Here's how to mix fishing in with a family vacation.
It's summer. Time for both fishing trips and family vacations. This can be a conundrum for the anglers who just want to get out and fish, but must consider that the family wants to do something else like horseback riding, paddle boarding or even an amusement park.
What do you do to get your angling fix while still pleasing everyone?
We've got some ideas that will help find a way to make your fishing adventure dreams into a family-friendly excursion.
Here is how you can find some unique fishing opportunities amongst the other attractions, and hopefully please everyone.
A Disney Fishing Vacation
I shuddered as I added this to the list, because I hate just about any sort of theme park. More specifically, I hate the price, and never feel like it's worth the money. I flat out won't go to one.
But I know some poor souls who can't do anything about it. Their family is dead set on a Disney Adventure getaway, when all they want to do is grab their fishing gear and go wet a line. Sometimes all that's left is compromise.
This is where I'd encourage a little bargaining. The family insists on going to Disney World in Florida? Fine. But you're going fishing while you're there.
And, by all accounts I've seen, the fishing on the Disney grounds is legitimately good for bass and panfish. The park does a decent job of managing their fishing spots for trophy-sized bass, and you technically don't need to pack anything. The park provides all the gear.
Like all things Disney, it's insanely expensive: it will run about $300 for four hours with a guide, and more if you're targeting bass. But you could look at it this way: it's an investment to get the rest of your family interested in fishing in a family-friendly environment.
Maybe next year they'll be more open to a river or lakeside family fishing vacation to Colorado or Montana instead.
A camping & fishing adventure
If you're one of the lucky ones who has a family willing to go camping in state or national parks, you're in luck. It's easy to work fishing into the mix for one of these vacations.
It doesn't matter if you're just renting some log cabins in the Maine woods or pitching a tent near Yellowstone, this is the perfect opportunity to introduce fishing to the family.
For instance, there are many western guides and outfitters near popular state park camping destinations that offer fly fishing lessons. It's a great opportunity to learn a new skill with the whole family while taking in the majesty of the American west.
Another option is to combine learning camp skills with a fun challenge for the whole family. Say you're camping near a prime Canada trout fishing destination. The challenge could be to see who catches the first rainbow trout for dinner.
You can offer up some sort of incentive for that catch to sweeten the deal if you need to motivate them further.
Catching your own food makes for a unique experience and a learning opportunity where you can show children how to clean and prepare fish.
Camping and fishing go hand-in-hand together. You just have to find a way to make it work for the area you're camping in without being a burden on the other things your family wants to do.
We're going to the beach?
The beach is another incredibly popular vacation destination, and this gives you a lot of fishing opportunities with the family. Again, compromise is the key here. They should give you at least one day to devote to surf fishing or offshore angling, right?
If you're from the Midwest, your choice could be a day fishing saltwater for exotic species you don't target at home like marlin, tarpon or snapper. Yes, you will have to pay a charter for these services, but fighting a big bluefish, drum or mackerel could be just the key to hook family members who haven't shown much interest in angling before.
Another option is to plan your beach time near a popular fishing pier. While the family enjoys the surf and sand, you get in some of the best fishing you can get from the dock. Pick the right spot and you'll all be enjoying the same area and fun.
It doesn't have to be limited strictly to saltwater either. If you're anywhere near the Great Lakes, there are many affordable charters and guides that will take you and the family out for a few hours after world-class lake trout, walleye or smallmouth bass.
There are many ways to incorporate fishing into a family vacation without you sneaking off and missing out on valuable family time. Again, the key is to simply get creative and think outside the box in how you do it and how you present it to family members who are less than interested in angling.
Whatever you do, don't force it. Try to fit it in naturally. Who knows? If you play your cards right, you may be able to convince the family the next vacation you take should be entirely centered around angling!