Getting Kids Started in Fishing in St. Pete
When you take kids fishing for the first time in St. Pete, FL, it’s all about spending quality time on the water with the most important people in your life. Complicated instructions, hi-tech gear, and high expectations can set everyone up for failure and frustration. Keep it simple. Keep it fun. In the big picture, you are making memories, which is more important than anything you can catch on the end of your line.
Ensure the Fun Factor
Avoid critiques and criticism and focus on just having fun. Kids don’t care about what they catch as long as they’re having a good time.
Set up your fishing trip by talking about your own fishing experiences as a kid, adding some awkward fish stories so your child won’t have high expectations. If your kids can see the experience through your childhood eyes, it can make the experience even more meaningful to both of you and allow you to bond on a whole different level.
Keep the Gear Simple
Kids who have never gone fishing don’t need complicated gear that requires technical maneuvers. When it comes to gear and bait, the K.I.S.S. method is the best way to go when fishing with kids.
A simple spin cast reel or spinning rod and reel will create a more enjoyable experience for your novice angler. Kids also tend to do better using live bait than learning how to use complicated lure techniques. You can worry about more complicated equipment and techniques once your kids have acquired a love of fishing.
Go to Where the Fish Are
Fishing is about much more than the catch, but if the fish are elusive, you won’t get those bites that are half the fun of fishing.
Make sure to stake out an area where you’re more likely to get bites from smaller fish that are easier to catch. When kids can experience a lot of bites, it can be a constant positive reinforcement, whether they reel in anything or not. There are many piers and inshore fishing spots along the gulf coast and around the St. Pete area that will delight the kids with lots of bites and, if you’re lucky, some cool catches.
Keep it Easy
The waters around St. Pete, FL are teeming with fish, and fishing with kids should be all about ease. Sometimes, fishing off the pier is the easiest spot of all. Sunshine Skyway Fishing Pier offers a great fishing experience and an accessible place to take the kids. You can drive right up and leave your gear in the car while you fish from the pier. Keep extra gear, sunscreen, drinks, and food in the car; when the kids get tired, packing up is easy before everyone gets too cranky.
Consider a Family-Friendly Charter
Depending on your kids’ ages and expectations, a family-friendly charter may provide some productive catches. There are several charters in the area that target families and kids, with experts to help them reel in some larger, more impressive catches.
Teaching Them the “Right Way” From the Beginning
You will need a fishing license to fish in any of the waters in and around Florida and some fish are catch and release only. You will want to consult with current regulations put out by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).
Kids learn by example. Set your kids up for future success both in fishing and in life by teaching them the rules from the beginning and instilling a respect for the natural world around them. Keeping a copy of the regulations with you is important to ensure kids learn and keep mindful of the balance of our waters and the way they can help sustain that.
Making Enduring Memories With Your Kids in St. Pete
There’s nothing more enduring than the memories you make while spending time on the water with your kids. Fishing with kids is more about the process than the product, so put that aside and just enjoy the time with them. Life is short. These memories are the things that make it worth living.
Need gear, sunscreen, or just a cool t-shirt to remember a fun day of fishing? Here at Reef & Reel, our St. Pete outfitters have you covered. Let us be part of your memory-making time together. Our staff members would love to help you with whatever you need, direct you to some of their favorite fishing spots, and maybe even share some of their own family fishing memories with you! Also, come to our Kids Day Event at the Reef & Reel Store on Saturday, October 1st. 3350 Tyrone Blvd N in St Pete Florida.