My brother’s first perch!
The idea of starting a youngster ice fishing sounds ideal to get them at a pro level by the time they are in their teens or even earlier. This way they will have many years under their belts and have caught several fish.
Last year was my first time bringing my brother out on the ice and it wasn’t what I expected.
I was hoping for a good fishing day and that we would catch many fish for him to have the full experience.
Like most young children who get a thrill out of trying something new, my brother was ecstatic at the idea of going ice fishing with me. He loved the idea of riding a four wheeler across the ice, sitting in an ice shanny, catching fish and just being out on the ice all day.
That morning, I bundled him up in all his gear; hat, scarf, gloves, snow pants, coat and boots. He was all set to go.
When we arrived at Sodus Bay, we got on the four wheeler and rode out to our fishing spot. As soon as everything was set up, I handed him his little fishing pole. The whole idea of ice fishing sounded great to him at this point.
But then, we had to play the waiting game for a bit until fish were attracted to our lures. Like most fishermen, the anticipation while waiting for a bite is the boring part. Most seven-year-old’s don’t have a long attention span to sit and wait for a bite. So, he quickly became bored.
I had to explain to him that sometimes it takes time for the fish to see your bait if they aren’t in the area where we dropped our line. I also mentioned that all the noise we made above the water from drilling holes, riding the four wheeler and setting up the shanny could’ve scared the fish away.
Eventually he did get his first bite and caught a small perch. To him it was the most exciting thing reeling it in until it came time to get it off the hook. He was timid actually seeing the fish out of the water in front of him. I got the fish off the hook and wanted him to get his picture taken for a memory. He had no interest in holding the fish, especially not with bare hands. He courageously decided he wanted to hold the fish, but with his gloves on.
From there on out it wasn’t so bad. He held fish after fish, but only with gloves on.
That day, he only caught about four or five fish but to him that was plenty because he got bored doing the same thing over and over.
After the excitement of catching a few fish all he wanted to do was run around the ice and play with everything in the shanny.
Because he got so antsy after an hour on the ice, I question bringing him out again this year because he really wants to go again. But then again, my thought is that he might start to enjoy it and understand that sometimes it’s a waiting game and exactly why they call it fishing not catching.