As my family gets set to head out on another camping trip to the Eastern Sierras, it’s time to take inventory of my fishing gear. My kids love to shop for new bait as we recall what worked last year and what we’ve been reading is working well this year. This year we decided to upgrade a few of the fishing poles now that we are in our 4th year of family camping and fishing trips.
Four years ago I didn’t imagine my kids would enjoy fishing as much as they do now. Now don’t get me wrong, we have had some growing pains. I was just a rookie myself when we started. If it weren’t for a patient uncle guiding me through, I wouldn’t be much use to my family on the trips either.
The first year my daughter and wife mostly shared a fishing pole. My daughter was too young to manage one on her own so my wife took turns minding the line. That allowed my wife time to sneak away to the camera to snap some photos. My son really struggled that first year out. Without getting lost in the minutia of fishing, we were using power bait. That means you cast and wait for fish to come along and take the bait. My son couldn’t wait for the fish to come along. He would start reeling in the line as soon as he cast. As a result, he caught no fish that first trip.
Fishing really requires patience and perseverance and my son has learned that over the years. The next year out I took my son off of bait and set him up with lures and jigs. Lures and jigs require plenty of casting and retrieving. That kept him busy for a nice long while, but once he saw I was catching on bait, he was anxious to switch over yet a again.
In this day and age of immediate gratification, fishing teaches a much needed lesson in perseverance. I encouraged my son to stay on the lures and eventually he was rewarded with watching a few trout chase at the surface. Even though he didn’t reel any in, I was able to supplement that for him by letting him reel in what I hooked.
My daughter tends to be a patient one, and honestly she is just thrilled to be outdoors. Last year she impressed us by rigging her own simple fishing pole with some used up line she found and a straight stick. She was happier fishing with that and looking for cool rocks on the shore than just sitting there with a standard pole.
My daughter is moving up from her Barbie fishing pole to a real one. I look forward to all the new lessons learned and hopefully a few catches as a result of our patience. Either way we have a great time hanging out and taking in the scenery. And no matter who catches the fish, my kids have fun getting dirty cleaning the fish.
Have you tried fishing with your family? What was your experience?