Have you gone fishing with your kids? If you live in So Cal or are just visiting with your kids, fishing with kids is an activity you won’t want to miss.
On a dock at the lake, or aboard a boat out of Belmar, fishing was a part of my childhood. I grew up with three older brothers and by the time I was six or seven, I was happily threading nightcrawlers onto a hook. I was eager to fit in and not seem squeamish, and I actually enjoyed it. I remember my first blue rod with the child safe casting rig, and my little red and white bobber. I’d felt a thrill at every sudden telltale tug, watching my bobber sink beneath the surface. Would it be the proverbial “big one”? Would I show up my siblings at last?
Thanks to Dana Wharf Sportfishing for taking my family out for a day of fishing! All opinions are my own.
I was a good little fisher girl and caught my share of snacks and dinners, and threw even more back. The one thing I never dealt with was the skinning and gutting however. I felt it was enough that I baited the hook, and caught the fish.
All of that sort of stopped when I went off to school. My husband was not fishing folk and my daughters showed zero interest. This is a shame because I live on the west coast, close to Dana Point, where boats depart daily for full and half day fishing adventures.
My sons are currently 13 & 9 which is a perfect age for going fishing. I asked them if they would like to head out and they were thrilled! It must be in the blood…
At first they were a little nervous but before the boat left dock they attended a free fishing clinic aboard the Reel Fun. These clinics are held by Dana Wharf Sportfishing and allow kids to come aboard a boat, learn all about bait and tackle and get a feel for the basics. It is very confidence boosting!
After the clinic, if you have purchased a half day fishing you can grab your rods and head out from the harbor. We rented our rods from Dana Wharf Sportfishing and they graciously got us rigged. Bait is included onboard and you will have to bait your own hook. We were provided with squid and sardines.
There is a tank with fresh live sardines and many of the kids aboard, including my own had a blast playing with the bait.
There hadn’t been much luck with the catch the week we went out but nevertheless we caught over a dozen “toss back” fish. As a bonus, while we were out we saw three whales, several pods of dolphins and dozens of sea lions. In fact the sea lions did a lot of swimming around the ship, popping up to catch the fish we were throwing back on more than one occasion. This was endless entertainment.
Our trip was just over four hours and highly relaxing. Food and beverages were available for purchase aboard the boat and I cannot say enough what a nice time was had by all.
There were several families, dads and daughters, grandparents and grandkids on our outing and everyone was saying the same thing – “when can we do this again!”
If you head out from Dana Point on a weekend, get there early. Parking is in a special lot across the street from the harbor and you will get a pass when you check in. Adult fishing licenses are $16 for the day. Kids do not need a license.
We’ll be headed out again sometime soon!