How to Start Fishing with Kids
For many serious anglers, fishing memories go back to early childhood. Some got started fishing so early that they can’t recall their first trip. Fishing runs in their families and gets passed down through the generations. But what about when that’s not the case? What happens when a child asks a parent to take them fishing, and that parent has minimal fishing experience? Getting started can feel overwhelming.
Stephen Neil, 41, of Franklin, Tenn., spends a lot of time on the water and previously guided professionally in Alaska. He says parents that know his fishing background frequently give him a call and ask, “Where do I even start?” Those calls picked up in frequency in 2020, as families discovered fishing as a safe activity during the pandemic.
“I read this article (about the value of fishing for building relationships among families) by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency that came out during the pandemic,” said Neil, “and I think it is just perfect. Fishing is such a great sport for families.”
Neil offers these 10 tips to anyone facing the somewhat daunting task of taking a child fishing while learning how to fish at the same time. If you want to see some of his advice in action, check out this helpful video at the base of this article.
Tip 1 – Use live bait
The first thing Neil always tells people is to start with live bait. Fish already want to eat worms and minnows, so they don’t have to be tricked. The number of lure options on the shelves is overwhelming. Learning to fish those lures takes time. Starting with live bait keeps it simple.
Tip 2 – Use light line
Light line casts easily, allows the bait to move naturally and generates more bites than heavy line. A lot of basic rod and reel combos come off the shelf pre-spooled with line that is too heavy. Neil suggests 6- or 8-pound-test line.
Tip 3 – Target visible cover
Fish live around treetops, boat docks, sticks and other types of visible cover, so fishing near these targets increases the chance that you’re near fish. It’s also much easier to find cover sticking out of the water than underwater cover.
Tip 4 – Be open to multiple species
Getting bites, catching fish and seeing results are critical to gaining confidence for everyone starting out. A lot of people eventually dedicate themselves to individual species, but that’s not necessary when getting started. Neil suggests fishing for whatever species is biting. There are times of year when certain fish are easier to catch, usually due to the spawning cycle, and those situations provide good opportunities, too. There’s a saying, “I don’t enjoy fishing as much as I enjoy catching.” It’s true. Catching any fish is way more fun than not catching a particular target species. Most kids are completely content if they catch anything the first few times out.
Tip 5 – Keep it active
Boredom can end a fishing trip quickly for young kids, so try to keep things active. Using bobbers gives everyone something to watch. If fishing is slow, move around. Typically, with live bait, if fish don’t bite in the first few casts, it’s best to move on to the next good-looking spot. A change of scenery is often the solution to slow fishing.
Tip 6 – Ask for some help
If you want to avoid too much fishing and not enough catching, don’t be afraid to ask for some help before a fishing trip. Having a general idea of where to start ahead of time is important. It is also fun to talk to a friend before and after the trip. Ask if they have been on the water lately. Ask how deep they were catching fish. They might even suggest a couple of spots. If the trip goes well, the friend will love to hear all about it and might provide more help for the next trip.
It’s also wise to have a few cellphone numbers handy in case of a confusing or emergency situation, whether with the gear, the boat or the fish.
Tip 7 – Go with a friend
If the first couple trips don’t pan out, going with a friend is a good move. Seeing them catch fish with a technique is much more helpful than just reading about a technique or watching someone do it online. Ask a lot of questions on the trip. Be a sponge for information. When a fish gets caught, ask why it was there and if fish are likely to be there often or just during that time of year.
Tip 8 – Keep kids entertained
This point can’t be stressed enough: Don’t expect kids to hang in there for long periods. Starting them out with short trips in good weather is worth the effort in the long term. Playing in the minnow and worm buckets is an excellent way to occupy their attention. Put caught fish in the livewell or a bucket and let the kids watch them swim around. Where regulations allow, fish can be returned to the water later (see Tip 9 regarding regulations). If the fishing is slow, make sure to keep the kids entertained. If it gets hot, let them jump in. Bring lots of drinks and snacks.
Tip 9 – Know the regulations
Learning the rules for keeping fish is important. Size and creel limits are put in place by each state wildlife agency and sometimes vary between fisheries within the state. Typically, when buying an annual fishing license (don’t forget that!), a list of regulations is made available. Know the rules for keeping fish, and certainly know the rules for boating equipment (life jackets, engine safety cutoff switches, etc.)
Tip 10 – Take some fish home
A meal of fresh fish is a real benefit of a good fishing trip. Perhaps not everyone in the family could go fishing, but they can all enjoy a meal. Putting food on the table often helps motivate the family to enjoy more fishing trips together, too. For tips on how to fillet fish, click here.
Regardless of whether you keep fish to eat, starting a new family tradition by fishing together is a great way to create lifelong memories. It’s also a great activity to learn together. Give it a shot!
This article is courtest of Pontoon and Deck Boat magazine, for more information and more articles, please visit pdbmagazine.com
Boat Security & Theft Prevention January 2nd, 2020
By: Germaine Marine
It doesn’t matter if you’re storing your boat for the winter or only for a few days or weeks— security should be at the forefront of your mind either way! Your boat is a valuable item in your possession, which means that it’s vulnerable to damage caused by weather, pest infestation, and thieves, who are always looking to make a quick buck.
Keeping your boat secure and preventing theft can be a challenge, but we can help you! Germaine Marine, with locations in Utah and Arizona, is proud to be your local boat dealer. Read on to learn the best ways to keep your boat safe and secure this winter and all year round!
Locate Secure Storage
First, you’re going to need to determine where you can store your boat safely. You don’t want to ever leave it out in the open like on a trailer in your driveway! Thieves can easily drive by or walk by and see what you’ve got, then come back at night and tow your boat away. If you can’t store your boat inside a locking garage or shed on your property, then at least pull it behind a tall fence so it’s not within view of the street.
Another good option for those who don’t have the space on their property to store their crafts is marina slip rentals or dry boat storage. You’ll want to do some research on the options available in your area to make sure that they’re secure enough so that your boat is constantly being monitored.
Invest In A Cover
Keeping your boat covered is a good way to prevent theft as well as to reduce the chance of pest infestation or weather damage (if stored outside). Invest in a good-quality, water-resistant cover that is snug-fitting but breathable enough to not cause condensation to form. A cover can even help to prevent theft simply because it’s difficult to remove and it masks the type of boat you have, so thieves are more likely to look for a less secure target instead of going after your craft.
Remove Valuables & Paperwork
Remember how parking garages often have signs warning you to remove valuables from your vehicle? The same principle applies to your boat, especially if you leave it in a public marina. If thieves can peek in and spy valuable items, they may not take your boat, but they might smash a window and take whatever they can carry instead.
Before you store your boat, make sure you remove all valuable items from it, like GPS units and other electronics, binoculars, cameras, fishing gear, tackle boxes, watersports equipment and anything else of value. You should also remove all paperwork for your boat, like logbooks, journals, registration, proof of insurance and licenses. A boat thief could make use of these items to pass off a stolen craft as their own!
Add Security Measures
To further protect your boat, you can also invest in security measures that will drive away thieves. These include alarm systems that are motion-activated, security cameras, GPS trackers, locks and chains. What you get depends on how much you want to or can afford to spend; just make sure that you’re looking at marine-grade items that can withstand wet and humid environments.
We hope our guide to boat security helps you to keep your beloved vessel safe. Visit one of our dealerships to take a look at our full stock of new and used boats for sale. Germaine Marine proudly serves the cities of American Fork, UT, and Mesa, AZ.
Arkansas Marine: We Sell Fun On The Water For 2020
By: Arkansas Marine
WELCOME TO ARKANSAS MARINE BOAT SALES
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission's Mission 2020
Jan. 27 Lake Columbia Fisheries Management Plan Meeting | Magnolia
Jan. 28 The Art of Fly-Tying | Yellville
Jan. 29 BOW Women's Duck Hunt | Blue Mountain
Jan. 30 CWD Public Meeting | Batesville
Jan. 30 Grand Lake Fisheries Management Plan Meeting | Eudora
Jan. 30 Catching Rainbows, Trout Clinic and Fishing Derby | Little Rock
Feb. 1 Trout Day | Fort Smith
Feb. 1 Groundhog Day, More winter on the way? | Little Rock
Feb. 2 Bluebird Basics | Little Rock
Feb. 4 Learn to Burn Intro to Prescribed Fire for Landowners | Jonesboro
Feb. 9 Turkey Hunting Basics | Little Rock
Feb. 10 Women's Outdoor Network | Little Rock
Feb. 14 BOW Squirrel Camp | Casscoe
Feb. 19 Monthly Commission Meeting | February 19-20 (Little Rock)
Feb. 22 Intro to Fur Handling | Fort Smith
Feb. 22 Buy, Sell and Swap Outdoor Gear
Feb. 29 Intro to Turkey Hunting | Jonesboro
March 3 Beginning Fly-Fishing | Fort Smith
March 18 Monthly Commission Meeting | March 18-19 (Hope)
April 22 Monthly Commission Meeting | April 22-23 (Little Rock)
May 20 Monthly Commission Meeting | May 20-21 (Little Rock)
June 17 Monthly Commission Meeting | June 17-18 (Harrison)
July 31 BOW Fish Camp | Casscoe