WEST ERIE COUNTY, DWCO Randy Leighton, WCO Brook Tolbert|
Opening day looks to be sunny and warm (although this is Erie, PA.) 1 to 2 LB line may be a good choice for stocked trout. Natural drift presentation will be a must. Cast for the shadowed areas.
Current Lake Erie water temperature as of this writing is 35 degrees. Area tribs are clearing.
Teaching a Child to Fish:
"Teaching a Kid to Fish"
There are three major steps to a child learning how to fish, our own knowledge, exposure and teaching. It is harder to teach something that we donít know about, so we must possess some knowledge on what we will be teaching. We donít need to be an expert, just the need to pass on our knowledge. Exposure is taking a child fishing with no expectations of learning how to fish by you or the child. The child holds the rod and fishes with someone's help. The power of example is teaching and exposure. This is were teaching and exposure interlock. ĎDo as I doí is the key here. Teaching a child how to fish is showing the child with hands on how to acquire a passion of fishing or just to enjoy it.
There are no rules to follow on when to start exposing a child to fishing. However there are important safety rules that need to be followed. Water safety (Lifejackets! If the child has a bad experience schools out for the summer, but if child's drowns schools out forever.), hooks are sharp, some fish have spines that are sharp, and any other thing that protects the child from harmís way (for that matter, us too).
There are many ways to start the teaching process. The easiest way to start is to find out if the child wants to go fishing. If the child does not, donít push it. There is always next time. Remember that not all children are going to want to go fishing and that is their choice. Anytime that we are exposing or teaching anything about fishing there are some things that will make the tasks easier.
Don't bring your own fishing tackle, unless the child doesn't have his own. This will allow you to concentrate on the child fishing. If the child doesn't have fishing tackle, only bring the items that are needed for the child to fish. The right type of equipment is important also. You can't expect a three year old to fly cast on his/her own. Best type of tackle for kid.
Try to get the child involved in any and all parts of this adventure.
Try to find the place that has the most fish that are easy to catch. A good example of this is the local panfish pond. The size of the fish is not as important as the ease of catching. Explain about the fish. What type is it? Explain how to handle the fish. The child's comfort is of great importance, BUT SAFETY IS MOST IMPORTANT, PERIOD! This would include reading about water safety, proper clothing, snacks, plenty to drink, and any type of 'buddy' toy (this sometimes allows the child to share the experience or to show something how to do it also). Ask the child what he/she would like to bring, but limit the size of the item. If you are going to have lunch while fishing, bring a small garbage bag (even if you are not having lunch). This will teach a respect for environment.
Children need to play safely. Don't be disappointed if the child decides he/she wants to play instead of fish, instead encourage it as long as it respects others on the water. If the play does not respect others on the water, it should be stopped and explained why. Try skipping small flat rocks or floating sticks. The most important thing is to have fun.
The child needs praise and approval on his/her skills. This builds self-confidence. Once it is decided that the child wants to go fishing, the exposure process can begin. This can be just about anything that will expose the child to fishing in a positive way. This is were we hone our own knowledge too. What ever it is it has to be appropriate for the child's age. We canít expect a 8 month old infant to fly cast, but we can expect the infant to put the cork grip into his/her mouth. This is were you have to decide what is appropriate, and if it is not, usually the child will let you know. As a general rule the younger the child the more exposure and less teaching.
A Few Last Minute Reminders for the Trout Opener:
Anglers fishing PFBC controlled areas such as the upper Gravel Pit Pond and Lake Pleasant are reminded that these areas will be filled with families and young children. Inappropriate behavior and partying will not be tolerated.
Anglers boating PFBC controlled waters such as the upper Gravel Pit Pond and Lake Pleasant are reminded that registration either through the PFBC or DCNR is required for all boats powered and unpowered. Internal combustion motors are not permitted.
Last Minute Stocking Reminder:
In Season Stocking:
Support Your Local Sportsmen's Clubs:
Walnut Creek Marina Schedule:
Beginning May 6, 2005 the Marina Office will be open on a full time basis.
The Walnut Creek office offers fishing licenses, ice, restroom facilities, vending machines, and all of the printed publications offered by the PFBC. For further information you can phone the office at 814-833-2464