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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm new to boating and I have a 3 year old boy that I would love to take out with me as much as possible. Last season before I bought the boat I took him out on a half day fluke trip. We cought some throw backs and he seemed fine. I know things will be much diferent on my own boat. does anyone have any advice to lend?
 

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Try to keep it short and interesting. Size of the fish doesn't matter, quantity does
Crabbing is another thing they love.
 

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Taking the kids fishing is great. My three are 8,6,and 4 and the older two have been fishing with me for the last three years or so. A couple of key points, don't plan on fishing much yourself when with the little ones I take my poles to make me feel better but am usually too busy with the kids to pay attention to the my poles. Perch fishing in the early and late season is great. The best trip we've had so far was in Oct. of last year. Anchored in a nice quite little place and boated about 30 fish in a couple hours, the last post was right nothing worse for the little ones then the wait they want it NOW.
Have also found crabbing to be good for the kids., There is enough activitiy to keep them interested for a while, even if they're not getting any. Usually give each one a side of the stern and a couple of traps each.
Good luck this year and have fun!
 

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My daughter goes with my wife and I all the time. She is 7 and likes it when the bite is on but when its not humm she lets you know. This year we got her a portable DVD player so she has something to do in the down time. But if your out in da Del Bay look for the Dirty Blond with mamma and the little blond putting a whippin on dad. This year she wants to peirce her first striped lip. After that god only knows what will happen to her...... You will probably see her on here once she peirces her first lip??? Good luck
 

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Took my son out 2 years ago when he was 2 years old. Stayed with-in 2 miles of dock incase he got antsy or scared. My wife went as a back-up in the event he got a need for "mommy". He was fine, caught his first fish (a perch in a river in Maryland) and he was as happy as a clam. Last year he was out in the backbay with me a couple times, and again was fine. He caught a flounder, shark, sea robin, plus he saw my wife and I catching fish and that kept him happy. When he got tired he laid down and took a nap. No problem. The trick is to stay fairly close to your dock or ramp (for us), keep the trip only as long as the child can handle, and to have a person who can take the child home if necessary if you must go back in (wife/other relative), and then you can go back out. It's worked for us. Also, Zachary can't wait to get out and catch (or try for) his first striper this year. Keeping it manageable will build up their interest for future trips. Good luck.
 

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Is it safe for me to assume you're always gonna have the kid wearing a flotation device?
 

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What San-Man said although I must tell a story. Our son went with us from the beginning & when he found out his Mothers' reaction when he did fall overboard not a trip went by when he didn't "accidently" go over. Keep it simple, short & fun.
 

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All the ideas so far are great.
Have all your options but spread them out.
Your kid's excited to go on the boat.
When that wears out then you give them the DVD player. When they get bored of that.
Thats when lunch/snacks come out.
When they get done with that
Thats when I put a minnow from the live well in a bucket. My kids love to play with those.
Also teach them whatever you can.
If you see an Osprey nest make sure they see it. Kids think any bird flying out there is a seagull.
If you catch a Sea Robin or Croaker make sure they hear them croak.
Flounder show them the eyes and tell them how they migrate from one side to the other.
Sandsharks- let them feel the skin. One way is smooth the other is rough.
Crabs- show them male/females with the colors on the pinchers or the shell on the bottom.
Triggerfish- show them how the trigger works.
Bluefish- Show them how sharp those teeth really are.
Weakfish- Kids love the colors.
And if you ever catch a blowfish fill up a bucket with water and start fishing because your kid will play with one of those for hours.
When you reset the drift have them drive (with you standing there of course)

Just some ideas.
 

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that was good rob, the only thing I would add is life jackets on as soon as they get out of the car
 

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A comfortable life vest helps.....Early mornings in the summer before it gets hot.....food...,later a trip to a cove & beach the boat and swim or explore..When they get to 5 or 6 bring one of his friends along that always helped. My son has been on our 20ft cc since he was afew mos old .Started out just riding around with mom.....He always likes to go fast and get wet LOL.and loves to go in the ocean more than the bay.He is now 12 and last year was the first time I took him trolling, Just the 2 of us.He landed his first BFT. and dolphin.at the pots. It got nasty on the way in, but again he loves to get wet LOL. Take it slow at first, a few hrs at a time. Lots of good advice on all the post. Have fun. Joe R. 20ft classic SeaCraft , Susie II
 

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Double down me and my son were checking out the post all good advice . My son just wanted to add dont forget the avon bugguard sunblock works good those greenheads and we all know how fast they can ruin a goodtime good luck out there
 

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I agree wth Rob. Don't worry about germs or anything like that. Our parents didn't. I let my boys touch all of the fish. (EXCEPT BLUES!!) The hands on thing is a great experience for any child. It keeps them interested and helps them appreciate nature. Just keep some clean wipes on the boat. From short trips to all day jaunts, my boys never got bored. (well maybe once or twice.)
 

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Originally posted by Fin-Advisor:
that was good rob, the only thing I would add is life jackets on as soon as they get out of the car
Thats our one rule too...My kid isn't allowed away from the car w/o a PFD. The minnow in the bucket works for us for hours too.
 

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Originally posted by Fin-Advisor:
that was good rob, the only thing I would add is life jackets on as soon as they get out of the car
This is a must,as accidents falls happen at the dock before setting foot on the boat !!!!

Also,teach them when is the proper time to be sitting,standing ,fishing !!
when dad says its time to move or run the boat,make sure they take a seat,its only ok to stand when dad say's and the boat is stopped,..Lines go in when dad says ok its fishing time !!!!
all the other posts wereon also !!Make sure you have something other than fishing for them to do while on the boat,the dvd is great !!or you will be in for many of real short trips,also plenty to drink eat,and snacks !!!and a place to go to the bathroom,sunscreen in summer hats,and layered clothes for warmth if chilly.......Have fun thats what its all about !!!!
 

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Bring a camera. Make sure to show him how happy YOU are that he is fishing, doing stuff, with you. Be patient. Remember, he's trying to please you, but he's only three. Don't get mad or yell and you'll have a fishing buddy you can count on for the rest of your life.
 

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Bring sanitizer and some carb snacks for him to munch on - pretzels, cheetos. Also, some mint lifesavers/tictacs (or if he's not there yet some gum, or just keep him snacking)
That's what my dad did for me to prevent getting sick on a boat. I never did, guess that's cause he always had me snacking.
He's 3 so I'm sure he won't be too proud to tell you he's not feeling well (or just right out show you), just remember it's his first time a rockin'
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks everyone for the great advice. I guess I am a little anxious about him being only three years old and he will be just starting his swim lessons in May, although I don't expect that's the answer. Vdawg, sorry you missed the Bimimi top.
 

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All good stuff. Don't be afraid to take a friend along. Kids like being with kids and sharing the experience. Keep it all simple and remember what it was like to be a kid. Look through their eyes. Let them think they're driving, etc. Ask 'them' for advice! Don't pamper, let them experience some independence. Give them 'important jobs/tasks to help, how to stow stuff, bring bait buckets in, etc. Make them the 'little captain'.
 

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I took my two and a half year old daughter fishing today to her uncles pond, to catch sunnies. And she loved it.... made her dad real happy too...she kept saying lets do it again daddy.We caught so many that her ScoobyDoo reel broke.
 
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