Are you looking for a vacation trip that costs a little less and gives a lot more in return? Or perhaps you simply want an opportunity to spend time with the family away from the hustle and bustle of life, not to mention the constant presence of digital technology. If so, a fishing trip could be just the perfect thing for you.
The fishing trip is, by now, a tried and tested tradition that many families simply can’t live without, but many still have yet to try it. Here, we’re going to look at how you organize the best possible fishing trip and why it can be such a valuable experience for you and your children in the first place.
Why it’s so popular
The more skeptical or cynical amongst us might believe that fishing is little more than a relic from the past, kept alive by a desire to recapture the nostalgia of our own childhood fishing trips. There may be some truth to that, of course. But that doesn’t capture the sheer range of benefits that fishing has to offer.
First, the health benefits are indisputable. Though it might not be the most active of pursuits, it gets out trekking in the wild, and the process of reeling a fish in can be a real test of strength, helping to build muscle as well as improving hand-eye coordination. However, the mental benefits are even better. Fishing’s a well-known stress-busting technique and can be the perfect opportunity to get away from the hassles of everyday life.
However, the benefit it offers the father-son relationship might be the most important of all. The chance to spend time alone and communicate is something that many of us need. What’s more, the opportunity to teach your son skills, watch them grow more practical-minded, and see them make a catch can be immensely rewarding. Achieving something after learning a new discipline is one of the best self-confidence boosts you can offer your child.
Learn the ropes
Of course, there’s a good chance that you might not be the best teacher just yet. Perhaps you’ve never been fishing yourself. While there are plenty of guides on the internet that can help you learn how to fish on your own, using the help of coaches like Nick Hart Fly Fishing can get you ready to hit the water much sooner.
The benefits of someone who is able to watch your form, correct your technique, and offer practical advice on your weak spots can help you become versed in fishing much more quickly. It’s best to have at least a little practice before you head out for your first real fishing trip.
Find a spot
There are tons of fishing spots spread out all throughout the country. That said, you should also be aware that not every spot with fish is a legal fishing area. Instead, look at websites like Take Me Fishing which contain interactive maps that can show rivers, lakes, and coasts near you that are licensed fishing spots.
When choosing a spot, do be aware of what kind of fishing trip you actually want. Would you prefer to spend time by the bank, fishing from dry land, or are you ready and willing to take a boat out onto the water? Do bear in mind what you can expect to catch, as well.
Figure out where you’re going to stay
Unless the spot you find is within a very short distance from your home, the chances are that you’re going to stay overnight in your destination. With that in mind, you need to consider your accommodation. Many popular fishing spots will have hotels, hostels, and lodges nearby that could be perfect for a staycation.
If you’re planning on spending a little more time in the wilderness, however, your fishing excursion could be just one part of a larger camping trip. If that’s the case, you have to ensure you’re as prepared for the camping experience as anything else. Be sure to have enough food and water and do a little research on camping safety.
Prepare for the weather
Fishing trips aren’t quick in most cases. You should expect to spend several hours out there in the great outdoors. For that reason, make sure that you’re aware of what to expect for the weather and prepare all the protective gear that you need to stay safe. The weather can dictate how successful or unsuccessful your fishing trip is, too. You’re not as likely to make any catches if it’s pouring down with rain throughout the duration of the trip.
You need clothing that can protect you from the sun, including the right hat and sunglasses, not to mention sunscreen for your skin. However, even on a hot summer day, you should be aware that it’s always going to be at least a little cooler by the water, so don’t neglect to pack jackets or vests that can help protect you from the chill. Mosquitoes and other bugs may be a concern, so bring some bug spray with you, too.
Remember camping safety
If you’re staying at a B&B, lodge, or hotel, you can feel free to skip this section entirely. However, it’s a good idea to have a quick primer of camping safety tips if you’re planning on taking a tent out into the great wilderness. Don’t forget the essentials of safety, first of all, from the first aid kit to any bug nets your tents might need.
Don’t camp too close to the water’s edge and make sure that you set the tent up on slightly higher ground, rather than in the middle of any dips or at the feet any hills. Should it rain, the river or lake could rise considerably, and water will run downhill. Finding a high, dry spot will ensure that your tent doesn’t get flooded. Be extra careful to learn about any wildlife if you’re planning to eat what you catch, as nothing can attract wildlife better than the smell of freshly cooked and prepared fish.
There are plenty of other DIY camping hacks as shown at Matador Network that can help you cheaply and quickly get a lot more out of your camping experience. Remember that it’s supposed to be fun, too, so having some form of entertainment available is essential. This might include portable games and books are a little solo relaxation in the evening, not just activities you can participate in together.
Get the gear
There are different kinds of fishing, so it’s important to do your research on which equipment is going to best suit your purposes depending on the aims of the trip. If you’re planning to go fly fishing, you are going to need rods specifically built for it, so see Swift Fly Fishing Company for details on what makes a fly rod different. Besides the rod itself, you’re going to need a tackle box, spare monofilament, and a sturdy net. The bait and tackle might require a little extra research as well. Different species of fish are attracted to different things, so make sure you’re getting the right kinds.
Take to the water
As mentioned, there are plenty of spots where you can happily and safely fish from the dry land. However, to many the experience of getting out on a boat is such an essential part of the fishing experience they can’t imagine doing it any other way. If that’s the case for you, finding the right boat and the right people to operate it may be essential. If you can operate a boat fine yourself, borrowing from a friend or renting a boat alone will cost significantly less. If you have no experience, however, you’re going to want to use a boat chartership service. See Boats for a few examples of what you want to see from a chartership in order to pick the best one.
Make sure you’re doing it legally
Like most things related to the environment, hunting, and catching your own food or trophies, there are several legal considerations you need to make. As mentioned, you have to ensure that you are legally allowed to fish at the location that you choose. But even if you are, there are specific laws applying to different fish you need to take into account, too. There are many fish you can catch and eat, but there are others you must release, often depending on how strong their current population is. The regulations are ever updating, too, so apps like FishVerify can be extremely helpful. They allow you to identify a fish and see what the current regulations state on them, ensuring you don’t trip over any legal boundaries.
Hopefully, the tips above make it a little easier to find your way out on the water can come back with a delicious catch. If you’re lucky, you might even see an annual tradition growing out of it. There are few better ways to connect with the natural environment, spend time with the family, and even contribute to your physical health than a fishing trip.