June 09, 2021
I’m living my dream working in the fishing industry – something I worked hard for and am grateful for every day. Fishing is not just a passion for me; it’s literally why I get out of bed in the morning. It’s a lifestyle.
But above that, watching my family embrace the sport passionately has been an added bonus.
It wasn’t always that way. It took patience on my part, and consistency, a personal priority check-in, reduced intensity and snacks. Lots of snacks.
When I was young, my father left me in the driveway more than once as he went fishing with his buddies. That’s what made me want to go fishing even more. I became extremely excited when it was my turn to accompany him, and I was committed to staying out there as long as possible. He was dedicated to taking me fishing when I was big enough, and he kept our outings reasonable so I wouldn’t get burned out.
I’m grateful for his approach, and I’ve adopted a similar practice with my own children.
As a father, I’ve learned a few important things about introducing kids to the sport that will encourage them to stick with it. The most important lessons for our family have been:
- Keep each trip relatively short, and let the kids determine when the trip is over – don’t force them to stay if they don’t want to.
- Focus on success. Yes, there is a lot to be learned and experienced by not catching fish, but ultimately that’s why you’re out there. Building the desire to return starts with the catch, so do your homework, and make it happen. But if it doesn’t happen, celebrate success in a well-tied line, a great cast, (etc. etc.)
Back to the really important food component. It needs to match the experience, and in my mind the snacks on any fishing trip can make the experience. I would get so excited about the snacks my dad would pack because most of the time the menu included food I wasn’t normally allowed to eat. You may want to think twice about packing last week’s leftover green bean casserole. But, if you want to keep things healthy, think sub sandwiches, cheese sticks, mixed nuts, granola bars, fruit, water, and other hydrating drinks.
I’ve found kids of any age are far more likely to want to stay out fishing longer if the supply of food is more robust and to their liking.
Storing that food is as important as storing your tackle for the day and Stanley has you covered. Arm yourself with a quality cooler for drinks and snacks, such as the Stanley Adventure Series Easy Carry Lunch Cooler or the Stanley Adventure Cold For Days Outdoor Cooler if you’re taking several kids on the fishing excursion. Both coolers make fine boat accessories, and they’re outstanding on shore as well.
If you’re taking a hot dish of some sort, the Stanley Legacy QuadVac™ Food Jar is one of the best things ever for keeping stew or soup piping hot. Simply remove the included spork and the top cap that acts as a bowl and enjoy! Also keep a couple of these guys handy, too. The Stanley Master Unbreakable Packable Mug is a great receptacle for juice, sports drinks and water. The bottle is ergonomically friendly and indestructible, which is a bonus when dealing with kids.
For the adults, especially if the fishing trip begins in the morning, keep some hot coffee handy in the Stanley Classic Legendary Bottle. Not only does hot coffee make the day better, it’ll warm you right up if the early conditions are cool to begin with.
Remember, when the kids say they’re done, they are done, and it’s time to pack things up. Our generation has worked tirelessly on conservation to pass along our nation’s fisheries in the best possible shape to our youth, and the best way to build their passion is to give them some dedicated time on the water. Work to find life lessons and real-world applications in each experience, and always keep the experience about them. They are our future.