For centuries, Americans have enjoyed fishing as both a leisure activity, and a way to feed their families. Fishing is the quintessential all-American activity that can be done in quiet solitude alone or jovially with buddies. It can bring the family together as they plan the trip, catch, prepare and eat the fish. While many anglers enjoy fishing by themselves, appreciating the quality time with nature, but there are plenty of reasons why fishing can be great for the whole family, especially the kids.
In today’s world of cheap and convenient sugary, salty and fatty processed foods, kids face an uphill battle to give their bodies the right nutrition to grow into healthy and responsible adults. Since fish is a nutritious food source, if you choose (or are able) to eat your catch, it can be a valuable lesson in the virtues of consuming naturally sourced foods. In an age where processed foods are increasingly becoming the norm, it’s great to give kids the opportunity to understand where their food comes from.
It helps to engender a love of nature
The pleasures of the great outdoors are increasingly eluding the younger generations. In an age where video games, YouTube videos and social media are all competing for your kids’ attention some engagement with nature can do them a world of good. Engaging with the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the natural world is a proven antidote to a range of problems faced by 21st century kids from depression to obesity.
While everything from a brisk walk through the woods to a camping trip can be a great way for the family to engage with nature, they can’t compete with the sense of adventure and endeavor afforded by fishing.
Even shopping for the right kit can be made fun
Fishing is one of the many fields in which having the right equipment is a huge component of success. Taking your family out to buy bait, nets and a crappie jigging rod (yes that’s a thing!) is a great way to build anticipation for the family trip and make it feel more like an event. Kids need to understand the importance of choosing the right equipment so it’s very useful to involve them in the process of shopping for kit (even if they’re very young). Talking them through the different rods, reels, lines and bait; helping them to their virtues and shortcomings, will ensure that they’re just itching to hit the water.
It’s great for kids’ development
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again. It’s a valuable life lesson that kids don’t often get the chance to learn in today’s league table obsessed education system. Fishing helps kids to develop their sense of effort and reward and the value of technique, preparation and (above all) patience. If your kids are very young they may become impatient so be sure to prepare them by making a game out of practicing their side-arm cast a week or so before their first fishing trip. This will ensure that they’re engaged and excited and itching to show off their skills when they hit the water.