Few memories stick out in our minds as clearly as catching our first fish, and who we were with when we caught it. If you’re needing a special pre-Father’s Day treat, teach kids the ropes this June and remember, it’s the memories that count the most. Don’t have a fishing permit? No worries! Young angling enthusiasts can bait their hooks and cast their lines for free on Saturday, June 10 during the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency’s (TWRA) free fishing day. Several Kids’ Fishing Rodeos are slated and kids can fish without licenses or fees. It’s a great opportunity to give it a whirl.
FREE KIDS’ FISHING RODEOS ON SATURDAY, JUNE 10
Hendersonville Fishing Rodeo
139 East Main Street, Hendersonville
Springfield Free Fishing Rodeo
J. Travis Price Park
4155 Wilks Road
Springfield, TN, 37172
Rutherford County Youth Fishing Event
Percy Priest Unit 1 Pond
381 Old Jones Mill Rd
LaVergne, Rutherford County, TN
Veterans Memorial Park Youth Fishing Event
Evergreen Lake at Veterans Memorial Park
Black Pine Rd
Fairview, Williamson County, TN
Kingston Springs Fishing Rodeo
LL Burns Park
LL Burns Park Kingston Springs
The biggest thing to know about going fishing with kids is that it is about spending quality time together.
Avoid putting pressure on yourself or the kids by expecting to catch lots of fish or especially big fish: Remember they call it fishing — not catching — for a reason. Patience is the key! Fishing provides a great time to learn more about your kids and to just talk.
Kids will remember these moments forever, and it’s the little things that stick with us. It’s not about the big boat; or stopping at nothing to bring home a bucket of fish; or spending time buying all of that high-quality fishing equipment. Favorite memories come from laughter, simple surprises and just being together. So before you head out on your first fishing trip this summer, remember: keep it simple!
It’s not the time to try out new spots or to practice new techniques. Go to a tried-and-true location where you know fish will be. Smaller ponds that are well stocked are a great choice, simply because you don’t have to search hard for fish. Just cast out a worm and you’ll be reeling in fish in no time.
DO’S AND DON’TS
DO plan for a shorter day
Simplicity is key and you don’t want to drag out the day. Set aside enough time for fun, but don’t expect it to go as planned.
DO pay attention to weather
Is it cool and windy? Chance of rain? This will make a huge difference, especially if you plan on casting your line from a boat. If it rains, don’t grab the umbrellas and head out anyway. There will be more sunny days.
DO go to “small” water, especially if your kids are little
Small ponds make it easier to catch a fish. As kids grow older, you can start experimenting with larger lakes and heading out on boats.
DO choose live bait
This is the easiest way to catch a fish if you’re a beginner. If it’s your child’s first time fishing, use live bait such as mealworms or wax worms — everything that swims will eat it.
DON’T carry too much
Keep your equipment light. The last thing you want is to lug along loads of heavy equipment and use your time together getting it all setup. Your fishing rod, your kids new fishing pole, bait, snacks, sunscreen, water, hand sanitizer and towels. Done.
DON’T target a specific fish
This can be way too complicated, especially with younger kids. Whatever they catch, whether it be a giant catfish or little tiny bluegill, make a big deal of it!
DON’T stay in one spot
Move around and let your kids have a say on where they want to go next. If they are young and you’re not getting a bite for the first five or 10 minutes, move on!
DON’T take things for granted
Be mindful of where you choose your fishing spot, watch the kids closely, and never let your kids bait a hook or handle fishing equipment by themselves unless they already know how. Guide them through it and assist them with their first cast.