Topic: Fishing with young children

My husband and I usually come to Cape May every year by ourselves.  This year, beginning of June,  we are bringing our two sons - ages 7 and 5.  They would like to do a little fishing while we are there.  My husband and I both went fishing with our parents when we were children but we don't really have a clue what we are doing!  We have rented a cottage a block from diamond beach.  Should we try to fish from the shore?  Or would it be better to go on a family friendly boat (can anybody recommend a good "fishing for dummies" boat, lol)?  Is there somewhere I can read some type of "how to" instructions on fishing, what we need to bring/buy, etc?  I know, I sound like an idiot.  I'm really not and neither is my husband but we don't want to look like idiots when we go fishing with the boys.  Also, will we need fishing licenses?  Thanks, Rhonda

Re: Fishing with young children

You are in no way an idiot.  Many families make similar inquiries (or wish they had the information they needed).  First, no license is needed in NJ to fish in saltwater.  Second, the ages of your kids suggest that it might be difficult to take them on a boat.  With hooks, spiny creatures, etc. ...  However, if you feel that your kids have the attention span to fish for a couple of hours, there are some 4 hour party fishing boats.  These boats provide bait for free and for a nominal fee you can rent rods.  You might try two rods so that you and your husband can supervise each child.  See the Wildwood Party boat section of this website - Starlight Fishing Fleet.  Give them a call and ask about taking kids that age out.  The mates on these boats take great care of people.

Another possibility, which might be better, is to charter a boat (see the Cape May Charter Boat Section on this website).  By chartering, you will have the boat to yourselves, with the exception that a captain will be there to help.  Charters will have rods and reels for you to use.  Again, try calling a captain to get a price, ask about the ages of your kids and whether they can handle that type of fishing.  Most captains are very obliging and good with kids.

Take a look at the fishing pages for an article entitled "Take Your Kid Fishing"  That article may help you get started.  And, don't be afraid to ask questions.

Best of Luck

Re: Fishing with young children

PaulK & Rhonda, good reading your messages.

I am in the same position as Rhonda. We just purchased a home in North Wildwood. My son and I want to begin fishing. I did it with my Dad and then stopped fishing. I want the same experience with my 10 year old.

We live a block from the Bay around 18th Street and plan on wading from the shore there, as well as surf fishing too.

We need to get started with types of bait are appropriate for each location, etc.

I'll make use of this group!

Re: Fishing with young children

Another person who is a regular on this site is Cape May Ray. He runs a charter on a smaller sized boat and generally fishes the bays. he offerred to take me out for a short trip. I was never able to get it together, my kids got sick. he seems nice, knowledgeable, etc. he would be an excellent alternative.

Re: Fishing with young children

Thanks for the good words Dan.   I take a number of trips with young anglers during the year.   I provide everything needed.  Rods reels, bait, lures etc.   We can fish the back bay where it is calm and sea sickness is not a issue.     With young ones you want to make it a fun time.

Trips can be worked around your schedule.   No need to get up before the sun comes up.  You want the kids to have a good experience so they want to do it again.  Some young anglers have a longer attention spand than others.  There is no need to do a long trip.    Each group of kids is different.   If a few hours is enough for the kids you can do a short trip.   If you and the kids are up for longer that can be done too.   I find with kids size of the fish is not an issue.   It is more important that they get fish to catch and the opportunity to reel in fish.

You can always check out my web-site which has more information  or click on it on Charter boat section of Cape May times.   Under Tide Runner.

Hope this gives you more information.   Capt. Ray  Tide Runner