father-child fishing trip

Everything You Need for a Successful Father-Son (or -Daughter) Fishing Excursion

Some of your fondest childhood memories may be of you and your father going fishing. Today, with a son (or daughter) of your own, you want to pass down this tradition to your offpsring and keep this pastime alive. Here are a few tips to help you prepare for your first father-child fishing trip:

Pick the Right Location

If you already have a favorite fishing spot —or can get to the location where you and your father used to go fishing — make sure to pass down the tradition to your child. Explain why that lake is special to you, and tell him or her about all the memories you made there.

If you don’t have a place in mind, though, do a little research to find the best fishing spots for the type of fish you want to catch. Visit your local Chamber of Commerce or browse local fishing guides to uncover any recommendations.

TakeMeFishing.org is a great tool for finding local fishing spots as well. If you plan on camping on your trip, try to get close to your fishing destination and make sure your vehicle can get through any off-road paths.

Get a License

Most states require you to have a fishing license before you head out. While you can sometimes find these in local bait shops or near your fishing location, it’s often easier to purchase your license online on sites like ReserveAmerica.com.

Start Packing

The weather is already starting to get warmer, so you’ll need to pack the right essentials for your trip. Pack light layers that will protect your skin from the sun and wick away moisture. Long-sleeved, synthetic shirts with ventilation are a good idea, but also make sure to throw in a pair of polarized sunglasses, a bandanna, and a hat to protect your eyes, face, and neck from the sun.

Because you’ll be spending a lot of time on the water, invest in some waders to prevent slipping on rocks and to keep your feet dry. And don’t forget a rain jacket, just in case.

Now you need your equipment. Sunscreen and insect repellent are absolute must-haves. Of course, you also need your rods and reels, bait, lures, tackle, lines, and leaders. Do some research on the type of fish you’re catching so you can bring the right kind of bait to attract them.

Be Safe

As the old saying goes, hope for the best and prepare for the worst. So before you head out, make sure you have everything you need to have a safe trip. Check your vehicle to make sure everything is in good, working order, including your car battery, oil, and tires.

Pack jumper cables in case your battery dies, change your oil before you leave, and check your tires to make sure you have enough tread to handle where you’re going. Fix or replace any of these items before you leave.

You also should pack a first-aid kit and come up with an emergency plan. Go over how to do basic first aid with your child, and discuss what you’ll do if you get separated or caught in a storm or some other emergency comes up.

Have Fun

With all your preparations, don’t forget that this is supposed to be a fun trip. Make sure your child is excited, and ask whether there’s anything he or she wants to bring on the trip. Pack a small radio and games for those quiet, post-fishing times, and start creating memories that will last a lifetime.

Armin Brott

View posts by Armin Brott
Armin Brott is the proud father of three, a former U.S. Marine, a best-selling author, radio host, speaker, and one of the country’s leading experts on fatherhood. He writes frequently about fatherhood, families, and men's health. Read more about Armin or visit his website, mrdad.com. You can also connect via social media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest,  and Linkedin.

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