Weekly Fishing Report– Central South Island Region: 29-12-2017
There is too much ranging to do and important quality time to be spent with family at this time of year, so instead of sitting in the office writing the weekly fishing report I wrote this one in advance.
I thought being school holidays some tips on taking kids fishing would be appropriate.
Above Right: Midweek family fishing trip, Temuka Style.
Some kids are born with the patience and enthusiasm required for successful and rewarding fishing but others have to learn these skills and persevere through tough fishing.
Success, i.e. catching a fish, is pretty important for getting kids hooked on fishing.
Let’s face it, many adults struggle to catch a fish too.
Here’s is a few tips that might help with quick success, or at least make your outings more enjoyable.
Before the water
Learn to cast and wind before learning to fish, it’s much easier to learn to cast on the lawn or at the rugby field than at the river or lake with snags or slippery rock to worry about.
Set up a rod with a lure with its hook removed and just a small sinker and make a casting challenge.
The challenge could be simply to cast beyond a mark or when the skill level increases to cast into a chilly bin or knock over a water bottle.
Add an incentive like an ice cream to succeeding in the challenge and they will learn quick!
Too young to catch the big one?
Learning to fish and getting to know waterways can start at a young age.
My son is approaching the age of 3 and is yet to be able to catch a fish on his own.
He loves going fishing however and he gets to participate, I carry him in a back pack up small rivers and streams and take him to shallow lake edges.
I talk through with him what I’m up to and let him participate by choosing the spot, counting my casts, choosing to kill or release the fish, selecting the rock that I use to bop the fish on the head, and choosing my fly or lure (within reason).
I have hooked fish on the spinning rod and let him help wind them in, in a year or two he’ll be a pro!
Two short trips are better than one long trip.
It can get pretty disheartening for some kids to fish for several hours and come home empty handed, it can be way more fun to do short trips.
Left: Micah Thompson reckons a rod holder and a deck chair are 'choice' for bait fishing.
This also works in with the fact that fish are more active in the evening and morning.
A short trip in the morning and a short after dinner fish is a great plan.
It’s also a great way to avoid the blistering sunshine and sunburn, just one more factor the guide needs to manage.
A great way to start fishing is trolling from a boat, this is because an adult can do all the hard work and then the kids gets to set the line length and wind the fish in.
Depending on casting ability and attention span a mix of bait and spin fishing is a good idea.
Finding the huhu grubs in a rotten log, or digging worms out of the garden can be a fun adventure too.
If you are short on time grab a packet of shrimps from the four square.
With bait fishing get a rod spike and a deck chair and set them up.
Try to leave the bait in the water for at least 5 mins, 10-15 mins between bait checks is good.
They will invariably want to check the bait and re-cast…
When spin fishing its best to use a lure with a single hook, trebles and multi hooks can cause unnecessary de-hooking administration for the guide!
Have a few casts and move along a few metres, if the fish don’t bite, find another fish.
And if you see fish and they chase the lure but they don’t bite, try changing your winding speed first and then changing your lure.
I started fly fishing at age 11 and struggled for a few years, I reckon if you want to start them young on fly fishing you should also make the time to bait and spin fish too as success is more likely, fly casting is tricky!
Break up the trip with food and fun
Break up the outing with snacks and drinks, not only does it keep them energized but sometime a quick break between casts can help to keep the motivation levels up.
Right: break up the outing with some non-fishing fun.
I take toys like diggers and trucks along for my son to play on the beaches.
Swimming, Frisbee and stone skimming are some other mid-trip activities that could work for kids from 1 to 92.
Fishing can be great in the rain but getting wet might put the whipper snappers off fishing.
These days the kids will probably be glued to their smart phones and tablets anyway so you might as well help them find some cool fishing websites and clips to watch.
Every person needs a licence for freshwater sports fishing, young and old.
Children 11 and under can acquire a licence at no charge.
Junior anglers between the age of 12 and 17 pay a small fee, for either a 24 hour licence or a full season.
Child and junior anglers can be included on a family licence.
Licences and information is available on our website or at your local licence agent – often sports shops.
If the kid wants to take home a stick or rock from the river or lake, trust me, just let them, it’s easier that way.
Tight Lines, Rhys Adams, Fish & Game Officer, Central South Island Fish & Game Officer.
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