Give a child a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a child to fish and he'll eat forever.
Summer time is bass time, big bass are now showing up in a pond near you. I took my 10 year old son out for what we call pond hopping. This is an annual event for us and we look forward to every year. He out fished me for the first time in his young life, landing two very nice large-mouth bass.
This is the best time of year to teach your children how to catch large fish on fly, This is not just “fishing, but catching.” Ponds are a great place to go because they are close to your house, and you don’t need a boat. There might even be a swing set only a few casts away. So you can catch fish while your young one takes a break to play.
We went to the first pond and did not see anything but small pan-fish so we moved on.
“Dad I told you that one would not have fish,“ he said to me.
I did stop at a pond that was on the way to the one he picked, I should have listened.
Once we got to the pond my son picked, he caught a 16-inch large-mouth on a white fly.
“Dad see this is the one,” said my son, as he played the fish to the public swimming beach. “Did you see that thing jump out of the water dad?”
He loves it when I take pictures of him with his fish, since we don’t keep fish it is the only record he has to show for his efforts.
I did not catch a fish at the pond and he landed only one more in the next 30 minutes. He was hungry or bored so as we drove to the next pond. On the way he ate from our snack bag that is mother had put together for us.
The third and final spot was filled with ducks and geese. The first 10 minutes we spent chasing them away from us and out fly. It seemed as if they were fed by hand and were not afraid of us. Once we were able to fish in peace, my son landed a 15 inch large-mouth. He took this one off all by himself and proceeded to ask questions about the spines on the dorsal fin. We decided to call it quits and went home with photos and a sun-burn.
So grab a map of your area and have your little fisher-person plot a course of attach. There is not a right or wrong decision so by taking this approach you have an opportunity to talk to you child and it gives them an opportunity to be in charge.
When you arrive at a pond look in the shallow water on the sunny side. When you find the area holding fish, don’t crash the shoreline, you may spook the fish. Remember you are taller than you child so you should see the fish first. Polarized glasses are a must.
When the sun moves higher into the day time sky, your local lakes and ponds are warming up. Water temps are now between 80 and 90 degrees.
My son and I put new 3x tipit on our fly reels, since we spent the winter months fishing for steelhead our equipment need some attention. My lures of choice is a large streamer looking for a reaction bite where my son had luck with a wooley bugger. The slow moving flies work well for the younger set because he can often see when the fish picks it up and he loves setting the hook.
The reason the larger fish are in the shallow water is because they are feeding when the sun is off the water. Please practice catch and release as you can kill off a pond by keeping just a few big bass. It is very important to teach your children fishing conservation, if you kill that fish the pond can become fished out in just a few seasons.
Once a pond’s water temperature hits 90 degrees a bass’s body clock starts to slow down. The spawning period is short and will be over at the next full moon.
Summer doldrums are on so slow and steady will work and it is time for you to take your little one for some fishing fun.