It takes a fisherman dad to give good advice on how to introduce children to fishing. Gabriel Touchette is a web marketing consultant. He is involved as a volunteer with the Fédération québécoise des chasseurs. He runs a website, Fishing QC. But above all, he is the father of four children who began to taste fishing at an early age.

Gabriel Touchette based himself on this experience, and on that of his fishing friends, to write a little guide for children’s initiation to fishing, available on his website. The secret is to focus the first outings on the needs of the child and not on the wishes of the fishing parent.

“The first few times I went fishing with my kid, I didn’t bring my fishing gear, just my kid’s,” Touchette said in an interview. My job was to give information, to change the lines, to untangle them. The parent should not expect to fish too. »

He says that some of his friends, great fishermen, have difficulty transmitting their passion to their children. “The first time they took them fishing was lake trout, early in the season. It’s cold, we don’t smell a lot of fish. It’s less fun. Conversely, with my children, I often started in fish farming, with easier species such as yellow perch or pumpkinseed. For a fisherman it is less interesting, but for a child it is very exciting: they are beautiful fish with beautiful colors, they like it very much. »

It is important to adapt the outing to the age of the child. It is from 1 year that you can try a first outing in nature. “Your child’s mind is in full swing. But when it comes to fishing, don’t linger, he writes. Try catching a few small sunfish to let him know there are fish in the water. »

From 3 years old, we can start discussing strategy and let the child choose where to cast his line. Still, Gabriel Touchette advises targeting docks, shallow bays, and structures likely to harbor yellow perch, sunfish, and catfish. “Kids this age love catfish because they find the name very funny,” he says.

It is obviously necessary to avoid rock capes and areas with currents, which can be dangerous. “Lead by example,” insists Mr. Touchette. If you are going canoeing with your child, put on your jacket. Your child learns a lot by copying what he observes in his environment. »

This father of three girls and a boy is careful to note that fishing is not just a guy’s job. “Take your little girls fishing.” They will quickly become great fisherwomen. »

For Gabriel Touchette, it is a pleasure to fish with children. “Of course, I’m very happy when I have a good catch, but I find that often I have more fun watching my children catch fish than I do catching them myself. »

He enthusiastically recounts how he organized a fishing trip for his toddler daughter’s birthday party.

Her 8-year-old son is now an avid fisherman. “He probably caught more fish of different species than the vast majority of Quebecers. »

Gabriel Touchette was introduced to fishing by his grandfather and his uncle, but he mostly learned on his own. “I find it interesting that my boy, at 8 years old, has all this knowledge that I took a lifetime to accumulate. I tell myself that his children, it’s going to be crazy how good they are going to be in this. »

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