*Photo courtesy of Southern Outdoorsman Guide Service. Check them out!
Fishing is one of the greatest pastimes we can pass along to our children and keep the tradition of enjoying the great outdoors alive. Largemouth bass fishing with kids is one of the most popular kinds of fishing that parents introduce their youngsters to from a very early age.
Largemouth bass can be found in nearly every corner of the United States and bass fishing is perfect for introducing children to the sport of fishing due to the high prevalence of largemouth bass in most of the lakes and rivers in the country and the fact that it is relatively easy to catch them.
We spoke with some of the most popular largemouth bass fishing guides in Texas about some of the best ways to get kids interested in bass fishing and make sure it is passed on for many generations to come.
The Rise in High School Bass Fishing
Undoubtedly, the biggest attractant for youngsters to get their feet wet in the sport of fishing is competitive bass fishing at the high school level. Bass fishing tournaments have been around for decades, but the last decade has seen an explosion in the popularity of fishing at the high school level and is a great way to begin largemouth bass fishing with kids.
David Vance, owner of Lake Fork Fishing Guide Service, says that high school bass fishing is the best thing that’s happened for the sport in years and is the number one thing that outdoorsmen and women can use to help increase the interest in largemouth bass fishing with kids.
“Kids can become involved in the sport of fishing at a young age thanks to high school and collegiate bass fishing,” says David. “These kids have more than just football and baseball that they can get involved in, and high school bass fishing is a great way for kids that might not get the chance to learn to fish to become introduced to the sport.”
David also stressed the idea that high school largemouth bass fishing with kids also helps motivate youngsters to stay in school and keep their grades at a satisfactory level as most bass fishing programs require that children maintain sufficient academic performance in order to compete on the team.
Take Them When the Bite is Hot
Largemouth bass fishing with kids can be an experience that they will never forget, but it can also be a dreadful experience if they aren’t catching anything. According to Ray Tomasits, owner of Hill Country Bass Coach, one of the most important factors for making largemouth bass fishing with kids a success that will stick with them is taking them fishing when the bite is hot.
“Fishing can be a lot of fun for kids as long as you’re catching fish,” says Ray. “If you aren’t catching anything, it can turn them off from the sport for good and make them lose interest in it. I tell parents to make sure to bring their kids during a time of the year when it is comfortable for them to fish and when the bite is hot. There’s no better way to get them hooked on fishing than to have them hook some fish.”
Ray says to avoid largemouth bass fishing with kids during sweltering heat during summer months and the bitter cold of winter as children are more easily affected by extreme weather than adults.
“I take adults out here all the time in the summer heat and they will fish all day, but a kid can get exhausted very quickly in that kind of situation,” says Ray. “You want to plan your trip to go largemouth bass fishing with kids when you know the bite will be great. Usually the Spring is your best bet.”
Focus on Fun
Fishing is all about fun, especially for those youngsters who are just getting started in the great outdoors. Barry Dodd is owner of Teach ‘Em to Fish, a guide service that is specially focused on largemouth bass fishing with kids and making sure they have fun doing it.
“I make sure that everyone I take out on the water has fun—whether we’re catching lots of fish, or even if the bite is tough,” says Barry. “It’s easy for adults that are avid fishermen to have fun on the water because they’ve been doing it for a long time, but for kids who are still getting acquainted with fishing, you want to make sure they enjoy the whole trip, including the little things that most of us don’t pay attention to.”
Barry says it’s easy to be successful in largemouth bass fishing with kids when the fish are biting and nothing goes wrong, but he points out that it is crucial to avoid making kids feel embarrassed at their inexperience on the water.
“People who are brand new to the sport of fishing can become embarrassed very easily because they don’t really grasp what’s going on,” says Barry. “The biggest thing you want to avoid when bass fishing with kids is making them feel embarrassed. This goes for adults as well, if you make someone feel embarrassed, they will be turned off of that activity forever—whether it’s fishing or anything else.”
Parents Play the Most Critical Role
Parents are the key to making sure largemouth bass fishing with kids turns out to be the newest hobby for youngsters. Bass fishing is looked at as an adventure for kids and parents should take note not to quash that adventurous spirit by overcomplicating the process or making kids feel like they are a burden to be with on the water.
Barry noted that if parents intend to make largemouth bass fishing with kids something that their children love just as much as they do, they should focus on the fact that it takes patience to teach them the finer points of fishing and that parents will need to spend time teaching their kids the basics. There simply isn’t a better way to bond with youngsters than a trip to go largemouth bass fishing with kids.