to cast, give them the rod, turn around for one second to grab your rod only to find that they've already managed to reel the line back in and have lost their bait, again...

Avoid the never-ending need for you to bait their hook by teaching them how to do it right away! Show them how to safely lay down their rod so the hook doesn't wiggle and hold the hook by the eye-hole end to keep their fingers safe. After a few tries, you'll be forever free from the continuous fish-bait game.

Be Patient

Learning how to fish can be frustrating, especially for the little ones. It takes time, repetition and a handful of "screw-ups" in order to get it right! Help them make the most out of the experience by keeping a cool head. Know and accept that this fishing adventure will have little to do with you catching and everything to do with them spending quality time with you! They don't care how many fish they catch or how quickly they do it, they care about getting to engage in an activity you love and laughing away the summer day! As a parent, what more can you ask for! Soak it in, take your time and don't sweat the small stuff.

Make memories that last a lifetime at Birch Trail Resort, on Amber Lake (Squaw Lake) where the fishing is good and the views are even better. Ready to teach your kiddos to fish for the first time? Call to book your cabin in the Northwoods today!


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