by Dave Stark/Special to the Langley Advance
Make a goal of teaching your kids fish this summer.
They will thank you well into adulthood and lower their screen time this summer.
A quote by author Richard Louvre rings true with most adults today: “I can recall a time when it was the kids that played indoors that we called odd! Today, the opposite is true.”
And don’t worry, starting to fish is easier and cheaper than you think.
Besides, results of a survey have shown that if children fished by the time they were 12 years of age, there was close to an 80-per-cent chance that they would fish as an adult and thus, enjoy the great outdoors.
If they were not exposed to fishing as a child, there is close to an 80-per-cent chance that they will NOT fish as an adult.
A lesson learned by me through many years has been to seek out “local knowledge.”
With Father’s Day approaching this weekend, use this as the perfect time to lure the kids out to the water and teach them how to fish.
It will save a lot of time and frustration.
The historic Army & Navy fishing departments have supported several generations of fishers, and we are lucky to have one in the City of Langley.
I regularly put away my pride to ask for help from the knowledgeable staff.
Equipment and tackle
You and your child will need a small spinning rod and reel, weights, hooks, bait, bobber, worms, salmon roe, bells – all available at Army & Navy or Canadian Tire at reasonable cost.
You do not need a boat.
A basic rod-holder and a chair are also relaxing ideas.
Once more, bypass the “guessing game” and ask a local professional.
Where to fish locally
Bedford Channel off the Brae Island beach; Glen Valley Regional Park; Derby Reach; Trinity Western University pond are all great options in Langley.
Methods of execution
Bobber and Worm – line is attached to a bobber/float. Hanging down is a small weight. At the end of your line is an appropriate size hook with a worm.
This method is great for kids because the bobber provides a great visual.
Put the rod in a holder, so kids can do something else close by while keeping an eye on the bobber.
Bar Fishing – used to catch pike minnows, salmon, and even sturgeon. Line is cast out with a weight at the end. Anywhere from 12 to 36 inches above your weight will be a “bar”, a 2 to 4-inch metal wire that holds your hook away from your mainline and off bottom. Your line goes right to your rod and holder. Some put a bell on the rod tip to indicate a bite and make it fun. This method is great for family fishing because it frees you up to do other things on shore with the kids.
“Learn to Fish” programs are regularly offered through local fish hatcheries such as Little Campbell, Nicomekl, and Serpentine – all run by volunteers. Check them out online.
What will you catch
Pike minnow, trout, whitefish, and sculpin(bullheads) are relatively easy to catch with a worm in the Fraser River.
Remember, you are trying to get the kids interested, so small, catchable fish are the way to go.
It will not take much experience to move onto salmon once you have the basics.
Licensing and regulations
Here’s a very important, and a great teachable moment for your kids.
Licensing and regulations are in place to manage the future of our fish stocks and environment so that future generations can enjoy them.
Licences and regulations are available online or at one of the stores I mentioned.
A fishing licence for a child 15 years or younger is free.
– Outdoor enthusiast Dave Stark is the author of Thoughts From Outside the Tackle Box. He will be doing a book signing at the Army & Navy at the Langley Mall, 5501 204th St., from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. You can also follow him @pentagonfishing