Taking the family fishing is a great way to celebrate Mother’s Day because it keeps everyone together for a fun activity, and the fish don’t know if they’re taking mom’s, dad’s or the kids’ bait, so everyone has an equal chance to catch fish. Although the idea of taking the family fishing can seem overwhelming, the difference between having an “ok” fishing trip and a great one is a little extra planning and preparation.
Here are some tips to ensure everyone has a great time on your next family fishing trip, whether Mother’s Day or any other:
Pack a picnic and don’t forget the dessert! A memorable day is always better with memorable food. Pack something fun and a treat you might not normally eat. Bringing a small BBQ, or cooking hotdogs and s’mores over a fire, are fun and provide a warm meal!
Make a list and pack the night before: A stressful morning of getting ready can start the day off on the wrong foot, and causes you to rush and forget things. For this reason, make a packing list for the trip, and do most of the packing the night before. All you’ll need to pack in the morning is the cooler with food, drinks and ice.
Bring a seat: Camping chairs can greatly improve your experience, comfort, and extend the time you spend outdoors. There a lots of inexpensive, collapsible options available at most outdoor stores. Many chairs have backs for support and cup holders for extra comfort.
Plan for other activities: Sure fishing is fun, but sometimes kids like to do other things, so don’t hesitate to let them. Try to incorporate other activities that the family enjoys. Going for nature hikes, skipping rocks, sand toys for castles, card games, Frisbee, and campfires are all fun activities in addition to fishing.
Stay legal: Make sure that everyone 14 or older has a fishing license, or anyone who wants to fish with two rods has a two-pole permit.
Take pictures: With today’s smart phones, this should be easy. Sometimes taking a lot of pictures feels weird at the time, but you won’t regret it later. Often, pictures are the only way you can remember great parts of the day that you’d otherwise forget.
Don’t forget the worms: While it’s safe to say most of Idaho’s rivers, lakes, reservoirs, ponds, and streams are teeming with fish, checking the local fishing reports will help you know what areas might be fishing better. As always, Idaho Fish and Game has an extensive stocking program, and you can see the recently stocked waters on the fish stocking webpage by clicking the “Historical Stocking Report.”
Check the forecast and dress appropriately: Idaho weather can change dramatically in a day. Be prepared for cooler morning and evenings, warm afternoon, and the unexpected afternoon showers and/or wind. For younger kids who seem to always find a way to get dirty or wet, bring a change of clothes and even pajamas for the drive home.
Bring protection from the sun and bugs! Nothing can ruin a trip like a sunburn or mosquitos. Don’t forget you bug spray, sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses.