Doing it for the Kids
  |  First Published: February 2012

The hottest month of the year is here so it is even more important to be prepared when you’re out fishing: Slip, Slop and Slap is a must and so is staying hydrated. By this I mean water not beer, as beer will dehydrate you even more. So save the cold ones for when you’re back at camp or home and make sure to keep you and your kids’ fluids up.

kids fishing

I enjoyed my few days off over Christmas and the chance to fish with a few of my nephews and nieces. There’s something special when you hear, “This is the best day fishing I have ever had,” coming from mad keen kids that just love the water.

We spent our short very enjoyable break at Woodgate Beach where I managed to put the boat in a few times at Walkers Point boat ramp to take the kids fishing. The kids were new to lure fishing so I set some rules down for all of our safety.

Firstly, as we were going to troll the lures rather than cast whenever someone hooked up on a fish or a snag the other person was to wind in their line, this sounds simple to us but with all the excitement of a fish coming aboard kids tend to forget.

Secondly, all the kids were to remain seated until they were asked to move, which was tricky especially when a fish came onboard, and I gave each child a task for different situations. This may sound difficult but by adding a team spirit and explaining how important each person’s roll was it wasn’t that hard to get them working together to land the teams fish.

Well how did we go? We had a ball and all the kids caught at least one fish on a lure, with a few of them landing several fish. The technique was fairly simple: I stuck with small lures to maximise our chances of even catching small fish and I trolled areas that had fish showing on the sounder. I have a Humminbird sounder with side imaging and this was our ace as the side imaging was showing fish shadows in under 10ft of water. We spent a fair bit of time fishing around the boat ramp at Walkers Point as there is some scattered rocky bottom but it all doesn’t hold fish, and this where the side imaging came into its own.

There were at least 10 boats fishing the scattered rock but we were the only ones catching fish regularly. I made sure the lures matched the depth of water we were in and made sure they would pass right over the lumps with the fish showing on them.

I also snuck up the Gregory River with my three very cool nephews to get them casting to catch fish. The number one estuary casting lure for beginners in my opinion is the Prawnstar Junior, they are very easy to use and the less you do with them the more fish they catch! The key is to get them down to the fish, so get the kids to cast close to some structure, whether that structure is fallen trees, rocky bottom or even man-made structure. Once the lure is cast, let it sink to the bottom and slowly hop it back making sure it is left back to the bottom.

This is what I got my nephews to do around some snags and rocks in the Gregory and they were rewarded with some nice fish. They did miss a few fish on the strike but I am sure with a little more practice they will make excellent fisherman. Overall it was the nieces that kicked butt landing more fish than the boys, and didn’t they let the boys know about it!

When you take kids fishing it is important to keep them amused. Take plenty of snacks and drinks and tell them about the things we see on the water and take for granted from jellyfish to seagulls. I hope you get a few tips for your next kids’ fishing trip and remember, a kid’s fishing trip is for the kids you will get your rewards from the smiles on their faces.

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