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Fishing with the kids

It’s about finding a good spot, and taking your time. Fishing with family is a treat, even though the catch might be small.

I went fishing with my son Simon the first time when he was five. We brought a simple fishing rod, some worms and a couple of sandwiches each. Then we spent the next twenty minutes more or so in silence, waiting for a perch or dace to turn up and go for the bait.

It was quiet and there was a slight breeze through the firs and the pines around us.

Suddenly there was a shout from my son. A small perch was stuck on the hook. It was struggling. My son was struggling on the other end of the rod. 

We brought our catch ashore and there was a delighted shout from Simon: ”I caught a fish!”

There were three more perches in our bucket when we went home that night. Dinner was buttered perch, grilled over an open fire. Before Simon went to sleep he said: ”Dad, can we go tomorrow again…?”

”Yes,” I answered.

”…and the day after that, too…?”

Expert advice

Victor Sandberg, responsible for promoting fishing to kids at Sportfiskarna, a national organization representing the interests of recreational anglers in Sweden, concludes: 

”Fishing is very close the basics in life, and the hunting experience create real life adventure.”

His advice for parents who want to take their kids fishing is starting with a simple fishing rod. Suitable age for first fishing experience is about 4 to 6 years of age. 

”Find a place where you know you might get a catch. And don’t spend more than one or two hours there – kids need a break even from activities they like.”

It’s important to bring something to eat, maybe a Swedish “fika” with juice, coffee and buns.

”And most important: let the kid be part of the whole process, from rigging the rod, finding the bait and throwing out the hook and then taking care of the catch. Prepare it together and cook it afterwards.”

Writer: Jonas Hållén

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What a catch!

”I caught a fish!”

Photo: Alexander Hall

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What a catch!

Photo: Alexander Hall

You don’t need much to go fishing from a bridge in a lake:

* A fishing rod or just a long stick. 

* Three meters of fishing line or strong thread.

* A float.

* A small pellet of lead that you put around ten centimeters over the hook to keep the float straight and make the hook sink.

* A suitable hook. If you look for small fish you need a small hook. It’s a common mistake to have a too large or not enough sharp hook. 

Where to go?

Just about anywhere where there is a lake. Just check in beforehand if you need a fishing permit. 

A fun place to go for both fishing and a culinary experience is Everts Sjöbod in Grebbestad where you can join an Oyster safari, Lobster safari, crab and mackerel fishing, and eat your own catch afterwards. There’s more fishing destinations on the homepage of Swedish eco-tourist label Nature’s Best. You can also find experienced fishing guides here. 

Sportfiskarna is promoting fishing for kids in the summer time ("Fiskelov" campaign that translates to Fishing Holiday). To learn exactly where to go, contact Sportfiskarna.