Harvey Johnson a newly retired doctor
Now that I’m retired I have a lot of extra time to spend with my grandkids, and I absolutely love it. When my son was growing up I missed out on a lot of activities because I was always busy with work. I made myself a promise that I wouldn’t make the same mistake with my grandkids, which is why I have spent this past summer taking them along with me on fishing, camping and hiking trips.
With summer winding down and my grandkids getting ready to go back to school I decided to squeeze in one more trip with them. I really am trying to keep my promise to my son, and teach his kids all about nature. So this past weekend I loaded up the car with enough supplies to take care of an army, picked up the grandkids and off into the wilderness we went. Actually we just went to the nearby state park, but according to the kids “we were way off the map”.
So the reason I decided on a weekend camping trip was because we could combine everything into a couple of days. We could fish and hike during the day, and sleep comfortably under the stars at night. When I say we slept under the stars I am referring to the opening on the top of our tent. The kids wanted to be able to see the sky without worrying constantly about snakes and bugs. Personally I was okay with that. I’m too old now to sleep on the ground and actually be able to move comfortably the next day.
We were lucky enough to get a great campsite in a clearing and close to the stream. We were far enough away I didn’t have to worry about my grandkids falling in the water in the middle of the night, but still close enough that we could just hear it when everything was quiet. It was pretty late in the afternoon when we got there Friday so all we did was set up the campsite, fix dinner and get some sleep.
The next day I thought we’d start with a hike, and I’m glad we did. Otherwise my grandkids wouldn’t have been able to sit still while we did a bit of fishing. I had honestly forgotten how much energy kids have, and I’m not embarrassed to say I had a hard time keeping up with them. Thankfully the trail is well graded and considered to be relatively safe. This way I could let them run a little ways ahead without worrying about them getting into too much trouble. It is a good thing that I had already taught them the three leaf rule, “leaves of three leave them be” since the kids did manage to come across some Poison Ivy.
We did get in a little fishing that afternoon and one of my grandkids caught his first fish. We fried it up for dinner, and it was absolutely delicious. While we were all tired when we got home Sunday, it was probably one of the best camping trips I have ever been on. Especially when I heard one of my grandkids tell my son the very same thing.
I have a long history with fishing as I used to go out with my dad to a nearby stream, during the weekends. Now that I have finally retired, I’ve started to focus on my family, as well as my hobbies. To my surprise, technology is an essential part of the sport nowadays, as I wasn’t even aware of the existence of fish finder before having seen one of my buddies using such a device. In spite of the fact that my friend owned a product that was manufactured about five years ago, I was surprised to see how efficient his skills had become only by relying on the capabilities of the unit. That’s why I decided to get one of my own, particularly as I have been looking into adding more fish to my family’s diet, mostly because I am well-aware of the many benefits it offers.
Let me tell you that the broad variety of products that are available for sale out there can make choosing the right one quite a daunting task. There are loads of details to consider if you at least want to try to make a difference between a well-built model and a less impressive one. There are two ways of going about things. You either choose a full-size fish finder that comes with a display as well as a transducer and you try to make the most of it given that it might become obsolete at some point or the other. Another option is to purchase a fish finder that comes with just a wireless transducer which can be used with virtually any mobile device you might already be the owner of.
Some of the features you have to look at are the frequency, the wattage, and the overall performance of the product. The last of the three is rather difficult to estimate as you’ll need to spend many hours going through the best fish finder reviews because using this method, you’ll have the chance to know what other fishermen like you had to say about the services offered by the model. Dual-frequency transducers seem to be popular these days, as they can be utilized both in shallow and deep waters.
On a personal level, I didn’t want to spend any penny on a product that would lose part of its charm due to the many technological advancements that are being made on a yearly basis. That’s why I eventually settled for the Deeper fish finder, mainly as it comes with a wireless transducer that can connect to any smartphone or tablet. I bought a cheap tablet cover online and was able to use my 7-inch screen without bothering too much. The neat thing about this fish finder is that it gives me all the freedom I need with regard to the adjustments I have to perform to get the most of the entire experience. Besides, it’s not remotely as expensive as some of its fully packed competitors.
In the end, I believe that choosing the perfect fish finder can be done with ease as long as you think things through well enough and do your share of research. I was happy to stumble upon many websites debating the performance of the devices I prospected. Plus, many of these sources have buying guides that can at least give you some pointers regarding the factors you need to keep in mind. Always consider your budget and the advantages the device is capable of offering.
Probably one of the most challenging things about fishing with the family is sustaining your kids’ interest in the activity. A child who’s hungry, bored or needs to use the restroom will readily throw their fishing rod into the water faster than you can say FISH. Regardless whether you fish from a boat or the shore, there are some things you can do to sustain the excitement of your kids about fishing.
Make sure your kids catch fish
If you don’t wish to dampen your kid’s excitement about fishing, you should do your homework before getting them to join you on a fishing trip. This involves doing your share of research on the location you will be fishing. If you’re camping by the lake, check out information on how the lake is doing in terms of fishing potential. Check out fishing or parks and wildlife websites for the specific location. You may be surprised to find out that the location is due to be stocked, and a freshly stocked lake makes a good fishing location. You can also ask at bait supply stores or look for fishing blogs on the web. Other anglers can even help you with information on the best fishing locations for families.
Get information on the water temperatures as well, as extremely high ones can cause fishing to be very slow. Invite your child to go to the lake with you just after a hatchery truck arrives so they can witness how it gets stocked. Seeing all the fish swimming wildly as they adjust to their new environment is truly a spectacular sight for a child. After that, you can start fishing. Make sure to set your child up with a bait rig off the bottom and assist them in casting. Once you feel a strike, set the hook and hand your child the rod for reeling in. Periodically remind your kid to watch the line when you aren’t getting any bites.
Teach your kids about fishing gear.
Beginner fishers of all ages require assistance with fishing equipment. Patiently demonstrate to your child the workings of a typical rod and reel, taking the time to watch them practice using the tools themselves. Teach your child to keep a tight line and the rod tip up. To reduce the stress on your small angler, make sure the rod is just the right size for kids. To ensure more room for error, get your young fisher a lighter action rod or one with greater flex to avoid breakage. Check the reel drag to ensure smooth retrieves if they catch large fish.
To start with, you can take your child fishing for bullheads or bluegills, which are plentiful in many lakes and are also easy to manage with small hands because of the diminutive fish size. Success is likely with a light line and small hooks. Don’t forget to bring items that can help your child fish despite the weather, along with useful distractions to sustain their interest or help them when the going gets tough in the water.
Remember that your ultimate goal is for your child to have fun fishing
Bonding with your kid should be your ultimate objective for bringing them along on a fishing trip. Remember that kids naturally have short attention spans so if they want to stop after five minutes, let them do so. Skip rocks instead or find interesting sights in the fishing area to take pictures of. Let your child take a dip in the lake if they want. Fishing can come again later but once your child gets the fishing spark, you’d be surprised at how bright it can turn out to be.
If you have started fishing at an early age or you simply fancy fishing now and then with your friends and family, you may be interested on what type of kids fishing gear you should buy if you want to teach them fishing as well. As this activity is not exactly intended for children, if you do want them to accompany you in your adventures, you need to take extra care on what type of gear you choose. When it comes to kids, you must think about protection first and then about practicality. As such, before determining what type of rods and reels they need, check for protection equipment that will keep them safe in less safe situations.
First and foremost, you must choose the most appropriate clothing for them. This means you should pick pants, shirts and jackets that protect them from the cold weather, but keep them comfortable in a sunny day. Protection from the sun can also be secured by acquiring fishing hats that you can find in a variety of sizes and shapes and designed especially for children. This small item will keep the heat away and eliminate the risk of sunstroke, if it happens that the day is warmer than expected and you have no place where to hide from the sun. Nevertheless, a simple hat won’t be able to provide 100% protection for kids. Sunscreen with a high SPF is the safest way to avoid sunburns, to which the little ones are prone to and to allow them to enjoy their outdoor trips.
However, the sun is not the only factor you should be worried about. Insects are another source of danger for small children. A lot of them roam near the water and some of them can be harmful for the little ones, while others are only uncomfortable to deal with in a sunny day. They can be kept at a distance by using insect sprays and creams. Additionally, hats fitted with mosquito nets will make an even better job, if your kid is more sensitive than others to insect bites. Shoes made with strong and impermeable materials can be an extra protection factor that will eliminate the risk of accidents and make sure they don’t hurt their feet while running around and playing in nature.
Since the little ones are more likely to suffer accidents and they pay less attention to the surrounding environment, they may injure themselves in tree branches or pointed objects. As such, never forget to have a medical first aid kit with you and replenish its supplies every time you go on a trip. A simple bandage or antibiotic cream can make the difference between a wonderful fishing expedition and one that ends in disaster.
Once all these are rightly set in place and stuffed in your luggage, you can start thinking about fishing gear for kids. Famous brands have recently included in their range of products small fishing kits designed for youngsters that you can acquire depending on their tastes and age at affordable prices. For getting a lot of useful info on the most popular brands I use to read this fishing website.
It may sound awkward to some, but for those who have embraced a medical career my story will sound familiar. Being a surgeon, especially, means that your life is not yours anymore, and you grow more convinced of that after a couple of years in the field. It’s not only about the long shifts, the long surgeries, but it is about the long hours spent at home trying to keep yourself updated with the newest medical discoveries or trying to find time (in your spare time) to attend conferences and meetings that may prove helpful to you. It’s a life of pressure and of responsibility, one in which you need to keep yourself alert at all times that you are operating on people and that, sometimes, their lives are in your hands and that’s why you can’t afford to feel tired or sloppy. This is how your existence progresses, until, one day, you need to give up this lifestyle.
For people who are absorbed by their careers, not because they want to, but because they need to, in order to do their jobs at an outstanding level, retiring is like landing on Mars. You go out one day and you realize you’ve missed a lot, things were built, places have changed and you never noticed, not because you weren’t there in those years, but because you barely had time to take a look at them. You now have so much time on your hands that you feel like you’re spending someone else’s and it makes you feel guilty. Well, in such occasions, you need to keep yourself busy with whatever hobby you can find. You start digging through things that you haven’t touched since college years, you reconnect with old friends – you find out that some of them died or they moved abroad, some of them may be retired like you, and if you are lucky they also live close by. So, together, you decide there’s something you got to do with this insane amount of free time.
That’s how I got into fishing. I have never been a fan of any sports, except for jogging, out of necessity, and biking. Surprisingly, I’ve discovered fishing is not so bad either and, if you have some financial resources for a decent fishing kit, you may even be rewarded with catching some great specimens. Even so, you discover you still have a lot of free time that you don’t know how to dispose of. So, you ask around for inspiration hoping others can offer you a piece of good advice. In my case, it was my son, who believed that my relationship with my grandchildren needs to be heavily improved, since I missed a lot of family reunions in the last 10-20 years. I’m quite sure he’s trying to get back at me for missing all those birthdays and important events in his life, though he also motivated his request by saying that he remembers some of our trips in nature, biking or hiking back in the days when he was still a child and I still had some free days. He thought I could take his kids out and showed them how to love nature. I said I’d do it, why not be of help to my grandchildren and have some fun in the meantime? After all, I am a doctor, what’s the worst that could happen? But, since I still have some free time left, I’m gonna write about what we’re doing when we’re out fishing and hiking on this blog. Hope me and my grandchildren will find things in common to enjoy.
Family is the most important thing.