Fish­ing

Fish­ing ex­pert SALLY JENYNS shares her best tips for be­gin­ners look­ing to hit the wa­ter with rods, reels... and kids.

Caravan, Camping and Holiday Parks with Kids - - Contents -

Sally Jenyns shares her ex­pert tips and tech­niques, in a way that be­gin­ners can un­der­stand

F ish­ing. So much has been writ­ten about it, folk sto­ries en­twined in it, mag­a­zines filled with it, and yet it re­mains a mys­tery. Just like the weather, fish are na­ture’s work and – try as we might – the hu­man mind is yet to un­ravel ex­actly how it all works.

Luck­ily the chal­lenge of try­ing is surely part of the fun. If you caught some­thing ev­ery time, it’d be called catch­ing in­stead of fish­ing, right?

While big game sport­fish­ing re­quires big boats and big bucks, in­tro­duc­ing kids to the de­lights of fish­ing should be kept as sim­ple and in­ex­pen­sive as pos­si­ble. As par­ents, most of us have fallen vic­tim (hope­fully only once!) to our kid’s lat­est craze, and in­vested in gear that even­tu­ally gath­ers dust in the garage. To avoid re­peat­ing that sce­nario, think about where you’ll be fish­ing, and what you’ll be fish­ing for, be­fore you start buy­ing gear.

If you’re play­ing with lit­tle ‘ tid­dlers’ off a jetty, a sim­ple han­d­line should suf­fice. If you’re aim­ing for small fish like whit­ing and bream in rivers or es­tu­ar­ies then you’d best in­vest in a small, in­ex­pen­sive soft-tip rod. (If your tar­get species is any­thing larger than these, I’m as­sum­ing you have some an­gling ex­pe­ri­ence and don’t need this be­gin­ners’ ad­vice!)

Rod fish­ing gives an­glers the op­por­tu­nity to cast their bait, there­fore in­creas­ing your fish­ing area. A soft-tip rod al­lows you to feel the fish nib­bling or bit­ing the bait, and gives you more power and pres­sure when re­triev­ing it... hope­fully with a fish at­tached.

Lo­cal knowl­edge is re­ally im­por­tant when it comes to fish­ing and a lo­cal tackle store should give in­valu­able ad­vice. What bait do the re­gion’s species pre­fer? What tackle is best to rig for them? Re­gard­less of whether you’re us­ing a rod or a han­d­line, a good all-round rig is a small run­ning ball sinker sit­ting above a long, thin shank hook.

A packet each of sinkers and hooks, a ba­sic net, stain­less steel nail clip­pers (for trim­ming line), a small pair of pli­ers (for re­triev­ing hooks), a knife in­side a case, along with a few old rags, all kept in a bucket, is the ba­sic be­gin­ners’ tackle box.

Im­por­tantly, don’t waste the wait. There’s plenty of pa­tience needed for fish­ing, es­pe­cially for par­ents tak­ing kids along. Use the time to soak up wher­ever you are. Ob­serve ev­ery­thing from in­sects to crabs, lis­ten and learn, sit back, breathe and en­joy our great out­doors.

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04 01 Fish­ing off Venus Bay Jetty © SATC 02 Fa­ther-son bond­ing on the Coffs Coast 03 Fam­ily haul © Des­ti­na­tion NSW 04 Caught!

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