Last spring we talked about how to get young kids out fishing and keep them interested in the sport. Now its been a few years and the young children are not quite as interested in that bobber, and those little sunnies or 6 inch perch. They start asking about where the walleyes, northerns, or some of the bigger fish are in the lake. That age usually starts around 7-12 years old.
Now at this age we have to remember they still don’t have much for patience, but they are ready for more then they have been doing. When I have this age group in the boat I like to talk to them and see what stage they are in on the fishing. I make them a part of the decision where and what we fish for. A lot of the time I will here I want to go catch just Walleye’s or I want a big Northern. What I do is find a lake that has a good chance of what they want but offers alittle of everything. I know that if we go for just what species they are looking for and get nothing we are in for a long day.
The lakes I like to look for are ones with a nice weed line, preferably the cabbage weed. I like to take a 1/8 oz or 1/4 oz (depending on the depth) Northland Gumball jig. I like this jig because of the long shank; you can hook the minnow as not to fall off the jig when you are in the weeds. I get on the edge of those weeds and look for points and insides bends and just keep jigging. The fun part of this type of fishing is you never know what you will catch. We get northerns, walleye, perch, Bass and even some nice panfish all in the same areas. Some of the lakes I like to fish in these situations are, Sand, Bowstring, Pokegama, Lawrance, just to name a few. The beauty of these lakes is if you want to target one species like fishing Walleye’s on a hump you can and if its not good you can go back to the weed line for alittle action.
This age group of kids is all about teaching. Teaching them how to hook the minnow, leech, crawler or whatever baits you are using. How to tie their hook or jig on with whatever knot you use. It’s about showing them and then you having the patients to let them do it on their own with your guidance.
The equipment needs for this age group is pretty easy. You are able to start using better quality rods and reels. I like to keep the rods still on the shorter side maybe 5’5” or 6’ for jigging and up to 6’6” for rigging. I like to use a light or med light rod. I want them to feel everything but I want some forgiveness on the tip so the fish don’t feel them. I like the St. Croix rods they are light and sensitive and with their new series of inexpensive rods they wont even cost you much. One thing we have remember is that this is the start of fishing with no bobber and no sight it’s all about the feel and the better the rod the better they will feel the fish.
Fishing season is not far away start planning some trips with your kids; it’s a great way to bond with them at a time when they need it most. Get our kids outdoors.
Walleye & Northern Pike - May 11, 2019
Largemouth & Smallmouth Bass - May 11, 2019
Muskie - June 1, 2019
2019 Fishing RegulationsMN DNR Fishing Regulation Handbook for 2019
Charlie Worrath talks early season walleye for the television program Jason Mitchell Outdoors on Lake Winnibigoshish in northern Minnesota. (watch the video)
Jason Boser appearing on an episode for the television program Jason Mitchell Outdoors on Lake Winnibigoshish in northern Minnesota. (watch the video)
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