KENTUCKY (5/17/13) – Each week, as I write my columns on subjects of the great Kentucky outdoors, several things run through my head, such as highlights and experiences I’ve had afield, that I know I could develop a good story about. But this week, I truly believe that one of the most important things that we, as adults and outdoorsmen, should do is share and introduce the outdoors to local kids.
There several different things that you and I could share in the outdoors to youth. There is hunting, fishing, hiking, boating archery and even clay target shooting.
When you decide to introduce a kid to fishing, remember to keep it simple and fun. Bluegills are a great way to start them out. They are easy to catch and a lot of fun. The process is simple. Get a kid a pole that is easy for them to cast and handle. Rig the pole up depending upon what type of fish is prevalent to the area. For bluegill, red worms, nightcrawlers, mill worms and crickets are the best baits of choice.
Size up the hook with the bluegill. For normal size bluegill, the smaller the hook, the better. Use a long shank hook that works great with live bait. If you would like to try artificial bait, smaller cricket type or bug style bait is good.
If you are taking a kid fishing for bass, crank bait with a small, or no, lip on the bait works well for this time of year. Personally, I use a Rebel crank bait, red in color, which has the capability to dive about 5-7 feet deep.
Catfish is also a great starter fish for kids that like a good fight. With catfish, chicken livers, nightcrawlers, cut bait, chicken gizzards, minnows or stink baits work well. When fishing for catfish, make sure your child uses a bigger stringer-type hook, such as a #2/0 circle hook with stronger line, 14 pound test or better.
Of course, Crappie is one of Kentucky’s favorite sought after fish, due to the great taste and clean meat. If you can find a good spot, these are fairly easy catches for youth. In this case, small jigs, minnows or minnow-type artificial baits work well.
With other outdoor sports, such as hunting or shooting clay targets, make sure there is a responsible adult there to teach and direct. It’s all about teaching, safety and having a good time. The rewards will be great to witness as your youth proceeds into any outdoor sports.
Good luck this week and be careful. Make it a point to get out and do some fishing. May and June are the best two months to fishing all year.
Until next time, I’ll see you in the woods or on the water.
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