Fishing with kids becomes really easy when a) your grandad loves fishing and b) he lives on a lake. When the lake offers an abundance and variety of fish, it makes learning how to fish a blast.
All of our fishing at “grandad’s lake” is catch and release, so we opt for barbless hooks. Fish vary from trout to perch to carp to northern pikeminnow to sunfish to whitefish so we generally opt for smaller (size 10-12) hooks.
Technique varies, but generally involves floats and fishing off the muddy bottom, or just above it when going for perch, trout, sunfish and whitefish.
Bait varies from worms to corn to breadpaste, or a combination of all three.
The great thing about this lake is that there’s almost always something to catch and there’s always something to see (float planes, eagles, ospreys and lots of carp rising). It really is an ideal lake to teach kids to fish in.
Northern Pikeminnow (originally known as Squawfish) are considered coarse fish. They’re native to the Pacific Northwest, but can take over when the ecosystem is suffering. That said, they put up a good fight. They can grow up to 8 lbs (although bigger have been caught).
These fish will go for anything and everything. They tend to swallow the hook, so barbless hooks and a hook remover are important.
Sunfish line the edges of this lake. This one was caught only a couple feet from the dock on a worm. They have tiny mouths and are absolutely stunning to look at.
Here’s a close-up of another one. Carefully with the fins on these!
Here’s a good example of a healthy whitefish. We don’t often catch these in the lake. They will grow up to 5 lbs, with a whopper 15 lber caught out of Lake Ontario back in 1983.
Yes, there are painted turtles in the lake, and yes they have a nasty habit of pinching food off your hooks. We try to be as gentle as we can when letting them off the hook. This one came back twice to the delight of my daughter.
There were many other fish caught on Monday afternoon and many others that got away. Twice carp managed to escape the hook, meaning we have yet to become elite members of grandad’s “Carp Club”.
We did come away with the biggest catch of the day though.
Do you have any childhood memories of fishing? We’d love to hear about them in the comments below.