Give a girl a fish and you feed her for a day.
Teach a girl to fish and she’ll either like it or go back to playing on her phone.
While fishing with my family at Kingsmill Resort this summer I discovered that my eldest daughter did in fact like fishing and would do it again, while my younger daughter would be happy never doing it again. My son hates whatever my younger daughter hates, so he surprised us all by also taking a liking to the sport.
Needless to say all the kids resumed playing on their phones once our angling was done (an entirely different and far more troubling matter that TravelingMom founder Kim Orlando finds a fix for in this video). But during our short time on the dock together, a few things became clearer.
If you’re taking your children fishing for the first time, you should know how to fish yourself. Based on my early fishing experiences off the lovely coasts of Long Island and Brooklyn, I was able to show my kids how to bait a hook, cast, and untangle a line without hooking their siblings. If you have no angling experience and are fishing from a pier, someone from the bait shack might be willing to stand by (as someone at Kingsmill volunteered to do). Or, if you want to venture onto the water, consider booking a charter for half a day, where your family will have dedicated attention from a mate if you all need basic instruction on how to cast your lines.
Explain what will be happening to any fish you catch. Will you be keeping and eating the fish you catch or releasing them back into the water? At Kingsmill we did the latter, and I wished I had spent a few minutes before we got to the pier explaining to my kids that you can’t always unhook a fish gracefully, especially if you snag it through its lip or eye socket.
Everyone eventually gets it. While it takes practice to learn how to hold your rod as well as sense the sometimes infinitesimal difference between a fish nibbling your bait and taking your bait, your family can pick up basic casting skills in a few minutes.
Kingsmill Resort hosted part of our stay and covered the cost of our fishing rod rentals and box of worms, but the opinions in this post are my own.