You’ll certainly have plenty of things to do while visiting Splashway Waterpark & Campground, but we like to encourage our guests to make some time for a bit of fishing while visiting. Fishing is great, and a very healthy way to bond with your kids for a few hours, and most youngsters love learning the basics of the sport. Our stocked pond provides the perfect place for you and your children to try out the sport and catch plenty of fish. And although you are welcome to bring your own gear and tackle, we also have fishing gear available on site.
But, before you grab your rod and head down to the water, take a moment to review the tips and tricks listed below. They’ll help ensure you and your child have a great time and give you the best chances of catching some big ones!
- Set your kids up with age- and size-appropriate equipment.
Your kids won’t have very much fun using your old rods and reels. Adult-sized rods are difficult for kids to wield and complicated reels can cause them plenty of headaches. Instead, set them up with a 5- to 6-foot-long, spinning or spin casting combo.
- Target the catfish – they’re easy to catch.
Our pond is stocked with both largemouth bass and catfish. And while largemouth bass are certainly fun and worthy quarry, they’re often wary and shy, which can make them tricky to catch. Your kids will have a much better chance of catching a catfish than a bass, so focus your efforts accordingly.
- Use real or live baits instead of artificial lures.
Artificial lures are often preferred by experienced anglers, but they’ll usually lead to snagged lines in the hands of a beginner. Additionally, artificial lures require more finesse and technique than a simple worm-baited hook will. Tie a sinker to the line about 1 foot above the hook to help keep the bait near the bottom where catfish prowl for food. (We have worms available in our Camp Store if you need them!)
- Head out early or late – avoid fishing during the middle of the day.
As the temperature soars during the middle of the day, fish often become inactive and cease feeding. So be sure to spend midday swimming to keep cool and fish during the morning or evening, when temperatures are milder and the fish are more active.
- Fish alongside your kids.
The best way to ensure your kids have a good time on the water is by making sure they get the chance to reel in a few fish. After all, this is the most exciting part of the entire experience. And because you’re more likely to hook fish than your kids are, it’s a good idea to fish alongside them. When you get a nibble, set the hook and pass the rod to your child. This way, he or she can reel in the fish and enjoy all of the glory – just make sure you take plenty of photos of your child with the catch!
Don’t forget to obtain a fishing license before heading to the water with your kids. Kids under 17 don’t need one in Texas, but you’ll want to obtain your own to set a good example for your children and to stay on the right side of the law. Plus, the fees collected for fishing licenses help support fish stocking and monitoring programs, among other things.
Just remember to have fun and keep a positive attitude while teaching your kids to fish. If you’d like to learn more about teaching your kids to fish, cruise on over to Outdoor Empire and check out their comprehensive review of the subject. There, you’ll learn more tips for selecting the right baits, targeting the best fish and setting your kids up with gear and tackle appropriate for their size and age.
Guest Blog Written by Jon Sutton