By reputation, Martin County is one of the fishiest counties in all of Florida. Scores of species of fish live in the warm subtropical waters here. As a result, Martin County is the perfect place to make a fishing memory with kids.
Sometimes, fishing with children can be challenging – but it doesn’t have to be. Here are few tips to make those experiences fun ones they will remember, and if they catch something, you can bet they will want to return.
Keep it Short and Sweet
Plan fishing trips with young children to be less than an hour in length. Attention spans are not very long, and for some adults, neither is patience.
Watch the Sun
Sun protection is a must. Even during a brief trip outside, a sunburn can be possible. Sunscreen, inexpensive sunglasses and a hat are a must.
Don’t Over-Complicate Things
If fishing in saltwater, buy a few live shrimp or frozen shrimp, or at least clam strips. If heading to freshwater, pick up some red worms, live shiners or live crickets. The object is to generate action as easily as possible. When fishing with inexperienced kids, one bite early in the trip can make all the difference in the world.
Go Where the Action Is
One can improve his or her chances of connecting a potential junior angler with a fish by doing a little homework before heading to the water. Martin County has many areas with fishing access for saltwater and freshwater. Saltwater access points with a high likelihood of hooking a fish include: The catwalk under the Roosevelt Bridge in Stuart; the catwalks at Jensen Beach Causeway; and don’t forget to try Twin Rivers Park and Sandsprit Park in Port Salerno. For freshwater, try the docks at Timer Powers Park near Indiantown; The Great Salerno Basin at the end of Flounder Ave in Port Salerno.
Shoot for Something Small
Use small rigs with smaller hooks and bait. Kids can have a ton of fun catching small snapper and sheepshead both known to have an aggressive bite. A bluegill or a shellcracker on the end of a kid’s line will reward them much more than a bass or snook which did not bite.
Keep it Reel
Let the kids do the reeling. Even if an adult must hook the fish, pass the rod off right away and give instruction. When they see you are excited, they will become excited. Keep expectations low. Angling skills may not be up to par with expert anglers and fish will come off. It happens to everyone. Keep it positive.
Cold drinks and snacks can keep the adventure going a little longer, especially if the fish are biting.