Bart Swab 01/04/2017 | Posted in Family Zone, Fishing, JK Junior Fish Squad, Skipper, Trip Reports, Trips
Melea has been on a paddle craft since before she can remember. Now that she is 11, it’s really cool to see her getting around on our favorite fishing areas on her own kayak. I’ve been working on our distance and she can paddle comfortably and her solo techniques are developing well since she is got her new skipper for her birthday last August.
One of the first things I noticed after we got her the skipper and the appropriate size paddle that was that Melea was able to cruise around 3 miles per hour. That’s pretty good paddling speed for most paddlers. The sizing on a kids paddle is very important. To match up a paddle to her size and her kayak size we went with a Werner paddles small shaft to 220cm Kids hands are much smaller and it’s nice for them to have a paddle that feels good in their hands.
The the extra freedom of having her own kayak gives her, seems to be having a really positive effects on her liking being out fishing with me. It could be that she likes being able to do her own thing without me watching teaching at every turn, which is how it seems when you’re a kid. The other super positive thing I’m seeing, is her want ability to be more independent. She is wanting to catch her own bait Melea was definitely excited to catch a flounder on the bait she cast netted herself.
With kids this age is important to plan your trips accordingly. This information probably the most important part of this post.
1. make trip short and sweet. Leave the water before the fun does. It’s a good idea to leave them wanting more and you don’t want to soar the fun with a kid that’s not even enjoying the adventure.
2. tight lines are more important than quality fish. Leave the bucket mouths and bull redfish alone. Instead chase those bluegill and slot redfish instead, to increase the action.
3 keep the trip short in a kid’s eyes not a Weekend Warriors
4. Keep that teaching to a minimum to some kids it feels more like a lecture. Show them how then cut them loose on a pond or estuary. After all in a few years we’ll be cutting them loose on the world! So, kick back, watch and enjoy the show from your kayak. Only help if they ask or if it’s needed for safety.
5. Fit in a little treat or surprise. This goes over big with my little girl. Sometimes we stop on our way home to play some Pokemon go or swing by and get an ice cream after a fun morning on the water. Some of the best conversations happen during this time. The kid is pumped because they know you’re happy you had them out doing what you like to do, then you throw a surprise their way. Good stuff! My dad didn’t stop at Dunkin Donuts very many times on our way home when I was a kid but I sure do remember those times were good ones.
6. Bring snacks water and a sports drink. Very important! You want a happy kid out there and dehydrated is not a good way to achieve that.
7. Short paddles, then in time, push them a little further. I like to mention to my daughter that she paddled a half mile further than ever then she ever has, for her this is a total confidence builder.
8. Last, but definitely not least. BASE THE TRIP ON THE KID. My daughter likes to get out and look around in estuary for crabs and anything else that she can find that moves or has never seen before. Making it an adventure through your eyes too. Yes we are old and have ( seen it all) but that kills the vibe for the kids. Make it special and they will want to get back out the next time to continue the journey you both experience on the last trip.