10 things to keep in mind while teaching fishing skills
Once you teach fishing skills, there are a few important things you can do to attract new anglers. Consider these ten suggestions that will help create a positive early fishing experience and fuel long-term interest.
1. Make the overall experience fun and interesting.
Kids really enjoy doing simple things like watching bait fish swimming around a habitat or catching shrimp in a bait bucket. While you might want to teach someone how to catch fish, let them enjoy the process.
2. Limit mentoring time to an hour or two.
Keep your first few fishing trips short, especially if you're teaching kids. Children and beginners will stay more focused and have a better chance of retaining information if you keep mentoring sessions short.
3. Stay close to home.
If you're teaching beginners to fish, head to a fishing spot near your home. You can see how approachable fishing can be and never tire of a long drive or boat trip.
4. Stick to the basics.
Like Fishing 101, the first few lessons provide simple fishing tips for beginners – too much information can feel like an overload to a new angler.
5. Use live bait.
Worms or crickets are good live baits for species like bluegill or perch. Live baits give new anglers the best chance of catching whatever fish interests them.
6. Encourage you.
Support beginners with encouragement and offer helpful fishing tips.
7. Work with one or two anglers at the same time.
Individual attention is important when beginners are learning how to catch fish. Be there to answer questions and coach them on how to cast or how to roll in fish.
8. Bring PFDs for everyone.
When teaching new fishing skills from a boat, bring the right type and size of personal flotation devices (PFD) for every angler. Include fishing safety tips in your lessons and mentor a good example.
9. Bring healthy snacks and water.
Bring some trail mix, fish-shaped crackers, turkey meat, or other healthy, non-perishable snacks – it's not hard for anyone to focus on learning whether their stomach is growling.
10. Teach a conservational mindset.
Part of the Fisheries 101 lesson is educating newcomers about why fishing licenses are required (funds will go to environmental efforts) and why government agencies regulate.
When you're ready to introduce someone new to fishing, keep these tips in mind to keep new anglers busy for the long term.