Hudson column: Fishing can instill lifelong memories for children

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Children love fishing. Especially when you are catching fish.
A successful day can result in memories that will last a lifetime. But a great day of fishing requires some simple planning before you go.
There is no doubt that having the child catch a fish is often the No. 1 goal of the outing. In reality, you’ll never get there if you don’t have enough drinks, food, and other essentials that will keep the young ones happy while you get prepared.
Life jackets are mandatory for safety when fishing from a boat. But children who can’t swim shouldn’t even be fishing around a pond or from the shore of a lake without one. Protection from the sun is also critical. Hats and sunscreen are not optional.
Plan your fishing trips to be short. Even kids that love fishing get bored easily. The best scenario would have you catching several fish in short order and then calling it a day and going for a Cheerwine slushy. To do that you better know what you are doing when you make that first cast.
You will be quickly rewarded if you are willing to catch anything that swims. Just take a small circle hook, some worms or crickets and a bobber and toss out your offering anywhere. The perch will soon come calling and you may even catch a bass or crappie. Have a set of pliers handy for hook removal. Then let the kids throw them back.
If you want to ramp up the action, take one of those perch and use them for catfish bait. You’ll need a bigger hook and a larger rod. But the reward could be huge.
The biggest fish in most any body of water are the catfish. There are also lots of different baits you can use, from minnows to chicken livers, depending on whom you ask.
Those wishing to catch a bass the hard way, with artificial lures, can also have great success with young anglers. During the summer, there is no better way to catch bass than with a simple worm hook rigged with a soft-plastic worm and a pinch-style weight. You don’t have to worry about kids accidentally hooking themselves or others if you rig it weedless, where the barb of the hook is hidden inside the body of the worm.
Plus, a lot of big bass are taken with soft-plastic worms. The technique is simple. Throw it out there and let it hit bottom and sit. Then, simply move it a little bit. A twitch here or there is all you need.
Watch the place where your line meets the water. You’ll need to reel in some slack out of the line to do this.
When you see your line start to move you know you’ve got something swimming off with your bait. That is when you set the hook hard.
If you don’t, you will gut hook the fish and release will be difficult and the fish may not survive.
When you set he hook on a bass in this manner the bass will often jump. Watch how big your kid’s eyes get when this happens. They’ll freak out.
And when the kids finally catch a fish, you better make sure you’ve got a camera ready. They are going to want to relive that moment with their friends and family.
That’s when you know you can start planning your next fishing trip.
Glenn Hudson is a freelance fishing writer based in Salisbury. Contact him at