Catholic Commute S02E38 5 Tips To Take Kids Fishing

Fishing is not actually about the fish, but they help!

Many of us have this ideal vision of a perfect fishing trip with a child, but if we try to go, we get an emotional train wreck. Fishing is supposed to be peaceful – but not with children. What do we do?

In this episode I try to break open my tips and tricks for how to have a successful fishing episode with your children. I don’t discuss a single lure or bait – instead I want you to create an intentional environment. You can have success from the shore or in a boat; it’s the people, expectations, and attitudes that matter.

Click “Continue Reading” to see the show notes!

S02E38 5 Tips To Take Kids Fishing


St. Peter and Andrew are patron saints of fishing (surprise!)


St. Andrew, also known as Andrew the Apostle, was a Christian Apostle and the older brother to St. Peter.


According to the New Testament, Andrew was born in the village of Bethsaida on the Sea of Galilee during the early first century. Much like his younger brother, Simon Peter, Andrew was also a fisherman. Andrew’s very name means strong and he was known for having good social skills.


In the Gospel of Matthew, it is said Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee and saw Andrew and Simon Peter fishing. It is then he asked the two to become disciples and “fishers of men.”


In the Gospel of Luke, Andrew is not initially named. It describes Jesus using a boat, believed to be solely Simon’s, to preach to the multitudes and catch a large amount of fish on a night that originally was dry. Later, in Luke 5:7, it mentions Simon was not the only fisherman on the boat, but it is not until Luke 6:14 that there is talk of Andrew being Simon Peter’s brother.


However, the Gospel of John tells a separate story, stating Andrew was a disciple of John the Baptist. When Jesus walked by one day, John the Baptist stated, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” It is then that Andrew and another made the decision to follow Jesus.


Little else is said about Andrew in the Gospels, but it is believed Andrew was one of the closer disciples to Jesus. It was he who told Jesus about the boy with the loaves and fishes, according to John 6:8. When Philip wanted to speak to Jesus about Greeks seeking him, he spoke to Andrew first. Andrew was also present at the last supper.


Per Christian tradition, Andrew went on to preach the Good News around the shores of the Black Sea and throughout what is now Greece and Turkey. Andrew was martyred by crucifixion in Patras. He was bound, rather than nailed, to a cross, as is described in the Acts of Andrew. He was crucified on a cross form known as “crux decussata,” which is an X-shaped cross or a “saltire.” Today this is commonly referred to as “St. Andrew’s Cross.” It is believed Andrew requested to be crucified this way, because he deemed himself “unworthy to be crucified on the same type of cross as Jesus.”


Andrew’s remains were originally preserved at Patras. However, some believe St. Regulus, who was a monk at Patras, received a vision telling him to hide some of Andrew’s bones. Shortly after Regulus’ dream, many of Andrew’s relics were transferred to Constantinople by order of Roman emperor Constantius II around 357. Regulus later received orders in a second dream telling him to take the bones “to the ends of the earth.” He was to build a shrine for them wherever he shipwrecked. He landed on the coat of Fife, Scotland.


In September 1964, Pope Paul VI had all of St. Andrew’s relics that ended up in Vatican City sent back to Patras. Now, many of Andrew’s relics and the cross on which he was martyred are kept in the Church of St. Andrew in Patras.


St. Andrew is venerated in Georgia as the first preacher of Christianity in that territory and in Cyprus for having struck the rocks creating a gush of healing waters upon landing on the shore.


His saltire cross is featured on the flag of Scotland and is represented in much of his iconography. He is commonly portrayed as an old man with long white hair and a beard, often holding the Gospel book or a scroll.


St. Andrew is the patron saint of fishermen and singers. He is also the patron saint to several countries and cities including: Scotland, Romania, Russia, Ukraine and Patras and his feast day is celebrated on November 30.


Take them Fishing. Because no kid remembers their best day of television.


5 Tips for Kids Fishing


Story of Jim coming with us to go fishing.


“Fishing requires patience. Fishing with a child requires the patience of a saint. But the rewards are heavenly!”


  1. Ask for help
    1. Find the old-timer
    2. Ask for somewhere to catch something, not their secret honey hole
    3. If you have a veteran willing, ask to go with them.
      1. Kids tend to mimic other kids. Use that!
    4. Ask them what they recommend using for fishing and write it down
    5. Keep in mind that bait/location change over the year

If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there’d be a shortage of fishing poles.  – Doug Larson

  1. Manage expectations and attitudes
    1. If this is something new, prep them for what it will be
    2. Stay positive and optimistic
    3. Choose a day that isn’t too hot/cold
    4. If going on the water, plan for low activity
    5. If on the shore, plan for high activity

Some people wait their entire life to find the right fishing buddy. I raised mine.

  1. Plan your food carefully
    1. “Special” food but not so much sugar that they sugar smash and crash
    2. “Low sugar” food every 2-5 min.
    3. “High sugar” food every ~20 min. Or when catch a fish/something special
    4. No food while setting lines – both practical and encourages them to help
    5. Connect food to behavior “Quiet kids can have a fruit piece!”

Come warm weather, I’m going to take a kid fishing’ I hope you do to. But nothing would make me happier than to look across the cove or down the stream to see a young one help an old one remember what it is like to be young in springtime. Gene Hill

  1. Aim low and celebrate small wins
    1. The first fish is ALWAYS a keeper.
    2. Let the kids play with it all they want. (sorry fish)
    3. When in doubt, help the kids land it rather than lose it (big mood killer)
    4. Every fish is a party!
    5. Point out everything you see around you. Somehow, they don’t see it!

Fishing is much less about the fishing, and much more about the time alone with your kid away from the hustle and bustle of the everyday. – Dan Pearce

  1. Take Pictures and Create the story
    1. Get lots of pictures as you go along, it creates a story for the kids, “for mom.”
    2. Use words that are positive
    3. They’re going to complain and say they hate it. But they will remember it 20 yrs from now.
    4. You’re competing with video games, even if not obviously yet.
    5. Talk, really talk, to the kids – especially when they’re using quiet voices.


  1. Ask for help
  2. Manage expectations and attitudes
  3. Plan your food carefully
  4. Aim low and celebrate small wins
  5. Take Pictures and Create the story


Henry David Thoreau (same guy for Lives of quiet desperation): Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.

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