Over the past few seasons, the young boys of friends of my wife and I have looked forward to an annual trip up to Iron Creek Lake near Spearfish, SD to get on the ice and maybe catch a few fish. I bring all the gear for them and they and their dad, enjoy a couple of hours of time on the hardwater.
Last year's trip resulted in some iced fish as well as sledding time for Skylar and his little brother Noah. Dad Ryan then did most of the fishing. While the fishing on Iron Creek has never been great, when I can get up to take them out, there's always some fish caught.
Well this year, only Skylar decided to come, and Ryan was working, so his uncle Curtis agreed to take myself and Skylar up to the lake. I drilled a few holes and gave him a quick review on using the Vexilar and he was soon fishing on his own.
Only word to describe the fishing was SLOW. And then the weather turned, going from sunny to windy and snowy in less than 30 minutes. But Skylar persisted and even did his own hole-hopping as we moved and continued to drill more and more holes trying to find fish.
The only fish either of us graphed that afternoon ended up on his Vex screen and on the end of his line. He was happy as a clown with it and wanted to make sure it was released back into his home. After this, he wanted to drill his own holes and move a little more.
Thanks to our advancements in augers and drills, this was no problem, as I gave him some support so he could drill his own holes with my lightweight K-drill and Clam plate setup. Anyone can use an auger these days thanks to products like these! He fished and hopped around his holes before he decided he was cold, and it was time to pack up.
Even though it was very hard finding fish, he still had fun and that's the most important thing. Getting kids on the ice or outside in general and having fun is the best way to encourage them to continue to pursue a passion in the outdoors, regardless of what facet of it they enjoy.
Recent studies indicate less and less US citizens are doing activities outdoors. Hunting and fishing numbers are going down each year, which is a trend that is in dire need of being reversed. Encouraging and getting even one kid to enjoy being in the outdoors can have long lasting results to getting others outside, be it on the ice or on solid ground.
If he or she has a good time, they tell their friends, who also want to try it. This can encourage their parents to get more involved as well. So, if you have a chance to take your kid, nephew, niece, friends or relatives' kids out for some outdoor activities, take them. Not only will you show them how much fun the outdoors can be, but you also help to spread our passion for it and maybe even help to save it for future generations to enjoy.