While most of the anglers who visit Miller’s Landing are adults, you are welcome to bring your children along and introduce them to fishing during your stay. Fishing is a fantastic and healthy hobby that helps people connect with the natural world, and it gives you a great way to bond with your youngsters while enjoying some of the best scenery on earth.
But you can’t just hand your child a rod, point them at the water and expect them to be successful. In fact, you’ll want to help introduce them to the sport so that they can catch a few fish and enjoy themselves – otherwise, they’re likely to find fishing boring and dread future trips.
This isn’t exceptionally difficult to do, just follow the tips and tricks listed below:
1. Consider one of our shore-fishing packages when fishing with youngsters.
Kids generally have short attention spans, and they’ll occasionally want to put down the rod and enjoy the scenery or skip rocks across the river. A shore-fishing excursion will make this much easier, and it’ll help ensure that your kids won’t get stir-crazy while riding on a boat all day.
However, older kids – those about 12 years of age or older – may enjoy one of our guided boat charters. A good option is half day fishing charters. The boat ride is about 45 minutes each day, and kids can target black bass or silver salmon.
Just try shore fishing first to ensure they have the patience and attention span to make a boat trip feasible.
2. Dress your kids for the weather.
Even though you’ll be visiting during the summer, Alaskan summers can be quite cool. By dressing your child in layers, he or she will be able to adjust their wardrobe to match the current temperatures, which will help keep them comfortable all day long. Wool socks and sweaters are great, as they stay warm even if they get wet, and a lightweight windbreaker will help shield them from the chilly polar winds. Don’t forget to bring along a pair of waders for them too, especially if you’ll be planning on fishing from the shore.
3. Target kid-appropriate species when fishing.
Everyone wants to drag up a 100-pound halibut, but this is generally outside the skill set (not to mention muscle power) of your average child. Similarly, king salmon can be very challenging for youngsters to catch and will require you to purchase them a king salmon stamp to do so legally. Instead, target arctic graylings or rainbow trout, which are both easier to catch. They’re also quite beautiful and come in kid-friendly sizes. But be sure to discuss any other easy-to-catch species with your guide before selecting a bait or lure for your youngster.
4. Have your child participate in the cleaning and processing of your catch.
Casting and reeling in a fish is only part of the Alaskan angling experience – you’ll also have the chance to clean and process your fish when staying at Miller’s Landing. This not only gives you the chance to enjoy some of the best-tasting fish in the world, it also helps round-out the experience and allows your child understand the place of humans in the natural world. Plus, most kids will find the experience interesting and fun (if, sometimes, a little gross). Obviously, very young children should not be allowed to handle a knife without very close supervision, but most 12-year-olds are capable of learning the proper method for cleaning and filleting a fish.
5. Maintain a positive attitude and keep things fun!
Fishing is sometimes frustrating, and it often requires considerable amounts of patience. And while adults often take these challenges in stride, young anglers can struggle to do so. The best thing you can do is to keep things light and celebrate every small victory. It is also a good idea to make sure that you fish alongside your child. This way, if he or she is having trouble getting bites, you can pass off your rod when you get a fish hooked. This will allow your youngster to reel in a fish themselves and enjoy the entire fishing process. It’ll also make for a great photo opportunity, once they reel in their fish.
Make sure that you obtain a fishing license before hitting the water. The state of Alaska enforces its fish and wildlife laws very strictly, and you don’t want to ruin your child’s vacation with an unpleasant encounter with a local law enforcement officer. You can purchase a license online if you like, or we have them for sale in our onsite store.
Every non-resident angler 16 years of age or older requires one, and it is wise to familiarize yourself with the state’s fishing regulations to ensure you stay on the right side of the law. For example, you also need a king salmon stamp if you intend to fish for this species and are over 16 years of age.
Alaska residents can fish without a license or king tag until they turn 18. Our guides are happy to help answer questions, but you are ultimately responsible for ensuring that you follow the relevant rules and regulations.