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BillsTheBassMan

Mentoring My Nephew

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Hello Again Folks,

 

Within the last year I've been mentoring my six-year-old nephew on how to fish via education (books), tinkering with tackle, and actually fishing. So far we've mostly gone sun-fishing, as I understand the best way to keep kids interested is by actually catching fish. We generally go to the sunfish-laden Bloomingdale Pits. Now, I think we can elevate our game . . .

 

This Sunday we have opportunity again to take him out for the afternoon and we would like to go after something other than sunfish. We're thinking Belwood Lake so he can fish the stocked trout pond for kids, and potentially below the Shand Dam for "something bigger" like a pike or a sucker or a wayward brown.

 

He was removed from his home (for the second time) over a year ago and has now been adopted by my sister. He's a great kid with a good spirit, but he has some issues from his previous living environment. This prompted me to start the "Lure For a Good School Day" program. I gave him my first tackle box, and every time he has a good school day he earns himself a lure. If he has a not-so-good day, he loses it. It has been working well.

 

I'm hoping that fishing is something he can attach onto and use as an outlet, relaxation technique, and a general passion throughout his life.

 

Despite my username, I have become an avid brown trout angler and have a hard time getting him on those waters with me. In the long-term I will show him the joys of trouting, but feel he is too young to wade. At what age is it safe for kids to wade in rivers?

 

I guess what I'm looking for from the OFC Community on this one is the following:

 

1) Your personal experience with mentoring children with fishing - successful, and unsuccessful practices you've experienced.

 

2) Good resources for educating children about fishing - books, courses, programs, activities etc.

 

3) Good sunfish places in the Fergus to Cambridge Ontario area.

 

My girlfriend and I are also planning on taking him for a 1 or 2 night camping trip (his first - needs to be somewhere close to home) this Summer. We don't want to travel too far away from home (A radius of 1-1.5 hours away from Kitchener is our limit). If anyone has any good recommendations for a child, fish-friendly campground, please send them my way!

 

Cheers,

Ryan

Edited by BillsTheBassMan

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That is really decent of you Ryan to get involved with your nephew.

 

My dad actually didn't like fishing and I did most of my fishing when I was young with my uncles.

 

I am not sure how old he needs to be for trout fishing but I remember going to my local creek aorund 7-8 years old we mostly caught chub which kept us interested and every now and then we would get a trout.

 

You could try that as a first time experience?

 

I just bought my daughter (lol she is only 11 weeks old) a book called my first trout, its a how to book for kids on catching trout on the fly.

 

The ponds at york rd in guelph have lots of panfish.

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I can’t help you much on mentoring young children…I don’t have any myself and my cousins with kids don’t trust ‘uncle-Mikey’ much after all the stories he’s told them about his fishing trips. I can only offer my own experiences as an obsessed fisherman.

 

I was probably 6-7 or so when I began wet-wading the streams during summer…They definitely weren’t the coldwater trout streams though and much of the time, it was during low water. It was warm enough not to get super cold in just old running shoes. I didn’t start crossing prime steelhead rivers till I was older. Mind you I was always one of the smaller kids in the class.

 

Books, especially ones with pictures are awesome for kids to have. Content should be Pictures > Text. The biggest thing that screwed me for life (Beyond the playschool fishing rod I got at age 2) was a book my parents got me for Christmas called “Freshwater Game fish of North America”…Full of pictures of the most beautiful specimens of each species I could ever hope to catch with only a small caption at the bottom of each page…The Alaskan leopard rainbow pics did it for me :D. I was 3-4 at the time.

 

For me, obtaining bait was probably just as fun to do as a kid than actually fishing…Running through fields with double sided sticky taped wrapped around my pants to catch grasshoppers and crickets…Picking worms off the sidewalk and the driveway…Collecting slugs in the morning before we went from the wall of our house, etc

 

As a kid, I was almost always in the zone when I was fishing. I could fish 8-10hrs straight without stopping for a sandwich or a bathroom break…As an adult 12-20hrs is normal :w00t: . Most other kids I’ve known or the neighbourhood kids I’ve taken out myself couldn’t do that…It’s best to bring along a Frisbee or a football (or baseball + gloves) to toss around during the non-peak times (usually around lunch time anyway). I see a lot of parents forcing their kids to fish when the bite’s tough or if the weather conditions are bad, which IMO isn’t the right thing to do (even if you did drive an hour and a half from home).

 

I did a lot of lawn target casting while growing up – For me it was a game (I still do target casting with the fly rod). I usually did it when my dad was mowing the lawn or washing the car. Every chance I had to play with my fishing rod, I did…Neighbours gave me weird looks but eventually accepted it as normal. Now, my neighbours no longer call the cops when they see some dude with a headlamp snooping around the lawn and sidewalks during a rain (true story).

 

Looking back I can’t say that my dad was perfect all the time with me. He kept everything simple and fun for the most part – If the bite was slow for the both of us, we’d hop into the car and head to other local areas or scout out new areas for next time. He let me pick out the local spots I wanted to go to, the bait I wanted to use and the fish I wanted to target – He picked how long we’d fish till and the weather we’d fish in (which was always pleasant). Nowadays I’m the one doing much of the guiding and tackle supplying.

 

Can't help you much with the Cambridge area or camping ideas.

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Take the kid carp fishing with a can of corn, even if he doesn't land one he'll be hooked trying to!

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Bill my son started wading at a very young age but he was an excellent swimmer by the time he was 4.

 

You might recognize the spot

 

Griffin5.jpg

 

Culvert hoppin is a good activity for the young. A good way for them to experience trout.

 

Griffin3.jpg

 

And as long as you teach them the fundamentals they can do anything

 

Canoeing for bass was a favorite activity. This is my son with his first 20" bass hooked and caught all on his own although I lipped it into the canoe.

 

All you have to do is PM me Ill give you some kid friendly stuff

 

Griffinb4.jpg

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Take the kid carp fishing with a can of corn, even if he doesn't land one he'll be hooked trying to!

 

\i second that .... my daughter's first fishing experience was at 10 yrs old... she caught a 30lb carp in the first 5 minutes!.

 

\she doesn;t care how big the fish are now... it's all about numbers for her now...lol

 

 

she also likes to bring a friend along too... i like that too.. it lets me fish a little more too.. lol

 

keep up the good works ..... your nephew will never forget it .

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Bill my son started wading at a very young age but he was an excellent swimmer by the time he was 4.

 

You might recognize the spot

 

Griffin5.jpg

 

 

I definitely recognize that spot - can't seem to remember where it is though :good:

 

I think we'll start at Belwood this weekend for some stocked bows from their pond and we'll slum it on the wall or below the dam with live-bait. If it comes down to it, I'll run some worms on the bottom to try and put a bend in his rod.

 

Thanks as always.

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Thanks everyone from the great replies. :clapping:

 

@ Mike:

 

He's definitely in the same camp you were then - the kid is obsessed with bugs and will probably prefer catching bait (until he starts catching some bigger fish).

 

@ Torco:

 

11 weeks and fishing books? Hahaha, what does the wife say about that?

 

@ TC:

 

I've never been carping, could be an experience for both of us, we might just have to try that, particularly when we don't have time to drive into the sticks.

 

@ Everyone:

 

I'll try to get some pics on Sunday (and hopefully a few fish for his memory bank). Hmmmm, maybe Belwood isn't the answer if you're looking to catch fish, Guelph Lake maybe!

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BillsTheBassman

Sounds like you are doing everything right to me. (I work in formal mentoring programs). This young guy will remember you as being one of the most important people in his life.

Bring lots of food on any new excursion in case the fish aren't biting (Belwood is a good choice with lots of potential)and I believe he will let you know when he is ready for wading.

You are making a difference Ryan!!!!! Good on you, now if only more men would take the step forward to become mentors.

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My wife just shakes her head.

 

Her goal for our daughter is prime minister or doctor

 

I hope she can be a professional angler.

 

Hopefully she won't be stuck in an office, posting on a forum instead of working on company time. :whistling:

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My wife just shakes her head.

 

Her goal for our daughter is prime minister or doctor

 

I hope she can be a professional angler.

 

Hopefully she won't be stuck in an office, posting on a forum instead of working on company time. :whistling:

 

Yeah BUT,

 

If she is stuck in an office, posting on a fishing forum instead of working on company time, doesn't it kind of mean that you've won!

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@ Mike:

 

He's definitely in the same camp you were then

 

I can tell you from personal experience, it’s not a pretty life path he’s headed towards

 

Why?

 

A. A never ending string of broken relationships with the ladies because: when the river’s right…The river’s right…

 

(if you had to talk about your feelings to a woman VS jetting out to a pea green river, which one would you choose?)

 

B. He’ll be suffering from poor nutrition and diet because granola bars are the most significant food group in his vest...There really isn’t enough time to eat or buy groceries.

 

C. He’ll be thinking of fishing over school (or dare I say skipping school to fish – see further down)

 

D. He’ll develop poor communication skills with people in general who don’t fish because everything else doesn’t matter

 

E. He’ll spend every dime on tackle his parents won’t even know about

 

F. He will develop poor fashion sense because the clothing recommended by ‘hip’ metro-sexuals aren’t made of technical fabrics like gore-tex, cool-max, polar fleece or polypropylene

 

 

On the bright side, he’ll be getting plenty of vitamin D and exercise. When he does say he’s going out with the guys to fish, he really does mean it…He certainly won’t have enough $ for drugs – Fishing is his drug.

 

I tell you it’s still not a pretty picture…Rivers + big fish (particularly beautiful, hard pulling fish) screw kids up…BAD!

 

Age 5 - Introduction to fishing rivers

November272002.jpg

 

 

Age 15 – Throughout puberty, I was apparently grabbing the wrong rod and tail…

0001b.jpg

 

 

Age 19 – First year university - What luck, the Toronto Star just had to be there… (relates to postulate c above :whistling: )

star-mikey2.jpg

 

 

Age 25 – Fishing far off rivers without a penny in his pocket. Well not quite but close.LOL

P1020236.jpg

 

Buy the kid a guitar before he gets into steelhead!

 

If anything, no fishing for anything over pan-sized till he's 25 :thumbsup_anim:

Edited by MJL

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MJL..... u are an incredible guy... I just "might" introduce you to my eldest daughter someday...

 

she wants to try fishing with me this summer too :whistling:

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MJL..... u are an incredible guy... I just "might" introduce you to my eldest daughter someday...

 

 

I've never been described by any of my ex's as being an "incredible" person...

 

I've been told I am incredible at doing various other things... :whistling::w00t:

 

(Like guiding them for steelhead :D)

 

To the original topic...If there's a lesson to be learned, it's "Don't be like Mike" :thumbsup_anim:

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