familyDaysOut May 16, 2018
Teaching Your Kids to Fish in Alabama
Written by our Family Days Out correspondent Jon Sutton from Outdoor Empire
Modern parents often struggle to get their
children to put down the phone or back away from the game console and go
outside for some fresh air and sunshine
. But you’d be amazed how much
easier it is to lure your kids into the great outdoors
if you tempt them with a fun activity. Fishing is the perfect choice, as it is not only a fun way to spend the day,
but it is something that both you and your children can enjoy together.
But, you don’t want to convince them to
spend the day at your local lake or river without having a good time. Fishing
can be pretty boring if you aren’t catching any fish, so do your best to
implement the five tips and tricks listed below, so that you can give your kids
a day they’ll never forget.
1. Set your kids up with rods and reels that suit their
Excessively long rods and complicated reels
will typically leave youngsters frustrated. So, instead of handing your
7-year-old an 8-foot-long baitcasting combo, set him or her up with a 5- to
6-foot-long spinning or spincasting combo. This type of rod and reel will suit
their size and skill level and give them a much better chance of success.
2. Target easy-to-catch species, rather than the flashy
gamefish that advanced anglers chase.
Alabama’s world-class fisheries produce a
lot of trophy bass, but your kids are more likely to catch bolder species, who
aren’t as warry when investigating a bait. This primarily means targeting
bluegill (or their panfish relatives) or catfish, when fishing in Alabama.
(located about 20 miles west of Birmingham) is full of both species, but you’ll
probably want to use a boat to fish there, as bank access is somewhat limited.
If you’d prefer to stick to the bank, consider Lake Tuscaloosa
instead, as it is not only full of bluegill and catfish, but it provides 177
miles of shoreline from which you can fish.
And although most first-time anglers will
have better luck fishing in freshwater ponds and rivers, you can certainly try
your luck fishing saltwater. Just head down to the Gulf
area and join one of the local charters or head out onto the fishing
3. Use real or live baits, rather than fancy artificial
Artificial lures may be the preferred
choice for experienced anglers, but your
children will have better luck using a worm- or cricket-baited hook. You can
also try to use corn kernels or doughballs when targeting bluegill, and catfish
will even bite hotdog-baited hooks in some locations.
4. Fish early or fish late but kick back and relax at
Fish tend to be most active in the morning
and afternoon, and most spend the middle of the day hiding in the depths or
dense vegetation. Accordingly, you’ll want to concentrate on fishing during the
relatively cool morning or evening, when the fish feed most aggressively.
5. Fish alongside your kids, to increase the odds of
If catching fish is your goal, you’ll want
to have as many baits in the water as possible (while still following all
applicable rules and regulations). So, keep your own baited hook in the water
at all times. If you get a nibble, set the hook securely and pass the rod off
to one of your youngsters so that he or
she can reel in the fish.
Above all else, try to keep a positive
attitude while fishing – even if the fish aren’t biting as well as you’d like.
A few laughs and a profound story or two from mom or dad can help offset any
difficulties and ensure your kids still have a good time. But, it never hurts
to pack your pockets with a bunch of helpful strategies and tactics, so cruise
on over to Outdoor
and check out their comprehensive guide on the subject.
For more fun things to do with kids in Alabama, click HERE