Fishing And Family
Today’s family is busier than ever. With both Mom and Dad working to build careers, create savings, and pay for the home, school, cars, groceries, and an ever-growing list of expenses, it's no wonder people have trouble finding time to spend as a family. If you like fishing, including your family can be a great way to enjoy some time together, create lasting memories, and grow inseparable bonds through an activity everyone will enjoy. Spending time with family is a wise investment, and I cannot think of a better way to accomplish that than on the water…
I grew up fishing with my brothers for walleye, bass, and pike in local waters, and my family has always been close. In life, it's easy to take the ones you love for granted, but I look back on those times as some of my favourites. I have to say that I’ve been enjoying fishing with family more and more since I got my new Alumacraft. Not only is being out on the boat a blast for everyone, but it also makes it easy and safe to bring my young nieces and nephew, who aren’t ready to join me wading in a river. Even if we aren’t catching fish, the kids are still excited to ride on Auntie Bekk's boat!
Coming from a family that has always enjoyed time in the outdoors together, I can say that fishing is without a doubt one of the activities that have kept us close. From me to you, here are five reasons to hang out with family and fishing rocks!
1. Fishing builds self-esteem
Fishing can be as simple or as complex as a person makes it, from sitting on the bank waiting for a bobber to dunk under to seining a river for insects and selecting just the right fly to catch rising trout during a hatch. The great thing is, at every level, there are problems to solve and things to learn. That’s why fishing is such a wonderful activity for kids.
At first, it may be helpful for very young kids if you do all the work for them. Choose a good spot, bait the hook, cast out, and maybe even hook the fish. Let them reel in the catch so they get the bug. Now you’ll see who's really hooked! Soon you’ll have them baiting their own hooks and making their own casts, patiently waiting for a strike. It has been amazing to watch this transition happen with my young nieces. In only a few trips they have become totally independent!
Trying something new like fishing gets kids out of their normal comfort zone, and learning to do it on their own builds their self-confidence. As they become more interested, they can learn all kinds of new skills, from tying different knots to learning about fish behaviour or reading the water. Each new skill is a lesson in problem-solving, and the more they learn, the more prepared they are to apply those lessons to real-world problems.
2. Fishing brings families closer through positive experiences
Family time on the water creates fond memories. The fresh air, the sense of adventure, and the scenery are more than enough to create a positive foundation to build happy memories! Add to that the fun of exploring new places, learning the water, operating the boat, and working to catch fish as a team, and you have an activity that can provide many positive moments as well as lessons to draw from. Experiencing the fishing and all the fun that comes from fishing (like the one that got away) are what build a stronger bond. Just make sure to keep things light and fun! Save the hardcore, nose-to-the-grindstone trophy hunting for when you’re out with more serious fishing partners.
3. Fishing helps you unplug from outside world distractions
You hear it so much it has almost become a cliché, but that doesn’t make it any less true. TV, video games, and other technology can be detrimental to a healthy family when these things get in the way of personal interaction. When you’re out fishing, the only distractions are the good kind, like a fish on the line! Leave the phone in the car, or at least turn it off, and focus on the people who are right in front of you. Too often, the distractions of technology become a crutch that we hide behind when we aren’t comfortable expressing ourselves around other people. This isn’t a healthy habit for anyone, let alone something you want to teach to young children. I have a rule in my boat. No phones, no video games, and certainly no TV! We are out on the water to spend time with one another and enjoy the world around us. Help your family connect with the most important things in life by unplugging them from distractions.
4. Fishing helps build a positive connection between parents and children
I am certainly not a kid anymore, but as an adult with a fast-paced career that includes frequent travel, I can say that fishing and boating have helped me take time to connect with my parents. In particular, I have been able to spend much more one-on-one time with my father ever since I got my new boat. We enjoy the whole experience together: picking out new lakes to try, getting outside, launching and driving the boat, and of course, hooking into fish!
Even when the fishing is slow, during the lulls and quiet times we have the chance to talk. It can be the littlest thing like sharing a laugh, or sometimes diving deep into a troubling issue. The important aspect is that without fishing, we might not have taken the time to have those conversations. Sometimes that’s what it takes: getting away from it all and being on the lake, with no disturbances from the outside world to really slow down, touch base, and connect with one another.
5. Fishing helps kids stay on the right track
Fishing as a family is about more than just the fish.
Self-confidence, fun and happy childhood, strong family bonds, the ability to focus on what is important: all of these wonderful benefits of fishing that we have discussed are also the very things that keep kids and young adults on the right track as they navigate the challenges of youth. But the greatest benefit of all is the strong bond that fishing as a family builds. It is no secret that instability at home is a common catalyst for troubled youth. By working from the beginning to foster a strong connection, a deep bond, and an open dialogue with kids, you establish trust that will be vital when they begin their journey to adulthood. Family is everything, and getting out on the water will help build a family unit that can work together even when things get difficult.
Time spent with family is worth every second.