Within the past ten years or so technology has taken a huge turn and everything is becoming hand-held. So for the newer generation of children out there getting them away from their handheld devices is getting harder and harder. When asking most children now-a-days if they would like to go outside or go fishing the most common response is of course “no”. So how do we get them outside? Tie them up and throw them in the back of the truck could work, but most of them will have a cell phone hidden on them and you will most likely be stopped at some point.

So what is the appropriate way to handle these sunlight deprived, technology addicted children? First step is convincing them to leave the house and get into the car. If this seems like a huge step, I would suggest dangling a cell phone or another fancy doodad from a string with a long stick, and lead them to the car or truck with it. If this can be done a little easier please let me know. Second thing to do is to try and convince them that fishing in real life is more fun then doing it on the computer. Now sometimes we adults can hate the sound of fishing just as much as the rest of you, so you really need to sell it BIG! Tell them that fighting a fish on your line in real life is so much more fun and give them the, “the fish was this big” speech with your arms stretched as wide as possible. Sometimes that can really get the kids adrenaline going or if you have to, bribe the kid. I’ve had my dishes done several times for a mere five dollars before. So anything is possible.

Now if your finally all packed and ready for the either short trip to the local fishing spot, or the long trip, you will probably be bothered about just the idea of fishing by this child. Also I am being very vague about what to call these kids too because well lets be honest we all have different names for these kids today. I’m just trying to keep things PG.

Anyways, back to the topic at hand. The trip itself is going to be stressful.

I feel for you, I really do. I have been there. Kids screaming, jumping, either excited about going or just kicking the seat in utter disgust at the prospect of fishing, but hang in there at some point you will arrive at your destination and be able to hear some piece and quiet when walking from your door to the back doors to let them out, even if it is for 3 seconds or less, enjoy this time.

You have arrived! Now whether the trip was ten minutes or six hours we all are excited about finally arriving so we can finally make some room between us and the kids, I always feel a bit claustrophobic when I have kids in the vehicle with me, it’s weird I know, but I cant be the only one that feels this way. Now I know a lot of you out there say “Oh I love my children” or your grandchildren or however these bundles of energy are related to you, but for others (myself ), and others out there that feel it’s a bit stressful to take these kids out and about.

It’s not always easy for everyone. Anyways, again back to the main point here. When you finally are ready to set out and get everyone geared up for fishing for the first time you need to scope out the landscape.

Finding a safe place to set up is always key. You just don’t know when one of them might get a bit distracted by lets say a bird, or a squirrel and slip in. So we need to make sure it’s a flat area or an easy place to get to and that there is a rail or something that can keep them from falling in the water. All else fails, just put some floative on their arms, park the vehicle close and tie them to the bumper. Orange spray paint makes them stand out really well too so if you have any.

Just joking.

Gear safety is another thing we need to discuss with these children too. If you don’t feel like dodging fishing hooks and rods all day I would suggest giving the kids the fishing 101 speech. Remember to always let them know the hook is meant for being in the water and not to be used to grab their siblings shirt and pull on it. I have 3 older brothers I know what its like being on the sharp side of the hook, not a fun time. Also remember to show them the appropriate way to put the bait on the hook, or if you don’t know yourself just grab one of the kids cell phones and look it up on Google. I would hope though in this situation you might have the basic knowledge of fishing so you’re not learning along with the children. Another thing to remember is casting. I’ve seen many rods go swimming because a child forgot to hold on to the rod when casting. This is your job to let them know.

We all know kids now a days can beat high scores on there games all day pushing buttons and moving toggles, but to make them actually physically move their arm and cast a fishing rod might be disappointing.

If you do lose a rod, just reassure them that its part of the learning process and you did it once or twice when you were younger. Sometimes a little white lie is okay.

Finally a fish on the line, after all this time the kids are excited and smiles are lighting up the area. Nothing beats a child’s smile when they finally get a fish on the line. Help them reel it in if you have to, but remember making them reel it in usually takes longer and prolongs the joy the child has. So unless the kid is flailing its arms around and screaming for help, let them enjoy it for as long as it takes. Also remember no fish is small, no matter how tiny, inconspicuous, or almost minnow like the fish is, its always a big one. Its always good to show them they did a good job, and all the struggling they did to reel it in was worth the effort. Even if it did take them ten minutes to reel in a half ounces.

Now hopefully by this time the children have adapted to the environment and haven’t melted from the sunlight, and are fully enjoying themselves. Not to say they all will be having fun, but even if you made one smile that’s one extra person you have going with you on your next fishing trip, most likely. Every child is different and not everyone will enjoy the trip, but if worm juice, fish slime, bugs, sunlight, water, and a little bit of dirt still can’t keep your child from the next fishing trip you have accomplished something a majority of parents today are having problems with. To get a child outside and enjoy the world around them is getting harder and harder as time goes by.

I remember growing up going hunting, fishing, getting dirt under the nails, pulling ticks out of my hair, and sweating was part of being a kid.

Heck, a bug flying in the mouth and not slowing me down was a sign I was enjoying myself and I got a little extra protein that day. It’s sad seeing how much kids want to stay inside and play video games these days. Fishing doesn’t seem like much for some people, hell, it can be boring, stressful, dirty, sweaty, and just plain evil. But staying inside the house can be too. I know going out fishing and enjoying the outdoors with my family is why I am the person I am today, and I’m darn proud to say I got worm guts on my face and in my mouth sometimes, despite their bitter, sweet aftertaste. It’s how I grew up and I know that my daughter will grow up the same.

If your kids are outside right now playing in the grass and dirt, picking up bugs, eating leaves and gravel, snot bubbles clinging to their faces from all the running theyre doing, skateboarding, playing basketball, wrestling, or just outside in general, then congratulations, you’ve managed to pry their eyes from the television or the computer and that’s better then most people have done. Here’s something to think about.

22 percent of young children own a cell phone (ages 6-9), 60 percent of tweens (ages 10-14), and 84 percent of teens (ages 15-18). And cell phone companies are now marketing to younger children with colorful kidfriendly phones and easy-to-use features. According to market research firm the Yankee Group, 54 percent of 8 to12 year olds will have cell phones within the next three years.