Fishing with the kids

Part 1: Newbie fisher Belinda Cay's survival guide for a family fishing day on the Murray.

South Australians love fishing … the rods, the bait, the tackle box, that funny green vest. 

The family fishing trip conjures up an idyllic image. But as a fishing novice with no equipment, boat or knowledge, I must admit the mention of a family ‘fishing weekend’ to the River Murray was not so appealing.  

Dragging my heels, I reluctantly ventured to the local fishing store dreaming of where I would rather spend my hard-earned money. But I was surprised.

The local in-store fisherman’s enthusiasm for the sport was contagious. With some handy pointers and fishing knowledge, we were provided with a checklist of river fishing essentials, all for under $130:

  • A fishing rod complete with reel and line. We bought a rod/reel set for about $90 and while you can buy cheaper, from experience, they tend to be more trouble than they are worth.
  • Swivel. A three-way swivel is preferable for beginners. These help avoid line tangles so it’s a must have. (See image)
  • Hooks. Obviously. Look for long shank hooks which are most likely to mouth-hook a fish and are a more humane choice.
  • Sinkers. Consider the non-toxic, lead-free, biodegradable option. These are much better for the kids and the environment – ahhhh, green tick.
  • A towel. Handy to grab the fish as they can be spikey. Ensure the towel is damp which helps minimise the removal of the protective slime covering the fish.
  • Bucket … for the haul.
  • Berley … to attract the fish.
  • A ruler and information on the legal fish size and bag limits. This is essential information.
  • Hats, sunblock, warm clothes and a picnic (must have chocolate). 
  • Bait of preference … worms, gents, shrimp or corn. Yes, corn!

So, with the purchases finalised, now all we need is the weekend to come. Have a look at part two  to see how it goes …  

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