Teaching Children to Fish

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When my girls were young, we spent time in the ocean on my boat — most weekends, weather permitting. The boat slept 6 comfortably and thus, it was essentially boat camping, usually 25 miles off shore in the lee of Catalina Island. I had a small inflatable dingy with a small motor on it and we could motor into Avalon for ice cream or pizza if the craving hit.
They loved to go fishing. Mostly it was the bragging rights. I don’t have a scanner handy and back then photos were paper, not electrons in the digital sense of photos. I’m posting a few photos that I have scanned in from that era. Sadly, I don’t have any with them posing with their fish to show the kids at school. Their regular hauls were impressive. They were never skunked.
This is how it worked.
I put on SCUBA gear and kicked over the side, with the fishing line in tow and a fresh squid on the hook. I had a black light that caused the monofilament to glow so that I could keep track of it and keep from getting tangled.

I would hunt for the perfect fish, offer the squid and the kids hauled them to the surface. They took turns. They thought that’s what fishing was all about.

Now that they’re older and they have a better concept of fishing, they still feel cheated if they don’t catch one trophy fish after another. Did I ruin my daughters for all time when it comes to fishing? Quite possibly.
More recently, my younger daughter went fishing and expressed to her boyfriend that, “fishing with daddy was far more fulfilling.” Young men who wish to measure up need to buy a boat and SCUBA gear. Go big or go home.

16 thoughts on “Teaching Children to Fish

  1. I don't think of it as cheating. It's more like picking out your cow in a field. Besides, who wants to sit on deck and listen to kids whine because they're not catching fish? It would drive any father into the ocean to solve the problem.

  2. That's an awesome way to fish! But my daddy taught me to fish from the lakeshore, so I had to do it the hard way…still never did get skunked.

    And when we went to Alaska for salmon, I had high catch on the boat, so I must've learned something from back then!

  3. That's how I learned to do it too. But with four little girls on a boat, each yearning for the big catch, I had to be innovative.

  4. Hope you are teaching those grandbabies to fish the same way…family tradition is important.

  5. The oldest two are just 5 years old. And unlike you, I'm not captain of a yacht anymore. I'll put that on the list, though. Must-buy-yacht. For a while there back in the 90's, I had a Chaparral 23 as well (lake boat), which made me an admiral. The girls demanded water skiing, wake boarding and blaster tubing. And when girls demand, well, you know.

  6. ROTF, if you ain't cheating, you ain't trying… And I'm NOT surprised you'd do this… LOL

  7. How about I take you fishing when you move up here, and you bring your scuba gear.

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