Summer is here. With only a few weeks until the kids are done with school and ever warming days, it’s a great time of the year! Introducing the younger people in your life to the outdoors, particularly fishing, has rewards for all involved. When just starting to wet your feet it’s best to stick to one hard rule for both the teacher and young budding angler. The KISS (Keep It Simple Smarty-pants) method should drive decisions and actions. There will be years of time to perfect that cast under the mangroves, sight fishing those spooky tailing reds, or live bait a personal best Snookzilla from a raging inlet.
Especially when starting out with kids that are pre-teens and younger, it helps to keep in mind that attention spans are short and hours of sitting might be met with some changing behavior. So pull back from the daydream of your 5 year old dropping a stellar cast from the bow of your skiff while tails wave in the predawn of an early morning sunrise. Instead, hit the fun fish and have a blast while “Hooking” your would be fishing buddy for life.
Shrimp on a popping corks worked along the lagoons deeper drop-offs will almost always produce steady action. Docks and rocky areas work well, too. Try baits on the bottom. Also, a small jig head and circle hook and split shot work great. Be sure to show excitement in every catch. No matter how much a catfish, puffer, stingray, ladyfish or jack is a trash fish to you, to them, it’s an amazing sea creature that they captured on a grand expedition. Every friend they have will hear about it 100 times, because that’s what anglers do. Admittedly, this is just as fulfilling for the teacher as it is the student. Not to mention, you will be creating a new generation of lagoon/water stewards that is so necessary.