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Thread: Taking the Kids Fishing

  1. #1
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    Default Taking the Kids Fishing

    I am new to the forum so thanks in advance for your help. I am a single mother who loves to fish. I have 2 children, 4 and 6 that I desperately want to take out on the boat...but I have heard horrible stories and am afraid that it is not safe for them. If they fall in and I don't realize it, I would never be able to find them. Any suggestions?

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    Member akshrop's Avatar
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    Life jackets designed for kids, never take them off when near the water. Keep your eye on them all the time. Take them to a pool and test out the life jackets. Go out with an experienced boater. Go out and do it. You and your kids will never forget the time together.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by akshrop View Post
    Keep your eye on them all the time.
    I'll second that. We took our just-turned-3-year old out on a boat with a friend in Valdez last summer. We had her in a vest AND the sides of the skiff were quite high. Despite her best efforts to reach over to the water, she was pretty much stymied by the high sides. She had a blast with the bait, the silvers, and just being out.

    This summer, we took her on a lake charter across Cook Inlet. Smaller boat, lower sides, one year older/bigger daughter. She now could reach over into the water, which she loves. She was constantly pretty much at the balance point, with me right behind her all the time. Finally, I saw her pass that balance point and her front half almost disappeared over the side. I grabbed by instinct and pulled her back, where she buried her face in my belly as she was aware of her near miss dunking. Again, she had on a vest and the water was maybe two feet deep and in a lake-like setting.

    So...I agree with the above post. Take them. They'll love it. But be vigilant and use life vests.
    "The Gods do not subtract from the allotted span of men's lives the hours spent in fishing" Assyrian Tablet 2000 B.C.

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    Member Tolman24's Avatar
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    Default trick

    If you are fishing from shore a trick my grand dad used on me was a life jacket and a rope. I had to wear both. He tied me to a tree with quite a bit of slack and when I fell in, which I did, he would just tug me back in with the rope and not get his feet wet. It seemed to work as I am still alive and fishing. My grand dad couldn't swim and this was his way of being able to take me. It also kept me from wondering to far off.

  5. #5

    Default Trick

    What a great Idea. I'm gonna use that one on my kids.

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    Member pike_palace's Avatar
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    Take them out on a lake fishing. That way its not rough and god forbid one does fall over you can just grab him and haul him in.
    "Ya can't stop a bad guy with a middle finger and a bag of quarters!!!!"- Ted Nugent.

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    Our youngest was just over a year old when we started taking the kids out on canoe trips. Yes they all wear life jackets, the baby would be sitting on my wifes lap in the bow seat, older kids in the middle seat, me in the stern.

    As for fishing, depending on the child 5 seems to be about as young as I'd take a child fishing as they tend to not have the attention span to fish when any younger. I also find that it really helps having one adult to assist each rod, as if you have two kids tangling up lines, you'll be just as frustrated as they are, if not more so.

    Don't be suprised if after about 1/2 hour of fishing if they haven't caught anything they loose interest in fishing. Paddling around or rowing a small boat you can keep their attention for quite awhile, especially with visits to shore to explore the woods, and get a snack.

    As to fishing in the saltwater, much of the rods are simply too heavy for them and they tire quickly. My kids love pitching buzz bombs on their spinning rods for salmon or rock fish. Halibut tackle just wears them out.

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    The kids are looking forward to going and I know it will be an amazing time! I don't know that I would try the rope trick on them...glad it worked for you: )I was going to have them wear life jackets...but I have heard of a couple of other things that might help even more. In case they feel like being adventurous...an inflatable life jacket and autotether? Has anyone used either or heard anything?

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    At 4 and 6 inflatable jackets would not be good...they should not be used until age 14. Regular PFDs work best, just make sure they fit right : ) I have seen autotether at boat shows and it seems like a good device. If you take boating safety classes, have them wear PFDs and use autotether there is really no room for error.

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    Take a friend along to share in the vigilance/knot-tying and you may actually get a chance to fish too.

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    Thanks for the help sweetchick. I found some reviews on Autotether and it does seem to be good. Even though it is a bit pricey it is worth every penny if it saves my kids. I plan on buying it and will let you all know how it goes. Thanks again for all your help

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    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Default My kids grew up on boats

    From canoes to cabin cruisers; set-net skiffs to run-abouts, my kids have grown up on boats (and they range from ages 7-31). Always they were in life jackets; a non-negotiable. We never had any incidents at all regarding them, and I hope we never do. Don't impart any fear to them (consciously or unconsciously) and they will learn to love boating and fishing. And make sure you wear a PFD too.
    The only incident in all our family boating in 31 years was when I got pitched out of the boat when it banged into a rock while drift fishing down the Agulawak River. I wasn't wearing a PFD, but thankfully, it wasn't my day to die, and when I bounced back to the surface, a pair of arms was there to pull me back into the skiff. Set a good example.

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    Good luck Alaska girl and have fun! I'm sure the kids will have a blast. Definitely let me know how you like autotether

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    Default PFDs

    PFDs are manditory for our family. Everyone wears one. Our friends all wear them. Our boys 5 & 2.5 must have their PFDs on before exiting the truck at the boat launch. It is now just a regular part of our boating. No grief, no fuss, it is not an option, we just wear them (shoes maybe optional but PFDs are not). A dunking in the water may be cold and scary but doesn't have to be fatal. Wear PFDs
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  15. #15

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    Just like akjeff says, lead by example. Make sure you and everyone else on board has a PFD on.

    Another thing to remember is always bring some extra clothes if possible, in case there is a dunking. And also try not to use cotton. Woll or poly prop's are your best friend if you do get wet.

    And then always have something else to keep them occupied. The little portable DVD players make for easy entertainment.

  16. #16

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    I started the pfd practice early and life and now have it wired into me.. start your kids early and they'll never forget it.

    Besides.. you forget its there after awhile and on cloudy days it makes you feel warmer because of all the extra padding

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    Thanks again everyone for your help. I did want to share this though...the people at Autotether sent me an email thanking me for the positive feedback and offering 15% an autotether so that I can easily afford it. I guess now my kids will be as safe as possible (and I don't have to worry) while they enjoy fishing.

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    I bought the autotether and plan to use it on my vacation this week. I had to buy an extra sensor so we could all have one on us, but with the coupon it was still not that expensive. I will let you know how it goes...the kids can't wait!

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    Was the autotether easy to install?

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    It was really easy to install...there was nothing to it. The kids had a blast fishing! and I was not worried about them...I am soo happy I looked into everything and took them. I plan on even using the autotether when I go out alone.

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