I grew up in a tiny seaside fishing village called Gracetown, near Margaret River, Western Australia. It was a fisherman’s paradise. My parents were very active in teaching us how to live off of the ocean’s bounty, and we would integrate this way of living into the daily rhythm of our lives. During the long days of summer, before heading out to school, my parents would wake me up to harvest abalone off the low tide reefs. After school, we would fish, and on the weekends when there was a little more time in the day, we would dive for crayfish (or lobster as you say in American). I learned from a young age how to live off the land, and it’s something that I enjoy teaching my children.
Fishing is a fun summer activity that not only teaches your kids patience, but it also shows them where food comes from, and about the circle of life. Even if you have never fished before, do not be timid, ‘fisher-people’ are always willing to give you tips - so ask away!
Most states and countries require a fishing license, except for specific age groups. Make sure you check with your local fisheries department and purchase the necessary license required before fishing. Your local fishing supply shop can also give you tips on where to acquire a permit, they will also have bait for sale and tips on where to fish! There could be size and quantity limits on certain species of fish, be sure that you learn this information before setting out to fish, as you do not want to risk getting fined. Rule of thumb - if you don’t know what it is, then release the fish back into the waterway.
If you have never fished before, I recommend practicing casting with your child by tying a sinker to your line (without a hook) and casting into the ocean. This way no body parts will get hooked!
You are now ready to fish! Fill up your bucket halfway with water for any fish that you might catch, set up your rig, add your bait, cast and wait!
See the attached diagram for a simple rig; this consists of a sinker, swivel, and hook. I have also attached a diagram of simple Fishermans knot, this knot will ensure your tackle is secure and will not become undone when you have hooked a fish!
When you reel in your fish, use a glove or Tea Towel to hold the slippery fish, and use your pliers to remove the hook from its mouth safely.
If you do not want to eat your catch, or the fish is too small, please respect the ocean and lakes by releasing your fish back into the waterways.
Fishing takes time and patience. We usually pack a picnic with loads of drinking water, sunscreen, and make a day of it. If the fish aren’t biting, try different types of bait, and use burley to entice the fish into your area. We bring fishing books to identify our catch, and to learn more about what the fish like to eat. Above all, HAVE FUN!