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When should I take my toddler fishing?

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General Fishing Questions

Some of my fondest childhood memories are fishing with my dad and my uncle. I’m so excited to take my toddler fishing with me, but I’m worried it’s just too early. When did you first take your kids fishing? How early is too early? I’m thinking of taking him bass fishing with me on my boat.

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5 Answers

  1. Newbie on Dec 17, 2012 Reply

    The biggest factor in starting a young child on a lifetime fascination with fishing is to prevent him or her from becoming bored. The attention span of a toddler is very short and if you expect the kid to sit still for hours, you’re bound to be disappointed. Make the trips very, very short to begin with and make sure everything about the trip is positive. At the first sign of fidgeting, call it a day and go have an ice cream somewhere. Don’t forget a floatation device for both of you, too.

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  2. JB on Dec 19, 2012 Reply

    I believe you’re never too young to start fishing. My son has been fishing with me since he was 6 months old. Granted, I wasn’t fishing from a boat – I was on the banks, with my wife, who always kept a good eye on him. But when he turned 2, I took him on the boat with me.

    Here are my ‘top tips':
    – Bring plenty of snacks and drinks – a hungry toddler is a grumpy toddler.
    – Make sure you bring a bunch of toys in your tackle box – these are probably more important than the fishing rod – if they get bored of fishing, pull out a new toy, and at least you can get a few more casts in.
    – You’ll probably want to cast for your toddler in the beginning – I didn’t let my toddler handle hooks for a long time.
    – It goes without saying that you’re going to need a life jacket for him – be safe.
    – Sunscreen! My little guy’s skin is so sensitive!

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  3. Pip on Dec 20, 2012 Reply

    Personally, I think it depends on how serious you are about fishing.
    I tried taking my 3 year old fishing with me, but it was a disaster. He ‘rocked the boat’, quite literally. He almost fell in at least four times, he tried to grab the lure, he got into my tackle box… eventually I just gave up on the fishing. I’m waiting until he’s about 6 before taking him again.

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  4. Freddy on Dec 22, 2012 Reply

    Why not start with some bank fishing? I always take my family to a little fishing dam near us that has a beautiful setting with a picnicking area. We set up a BBQ and blankets on the grass. The kids have a ball running up and down, riding their bikes and occasionally showing a bit of interest in the fishing. My wife relaxes with a book, and I keep an eye on the lines. It’s a wonderful way to spend a weekend.

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  5. Peter P. on Dec 29, 2012 Reply

    If you can pop out for a short fishing trip, then there’s no harm in taking your little one along. But if you have to travel more than an hour to get to your fishing spot, and you know you may end up cutting your trip much, much shorter because your toddler has run out of patience, then think very hard before bringing him.

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