If you are a keen angler with children I feel it is only fair to introduce them to the sport of angling with the many benefits it can bring. In this day and age many anglers it would seem do not make an effort to give kids the start they need. Angling will hopefully give a lifelong interest in the environment and a means to unwind in an ever stressful world.
I have been an angler for as long as I can remember and have never regretted my obsession with the pastime I love. Of course not everyone is destined to like fishing, I mean it must be in the genes or something. Your child may not be cut out for it but many are if given a good start.So how do we go about introducing our children to our hobby? First of all you must try to see the world through a child's eyes. A couple of hours fishing is all you should aim for at first. Bites and plenty of fish are essential if interest is to be maintained. Children especially boys have short attention spans. So for this reason choose a venue that has an abundance of small fish. At first do not fish yourself, give all your attention to assisting your child with the task at hand. You will inevitably spend a considerable time sorting out tangles, don't lose your cool just keep calm and encourage. Spend the session shouting at your pupil and they will never want to go again. Have regular breaks for a snack. If the going is slow try a new spot. If the fish are really not having it go home, do something else and try again another day. When they do catch try to show enthusiasm, a tiny Roach or Rudd may not excite you but it will probably thrill a child.
Well I guess I jumped the gun a little with the above introduction as they will need to have some tackle with which to catch a few fish. Now they could use yours but that probably isn't a good idea. If its good gear it may get damaged and lead to frayed tempers, if its old cast offs it may hinder them not being suitable for the job at hand. Now I am assuming that your child is aged five to ten years. My son James is seven now and has been fishing for a couple of years. I started him off with a 3 metre Whip which he could use to catch small Roach, Carp, Rudd etc. A tackle box, a few hooks, Floats, split shot, disgorger, a bait box full of maggots and a permit will be all you require for that first trip. This should all cost you £25.00 or less.
Compare this to the price of a playstation game or similar and I am sure you will agree its not that dear.
The main consideration when taking a child fishing is of course safety. Many children drown by lakes and rivers every year so you must supervise at all times and choose a safe venue. It would obviously be foolish to take a child fishing on a flooded river. Hygiene is also important. Many venues are infested with rats which unfortunately carry the very real threat of Wiels Disease. Make sure that you carry some anti bacterial wipes for washing of hands prior to eating and to clean any cuts or grazes picked up on the waterside.
Get it right and you'll enjoy teaching them as much as they enjoy learning!