Location, location, location. It's not just a useful mantra for business. To ensure a fun and successful outing, follow these tips for planning your first fishing excursion:
Look for a pond or lake where there's no current, no danger of slipping in and few overhanging tree branches to tangle your line. If you're anywhere near deep or running water, wear life jackets. Fishing from a boat is double the fun, but you've got more to worry about.
Ask other anglers or at the tackle shop where the best ponds and streams can be found near you. If any are on private property, you'll need to get permission from the owner. Most kids will enjoy a stocked pond or fishing derby for an occasional sure-bet trout. If you're planning to eat your catch, be sure the water is free of pollutants. You may get that information with your license, but if not, the public health office should have it.
How do fishermen find fish? By learning to think like one. Fish need food, namely smaller fish and bugs, but they also need protection from bigger fish. So in a typical pond, try fishing where they can get both. Here are some spots to try:
• Near pond weeds and submerged logs
• At a drop-off in water depth
• At an inlet where fast and slow water meet
• Beneath docks, which offer protection and shade Also keep in mind that, generally, fish want to stay cool in hot weather so you'll find them in shadowy water. In cold weather, they prefer warmth and sun.
• Because of the safety issues (those are sharp hooks, after all), your first trips should ideally have a parent-to-kid ratio of 1:1.
• Avoid foul weather; kids who have to endure cold and rain may not remember the fun they had.
• Young anglers have short attention spans. An hour of fishing may be plenty.