I pretty much grew up fishing. My few day old photos have me in a playpen on what my grandma affectionately called “the fish crick.” When I got older me and my brother would compete to see who could catch the most night crawlers for the next morning. We had our own strategies for catching fish too. I would look for a shady spot; fish like that. I loved fishing right after a light rain too, seemed they always bite then. I can’t reveal all my secrets, but just know I fished often and I was pretty good at it, rarely left empty handed.
Like most kids, the older I got, the less I hung with grandma. I mean band practice, track, cheerleading etc…left little time for catching my own bait. But recently my 4-year-old has been begging us to take her fishing. I’m guessing her curiosity was sparked by something on television, because we haven’t really discussed fishing as a hobby and she wasn’t letting up.
I’ve been fishing once in the 10 years I have lived in North Carolina so I had to do some homework on finding a location conducive to toddler fishing. My friends recommended River Park North and man am I glad they did. You mean we can visit a mini aquarium, have a picnic, paddle boat, fish and hike at the same spot? Perfect.
Sounded easy, but since we had no fishing gear, no fishing license and no bait, a late night Wal Mart trip was not just part of the outing but necessary. I’m not sure if you all have been to the Wal Mart Sporting and Goods department lately but there’s a lot to pick and choose over. There were several children rods and reels, but her eye was stuck on the pink Barbie fishing rod with a matching gear box and accessories. Okay, so she probably didn’t need her own tackle box, but it did match.
Note to self, next time we will actually open our equipment before our arrival. It’s a good thing my husband has the patience of Job and me and the children were able to go on a hiking trail while he put it all together in the parking lot. When we returned we were ready to fish.
She was so excited and truthfully so was I. Taking her reminded me of all the good times I had growing up fishing. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed it and what a big part of my childhood it was. By now it’s early afternoon. The weather is pleasant, the pier isn’t too crowded and she didn’t even quiver as I baited her hook. I gave her a quick lesson on her reel and showed her how to cast a few times. She jumped at the opportunity to cast herself and she watched her bobber with intensity.
It only took about five minutes for her realize she doesn’t have the patience to wait on the fish and she certainly has no interest in being quiet while fishing. In that same amount of time, my soon to be 2-year-old was amazed at the idea of casting and his Spiderman reel became quite dangerous. If you don’t believe me ask my husband. Apparently he suffered a minor hook in the finger injury and spent a lot of time ducking and dodging our son’s feeble attempt to cast his own line.
While we didn’t catch a single fish that day, I certainly caught the fishing bug and can’t wait until my first kid free fishing trip. Somebody’s got to use all this equipment.