The “make-or-break” of a good day fishing with your kids depends on one thing – whether or not they are having fun. It means absolutely nothing about fish. However, if they come home with a cooler filled with fish, regardless of size… it might just help. Have fun: Don’t worry about technique and don’t be concerned about catching your “trophy fish.” To a child, a small crappie or bluegill caught with little tackle is a major achievement. And for some children, a big fish might be scary or intimidating.
Make it an Adventure: Like any great adventure, planning it is three-quarters of the fun. Fishing is the same way. Even if the fish aren’t biting, you can have fun buying a family fishing license; studying a map of where you’re going; exploring the lake, stream or beach, digging for worms, making a picnic lunch, or pretending you are in search of the Monster Crappie or Catfish.
Fishing is an excellent opportunity to teach your kids how to be kind, caring adults. Children learn by example: they love and respect. So, make a good impression on your kids…even if they aren’t yours. Taking the time to take kids fishing a great way to build a solid child-parent relationship that encompasses trust, love and respect.
Here are some great places near Houston to do some family fishing.
1. Caddo Lake
If you have never tried fishing Caddo Lake, well you should. It is located on Texas and Louisiana border and honestly, the only thing that rivals its history is its captivating beauty. Much of Caddo is protected, so this is a great place for fishermen and women out there. This spot has numerous fish size ranging from minnows, shiner, and chub, as well as the flathead catfish. The natural surroundings of Caddo Lake set the perfect ambiance for your day of fishing.
Keep it Simple: Don’t make your trip a big production. The more complicated you make it, the more frustrated they will become. Remember: Kids can only take in so much information at one time. Keep it simple, after all, the main reason you are out there with him/her is to spend quality time together.
2. Choke Canyon Reservoir
Choke Canyon is located barely more than one hour drive from San Antonio so if you were looking for a spot to ward away your daily stress, then this is your best sport. It’s one of the best big bass lakes in Texas, perhaps the biggest bass fishing spot in the entire country. You can head on to Choke Canyon any time of the year since there are plenty of catfish throughout. The summer heat may be a little challenging but you will feel a world away with the wildlife including alligators.
Make sure your equipment it “up-to-spec.” There is nothing worse than a delay due to a tangle or bad reel. This will not only frustrate your child, but may cause him to lose interest all together.
3. Lake Amistad
Located 12 miles on the northwestern tip of south Texan plain, Lake Amistad is a perfect fishing spot to visit in spring and fall. This spot is considered the greatest lake, as far as the largemouth bass is concerned. The lake is surrounded by a desert of clean water making is one of the best places to get rid of daily pressures of life. The lake is consistently a great fishery, especially during winter.
Kids have a short attention span. Be sure to plan ahead. Make sure that there is no bad weather. Look for a fishing spot with access to rest rooms and maybe a playground. Bring snacks, toys or anything that will occupy your child in the event that he/she gets bored. Never make the mistake of forcing your child to fish. Sometimes they may not fish at all… and there is nothing wrong with that. Fishing is an acquired taste. Give your child time, and sure enough they’ll be fishing with you full-time.
4. Lake Texoma
The lake is among the four great border reservoirs and it is prominently known for its abundance of bass fishing. Of course, you won’t miss a number of smallmouth bass along Denison dam. If you want to get largemouth, head on to the rocky banks.
“Eeewww, I don””t want to touch the fish!”: If a child catches a fish, don’t force him or her to take it off the hook, or to touch the fish. Do it for them… Set an example, and eventually, they””ll want to do it for themselves. You are the teacher. If they are watching you, tell them what you are doing – step-by-step.
5. Cedar Creek Lake
This is another great place to go fishing for bass. If you are one of those who want to stay nearby and travel that far, then this is your best bet. This spot is located approximately one-hour drive south-east of Dallas. You will love the shoreline if you are ‘weekenders’.
With little ones, a little success, early on, they can become very interested in fishing. Find a spot that you know he/she will catch something almost instantly. Kids don’t care about the size of the fish. However, they love to catch fish. Even if it’s a bluegill, or a crappie. Let the child bring it in all by him/herself. You’ll see how their eyes light up.
6. Falcon Lake
For a very long time, Falcon Lake has been regarded as the best largemouth bass lake in Houston. But it is also a channel catfish. Although water fluctuations may make your trip a little challenging, the journey here is worth it. The lake is located 40 miles southeast of Texas, and quite a good spot for a 3-pound fish.
It”s never too early to show your child to love and respect the outdoors. While your fishing, take the time to show your child other creatures in the area, i.e. birds, ducks, squirrels, etc. Here’s an idea: Take a plastic Wall-Mart bag and put it in your child’s pocket before you leave for your trip.
7. Colorado Bend park
If you want a mixture of fishing and other sporting activities, then Colorado bend state park is your best bet. The area of the river is somehow slow moving, but anglers here can cast a life for a day on this amazing nature. If your kiddo asks what the bag is for, tell them that you always help Mother Nature every time you go out. During or after your trip, make an effort to pick up some candy wrappers or trash in the area, even if you didn’t put it there. Don’t make the mistake of making it a chore… explain that “this is a part of fishing.”
8. Lake Anahuac
This lake is part of a wildlife refuge on Texas coastline just 45 miles from Texas. This is one of the few places you can easily access both fresh water and salt water fishing. The area has white crappie, flounder and black drum and one area you can enjoy with family.
Catch, Praise, and Release: Don’t worry about catch and release. Better yet, let your child make the decision. Give him or her the opportunity to take the fish home and show relatives what they accomplished. Whatever the catch, be sure to pile on the praise for learning a new skill that you love to share with him or her.
9. Tom Bass park
Tom bass park is large that is divided into three parts. Each part has a pond with bank access and fishing pier. You can get trout, catfish and other small fishes. You will love the size of the park, It makes the spot one of the few you can get a relaxing atmosphere with friends and families.
10. Galveston Bay
If you prefer saltwater fishing, then, there is no reason you shouldn’t head to Galveston Bay. Most people here make a living out of fishing, but you will find a spot of your own at Galveston Fishing pier and Pelican Island. Fishing her is active all year long, so it is a great spot this weekend.
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