Sail-World.com : Family fishing with Carl Hyland
Family fishing with Carl Hyland
Ever wondered what to do when you are bored or the kids are stuck in front of the television?
Why not head down to the local pier, pontoon or even grab a picnic and head to a freshwater lake?
I can guarantee, your kids will thank you for it in later life!
Recreational fishing is a pursuit that can be enjoyed by many, but sadly in this day and age, kids or young adults seem to be left out.
Too many times, I have seen youngsters left to fend for themselves, no-one taking an interest in what they say or do, it’s no wonder we have so much crime and vandalism in this country.
I have found over the years, that taking kids fishing at an early age, teaches them a few things and the most important aspect is patience and the fact that someone is prepared to listen to them and get them involved in some hands on ‘stuff’
Many years ago, I was instrumental in starting the Take A Kid Fishing clinics in Tasmania. My role as an ex ambulance training officer meant that I had the grounding for teaching people aspects of life and my love of fishing was combined to go into schools and talk to children about the great life leveller, fishing. I was fortunate in that the Minister for Fisheries at the time, saw an opportunity to go somewhere with this and granted me a small allowance to assist me with costs in getting to schools around Tasmania. Such was the workload, after some time, I couldn’t do it and Fishcare, the volunteer organisation was started. I ran a few Take A Kid fishing clinics in the state and we had thousands of people, mums, dad’s and carers turn up on the first few events. The clinics are still run today, but sadly, the emphasis is more on the rules, than having fun and I find the whole thing too commercialised.
The ‘thing’ to remember when taking kids near the water, is keep it simple. Kids don’t have the expertise in dealing with all that’s happening, packing to go, getting gear ready, bait, tackle, food, clothing etc., so simplicity really is the key to success. Some kids are happy with a colouring in book or a game to play if the fishing is slow, others are happy to turn over rocks or dissect the bait, let them do what they want(within reason) of course and be prepared to answer lots of questions.
Don’t bother with knots or fancy rigs, that can come later, a slow introduction to fishing is better than being bombarded. Don’t worry too much about teaching precision casting at first, try a hand line, it’s great fun, in fact, as I often pick up a handline and have a go.
If you are at the stage of picking out rods, kids love their own, but it’s usually left up to the ‘carer’ to clean it up and tie on hooks etc., but care and attention to gear will come.
Hand casters or reels are a good cheap option for newcomers. - family fishing - Carl Hyland
Youngsters are usually more excited about getting home or to school and doing the old show and tell routine (perhaps this is where the story of the big one that got away) came from? And this should be encouraged and at the same time, others, especially teenagers can be withdrawn and ‘sullen’ when their life’s not in order. A chance to get away, relax and talk things out, will often ring youngsters from their shell and a laugh is an added bonus
I’m very lucky in that my whole family, two girls and a boy are all mad fisho’s, mainly because of that work my wife and I put in at an early age. Sure there were sports, there were play stations and all that, but we broke up that routine with lots of outdoor activities. I know we are not the first to do this but if only most would take a leaf from our book, what a better place today would be. I always say, a fish is a bonus.
My youngsters’ are now 20,22 and 28 and have found partners who are just as keen as they are, all I have to do now is get them to take me fishing when I’m older!
Have a good one!
by Carl Hyland
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4:51 AM Mon 1 Aug 2011 GMT
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