With the summer months coming up it is a great time to get the young ones involved with their first fishing trip.
With some sun on the water it’s not long before the shorelines start to come alive with activity in the water. We see the water temperature rise and the baitfish arrive on our shores, bringing great sport for the anglers of all ages to get involved in.
I believe in getting young anglers involved in all aspects of fishing as soon as possible. It is important to let them gain the knowledge they need to progress in the sport. I try to take my son out as much as possible, and this starts with bait collecting. Kids love nothing more than foraging around the rocks and rock pools to find aquatic life, and it’s even better when they help you collect a bucket of peeler crab ready for an outing later in the week!
I think I speak for most when I say we all started with the smaller species. I remember many a session on the rivers in search of flatfish, which in turn lead to mackerel fishing and so on. In fact, this time of the year is great as there is plenty to keep youngsters occupied, especially if they go mackerel fishing.
Keeping them occupied and interested is very important, and it’s a good reason for keeping early sessions shore based. If the worst comes to the worst with weather and so on you can cut the session short and head home.
A simple rod and fixed-spool reel setup is all that is needed for the start, and this will be more than enough for a wide range of fishing as casting far is not always needed to catch.
A cracking thornback ray for Tyler.
What species you take them to target depends on where you are in the UK. Living in Whitby we have a lot of choices, from beaches and piers to rivers. Some travelling can be done to target other species, but it’s best to keep the journeys short ,if only to reduce the number of times you hear “Are we there yet?”
I think I first took Tyler at the age of five down our local river, which has a spot called “kiddies corner”. It’s where all the holidaymakers go with their crabbing lines to catch buckets of crabs. Realising that what they buy baitwise gets thrown in at the end of the day was an advantage to us, because where there is free food there are fish.
Fishing a simple fixed-spool setup with a 1oz running bomb and a size 8 hook we cut bits of squid into strips and it wasn’t long before the fish and Tyler were hooked!
Tyler’s obsession with fishing has grown and grown, and now at seven we target a lot more fish on different venues. He is keen to try anywhere I throw at him, and this spring has seen him take part in his first open competition. Unfortunately it wasn’t our day, but he did manage to catch another species – a fine turbot, even if it was undersized – and he was still very happy.
With the summer approaching Tyler is now nagging me to take him to catch the “big sharks” again. This is something that came from his mouth not mine, but a smoothhound is definitely a shark to a seven-year-old, I can tell you! His biggest so far is an 8lb hound and he has got his sights on a bigger one!
Tyler Moore (left) and his cousin Kyle can’t wait to get out after some smoothhounds.
We have enjoyed many days in glorious weather catching rays and hounds and will enjoy many more as the year’s progress. Tyler is still small, and although he can fish very well at close range I do cast out the big rods for him if we need to fish at distance. However, he still reels them in to be re-baited and lands any fish that he hooks himself.
Tyler’s Species Count
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