Teaching Kids to Fish on Your Charter

Mar 8, 2022 | 5 minute read
Reading Time: 5 minutes

It’s no secret, families are a very important part of most captains’ customer base. In fact, they’re exactly the kind of clientele you can expect to get through FishingBooker if you’re listed with us. And more often than not, when a family books with you, you’ll get the all-important task of teaching kids how to fish on your charter.

A young boy holding a Redfish with a boat engine and water behind him.

In this article, we’ll provide an overview of just how you as a fishing guide can make sure that the children on board discover the world of sportfishing in the best way possible. We’ll include information on how to set proper expectations, ease both parents and kids into the trip, and make sure everyone leaves your boat with smiles on their faces.

Safety First

Running a safety brief before a trip goes a long way when you’re taking families with kids fishing. You can start this by outfitting the kids (and anyone else who wants one) with lifejackets. Then, instruct the group on what they should avoid doing on your boat, as well as how to act if something unexpected happens. You can finish the briefing by teaching the group how to stop the boat if necessary and radio for help.

A man fasting a lifejacket for a young girl.

Besides the practical usefulness of a safety brief, doing it will also instill a sense of security in your guests. It’ll be much easier for the parents to relax knowing that their kids are safe. Getting everyone comfortable on your boat is the first step to showing your guests and their young ones an adventure they’ll treasure for a lifetime.

Even if you’re not fishing from a vessel, it’s still wise to approach a kids’ trip with safety in mind. Instead of talking about boat safety, you can just tell them what to watch for as you’re moving along the terrain. You can also let them know things such as whether it’s safe to wade into the water or not. It’ll all help your customers understand how to act in a safe manner.

Setting Expectations

Before you get to the teaching and the fishing, you should take time to set the right expectations of how the trip will look. This is the moment when you’ll be lining out what kind of fishing you’ll do to make sure it’s suitable for children. Most kids are easily bored and need plenty of action to stay interested. However, they probably won’t care much about what they catch or how big the fish is.

A young kid holding a Corbina caught in California.

As you’re planning the trip with your guests, you can also consider setting some boundaries. While you’re there to help and teach your guests’ kids how to fish, you don’t necessarily want to be a babysitter. You may not need to do this every time, but occasionally, it’s good to remind the parents that they’ll need to stay involved during the trip.

On FishingBooker, you can give each of your trips a detailed description to help customers know which option will work best if they’re bringing kids. Once you’ve received a booking, you’ll be able to chat with the customer through our app. If you’re on the go a lot, you can even prepare prewritten messages to answer the most frequently asked questions. This way, customers will know what to expect even before their day on the water begins.

Showing the Basics

When all the prep work is finished, it’s time to get to the fun part – teaching kids how to fish! If they’ve never been fishing before, here’s a simple goal you can set for the trip – teach them at least one thing that’ll help them on their future outings. You can start with the basics, and show them how to grip the rod and how a fishing reel works. Or, you can teach them how to throw a bait net and even how to tie some simple knots.

A young girl fishing over the side of the boat.

Of course, depending on how old the kids are, you could also show them how to cast. If they have some prior experience, have them land their fish independently and learn how to fight them. On the flip side, we’d generally recommend that you avoid having the kids handle anything hook-related. While it can be very useful for them to learn how to put the bait on the hook or unhook a fish, the trip can easily be ruined if they hurt themselves on it.

Helping Kids Discover a New World

The practical knowledge you can pass on to the kids fishing with you is just one piece of the puzzle. Remember, you’re also an expert on the fish you’ll be targeting and the waters you’ll explore.

Three generations of anglers posing with Redfish they caught.

As you search for fish and get your little guests familiar with the fishing equipment, try giving them some fish trivia and weaving together a story about why fishing is so important. After all, they’ll be learning a skill that’s been helping humans survive since the dawn of time. How cool is that?

You can expand upon this by teaching them a little about the other wildlife you encounter along the way. Or, explain why it’s important to respect fishing regulations and conserve the ecosystem. There are few others that understand the importance of a healthy fishery the way charter captains do. Your knowledge can help children foster a healthy attitude towards nature and remember their first angling adventure as something truly special.

Turning Families Into Returning Customers

Two boys and a man holding fish and posing for a photo aboard Jus Cuz in Alabama.

Most families don’t go charter fishing more than once or twice a year. They save money and vacation days so they step on board with you and enjoy a day on the water. They’re hoping to experience a fun, unique adventure and create precious memories with their little ones. If you make sure they enjoy their time with you, they’ll know who to call next year. Also, you may get a stellar 5-star review such as this: 

We had an awesome time on the water today with Captain Ricky! We booked last minute the night before and he was quick to get back with us to set everything up for the next day. Even with the colder temperatures he still was able to do an awesome job putting us on the fish.  He was awesome with the kids and clearly loves helping them learn the sport and putting them on the fish. They are still talking about how much fun he was to fish with. We will for sure be booking another trip with him on our next visit to Florida. 

A happy customer’s review of Fllargemouth Charters.

What do you enjoy the most about teaching kids to fish on your charter? What’s the most important thing they should learn on your trip? Let us know in the comments below!

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