Teaching the Younger Generation to Fish on Beautiful Lake George


How many adults are required to take four children fishing?

Quite a few! I just spent the afternoon watching my son Bill and some of his friends take their children out on Lake George to learn the art of fishing. All of the adults are avid fishermen and fisher-women (daughter-in-law Kate). It was a fantastic experience! First, MIGHTY are the preparations – child friendly poles had been purchased or found, along with special hooks, lines, sinkers, bait and other paraphernalia suitable for small hands and small fish: special hooks make “catch and release” easier for all concerned, and taking the barbs off the hooks makes it easier to unhook fish, other children, parents and grandparents. Kate took up residence in the cabin of the boat, to make sure all life vests were properly fastened, sun block applied and re-applied to all exposed skin; drink boxes, water bottles and fruit snacks liberally apportioned, and at-the-ready to handle any over-excited children in turn. Fishing HandsThe three men took their positions, one at the helm and two getting all the poles set up, with relay stations for re-doing bait, sinkers, hooks, and handling any emergency snafus. Useful for any child-raising activity, patience and a decent sense of humor are required essentials for teaching children how to fish! Son Bill has been fishing on Lake George since he was a child. Bill’s Grandfather, fisherman extraordinare, taught him every nook and cranny off every island and “tree spot” by the shore, as well as which fish hung out where at what times of year. Recognizing a potentially perfect fishing spot is a valuable life skill! Then there are other considerations: what time of day is best for catching which fish on what rig and bait, depth and temperature of the water, air temperature and weather conditions, rain or no rain, sun or fog, breeze or not, position of the sun and moon and other celestial bodies – MANY are the considerations of the serious fisher-person! Instinct, art form, finely-honed skills – and then there is just dumb luck – which is what keeps most people fishing on any given day. This children’s excursion was to be a purely fun day, so the perfect “child fishing” spot was chosen by the rocks off one of the islands. Each child took a turn with polarized sunglasses to be able to see the fish swimming around under the surface of the water. Great excitement!! Then the poles were handed out, and the serious fishing began. small_2426444514 Night crawlers/worms were the bait of choice, and are available at almost every general store in the North Country, but try stopping in at Anne’s Bait and Tackle Shop near Norowal’s Marina in Bolton Landing.  (I LOVE fishing tackle stores – everything is so interesting in there!) Stewart’s Shop at the north end of Lakeshore Drive also sells night crawlers, and lots of other things you can use for an afternoon outing on the lake. Using night crawlers to bait the hooks is the part that is usually called, “Feeding the Fish” if the worms are too long for the hook – something the kids found fascinating with their sunglasses. Casting instructions and demonstrations took place, and the kids took over. The children learned the difference between Fishing (a relaxing time on the water where nothing much happens) and Catching (great excitement on the boat with many skills needing to be applied at the same time to actually reel in a fish). The children were also gently learning good sportsmanship and conservation techniques, that fishing is a wonderful life-long art suitable for all ages, and, like golf and a couple other things, something that you don’t really need to be good at to enjoy thoroughly.  AND – fishing is the absolute perfect excuse to get family and friends out on a boat for the afternoon together! One of Bolton Landing’s residents (Cobber Pratt) takes children out on the docks to learn to fish – the setting is stable, and close to shore. He uses special lead-headed jig hooks meant for children, with a red and white bobber, because kids love to see it bob up and down when the fish bite. There are discussions of the proper size for catching which fish, what fish are “in season” and why, as well as which bait is attractive to which fish, and how to tie knots that work to keep the hook (and potentially the fish) on the line. There are many life lessons to be learned while fishing! Have you ever been fishing? What is your favorite part? What is your favorite kind of fishing – stream, lake, ocean? Do you eat what you catch, or catch-and-release so the fish can live to bite another day? Penelope Jewellmedium_6803442362          ]]>