Have a Fishing Buddy for Life
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Take your children charter fishing this year at Alabama's Gulf Coast to have fishing buddies for the rest of your life. Since more families are introducing their children to charter fishing, the captains at Orange Beach and Fort Morgan have designed 3-hour introductory charter-fishing trips to help families ensure a fun fishing adventure at a reduced price. On a 3-hour charter, you can take your youngsters out close to shore and catch Spanish mackerel, king mackerel and possibly cobia. If you have older children, they may enjoy a 4-to 6-hour bottom-fishing trip on a bigger boat.
Here are some tips to help you pass along your love of saltwater fishing to your children:
- Make sure they have sunscreen, hats and sunglasses to prevent sunburn.
- Bring along plenty of snacks, water and soft drinks.
- Talk to the children about the trip before you go. Build the excitement about what you hope to catch, and what they will be able to see and do.
- Talk to the captain and explain that the purpose of the trip is to give the youngsters a good time. The size of the fish caught isn't nearly as important as the number of fish you catch and release.
- Ask the captain if you and your children can light-line fish. Using light line, the rods bend more, the drags on the reels slip more, and the battle between young anglers and the fish are longer and more fun. Children like to catch fish. The more fish they catch, and the more they struggle to reel the fish in, the more exciting the trip will be.
- Take numbers of pictures, and shoot plenty of video. Youngsters like to see themselves catching fish, fighting fish and landing fish. They also like to see themselves sitting in the captain's chair and driving the boat.
- Let the child reel in as many fish as he or she can. The videos and the pictures let the children relive the trip. They even can use the pictures and the videos for show-and-tell next year at school.
The most important element for a successful charter fishing trip for your children is talking to the captain about the trip before you arrive at the boat. Let the captain know the age of the children, if they have fished before, and if you plan to help them fish or want the deck hand to help them fish. Going out into the Gulf of Mexico on a charter boat can be the adventure of a lifetime for a youngster. If the child has a great time, he or she will want to go with you again, again and again.
For more information about Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, visit www.orangebeach.com/fishing, our easy to access fishing information pages complete with marina and charter captain listings. For any questions, call Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism's vacation-planning specialists at 1-800-745-SAND (7263). For a list of cook-your-catch restaurants, go to www.orangebeach.com/dining-nightlife/restaurants.