Dock Fishing w/ Kids - in Belize
We used the suggestions made in an earlier post (in this blog series), about choosing fishing gear for kids and went to Captain Sharks here in San Pedro. Romen got himself fitted with his first pole July 28, 2021, and today will be his first day fishing.
Fishing can be an extremely simple and inexpensive activity to do with kids. It can be really enjoyable and provides lots of quality time together. The basic things you'll need are: a simple pole, fishing line, hooks and some bait.
We're Going Dock Fishing!
Fishing lessons, courtesy of Elmer Jose Rivera
Hot To Get Started
Few memories stick out in our minds as clearly as catching our first fish. Ambergris Caye sits parallel to the Belize Barrier Reef (190 miles long), which is part of the Meso-American Barrier Reef (over 650 miles long). So there's plenty of opportunities to do some fishing.
Here are some tips to make those fishing memories with your kids.....
The biggest thing to remember about fishing with kids, is to acknowledge it's about spending quality time together, not about the number of fish you catch. Avoid putting undo pressure on your child to catch a fish or even a "BIG FISH". Remember they call it fishing, not catching for a reason.
Here are some helpful suggestions to get the most out of your time fishing together.
6 Tips for Dock Fishing w/ Kids
TIP #1 - Start with Simple Equipment
If this is your child's first time fishing, don't buy the expensive rod & reel, keep it simple. They aren't going to know the different between a $50. dollar rod and a $300. rod. This is about teaching them to fish and the joy that comes from fishing not how much money you spent. Skip the suspending plugs and stick to these basic items:
TIP #2 - CHOOSE A DOCK WITHOUT ALOT OF ACTIVITY
While we all love the rush and excitement of an active dock, it can be a bit distracting when it comes to learning how to fish for the first time. Try to find a dock, where you will be the only ones on the dock for 3-4 hours. A dock free of distractions, will help your child focus on the art of fishing, rather than whats happening around them.
TIP #3 - USE FRESH BAIT
The best way to catch alot of fish, is to go at the right time of day and use fresh bait.
TIP #4 - LIMIT YOUR TIME (we recommend 3-4 hours)
Even the most enthusiastic first-time fishermen, should only stay out 3-4 hours max. If you attempt to make an all-day of it, your child is going to get bored. Kids have limited attention spans, and you'll want them to enjoy it. Set a time limit before you set out, so they'll want to do it again.
TIP #5 - HAVE A BACK-UP PLAN IN CASE YOU DON'T CATCH ANY FISH
First time fisherman go out with the idea that they will come home with fish. They simply do not understand how difficult it can really be, to even catch a fish. If your 3-4 hours is up and you haven't caught a fish, have a backup plan. We suggest taking your child to Caramba's (for dinner), and let them pick out the fish they want to eat - from the assorted ice-containers out front.
Caramba's - Pick your Seafood!
If you're child didn't catch a fish, a great back up plan can be to take them to Caramba's and let them pick out a fish they want to eat. Another great option, is to bring the fish you've caught into Caramba's and let them cook it up for you. Nothing can bring a young fisherman more satisfaction, than eating what he's just caught.
Caramba's Has An Assortment of Fresh Fish
TIP #6 - FOCUS ON THE FUN
A first time fishing trip should be more about fun than anything else. This is your opportunity to spend quality time with your child, so sit back relax and enjoy yourself. Lower your expectations and help your child understand, it's not about what you catch, its about the fun you're having trying to do it. Remember it's called fishing, not catching for a reason.
Supply Checklists for Fishing
We got caught in an unexpected torrential downpour, when we went. If going dock fishing during the rainy season, always take along a rain poncho with you.
Best Time to Dock Fish?
WHEN TO GO - Anytime that you can get away with your kids safely is a good time. However, as you gain experience you will see that some times are more likely to be productive than others. The following bullet points provide some basic fishing tips.
Enjoy the Experience
They call it our golden years for a reason. Fishing can be a rewarding experience for both grandparents and grandchildren a like. It's an activity that doesn't require alot of physical exertion, it allows grandparents quality time to bond and get to know their grandchildren better. Fishing experiences, will be memories you'll look back upon for years to come.
Preparing Your Fish for Dinner
Towards the end of the day, a barracuda got Romen's hook, we also got to see some spotted rays surfacing ontop the water. Overall it was a great day, despite the torrential downpour, which only added to our excitement. Romen's extra special treat came (at day's end), when "Grandma Diana" cooked his fish for dinner.
Enjoy the Experience
Dock fishing is something Marcy & I have wanted to do for some time. From the moment we bought Romen his first fishing pole, to the time he caught his first fish was about six (6) hours. Most of this time was spent getting gas, stocking the cooler, and driving him to his fishing location. Will this young fisherman be fishing again? Without a doubt! Only next time, Mami is coming with us.
This ends yet another adventure for (2) Boys in Belize.
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This lovely lady I'm sitting next to (is Roman's mom), the mother to my grandson. Together, we are going to take the boys (Jaymin & Romen - Jaymin being my other grandson), on a series of adventures throughout the country of Belize. This is our photo diary of those adventures, to share with you. Many of these adventures can be enjoyed by families (just like us), while traveling on vacation in Belize.
Bucket-List For Kids
Scratch Off As You Go
Things to do w/ Kids
Bird Watching - Ambergris Caye
Crab Races - Nauti Crab
Culture House - San Pedro
Feed the Birds - Off the Dock
Fishing - From a Dock
Fishing - Deep Sea 1/2 day
Fishing - Reef 1/2 day
Fishing - Fly Fishing 1/2 day
Fishing - Flat Fishing 1/2 day
Sailing - Day Sail Caye Caulker
Sailing - Around the Island
Sailing - Manatee Watch
Snorkeling - Mexico Rocks
Snorkeling - Hol Chan Reserve
Snorkeling - Shark Ray Alley
Shopping - Island Gift Shops
Swimming - Secret Beach
Swimming - Boca del Rio
Tour - Belize Chocolate Factory
Tour - Caye Coffee Factory
Tour - Crocodile Encounter
Tour - Marco Gonzales Mayan Site
Tour - Paradice Ice Cream Factory
Truck Stop - Kids Movie Night
Caye Caulker Split
Things to do w/ Kids
ATM Cave Exploring
ATV Jungle Dirt Bikes
Barron Bliss Lighthouse
Belize Zoo - All indigenous Animals
Bird Watching - Crooked Tree
Black Hole Cave Rappelling
Blue Hole National Park
Cockscomb Wildlife Sanctuary
Culture House - Belize City
Cave Canoeing - Barton Creek
Cave - St. Herman's Cave
Green Iguana Conservation
Hiking - Mt. Pine Ridge
Horseback Riding in Rainforest
Horse & Buggy Ride Belize City
Old Belize - Belize City
Old Belize Cultural Center
Ruins - Altun Ha Mayan Ruins
Ruins - Cahal Pech Mayan Ruins
Ruins - Caracol Mayan Ruins
Ruins - Lamanai Mayan Ruins
Ruins - Xunantunich Mayan Ruins
Ruins - Tikal (Guatemala)
San Ignacio Food Market
Swing Bridge - Belize City
Tour - Banana Farms
Tour - Chocolate Farms
Tour - Museum of Belize
Zip Lining in Rainforest
Foods to Try
Fun Things to Eat with Kids
Rice & Beans
Birds to Find
Common Birds on Ambergris Caye
White Winged Dove
Double Crested Cormorant
Animals to See
Common Animals Found on Ambergris Caye