As the parent of two young boys there is nothing more exciting than the look on a child’s face when a fish enter’s the boat. However, with an attention span shorter than that of a golden retriever at the dog park the challenge becomes keeping them entertained long enough to actually get to the experience of a fish entering the boat.
Typically that ends up meaning that you’re stuck chasing 6″ bluegills, but if you’re looking for a great way to both catch something that actually has teeth and give kids a positive experience there’s a frequently overlooked secret weapon located at lake cabins everywhere… The pontoon!
Sure for serious anglers fishing from a pontoon might feel like the equivalent of driving a minivan but to a kid, with bench seats and open space, it feels like a floating play room. Not only is pontoon trolling an awesome way to introduce junior anglers to gamefish pike, bass, walleyes, and even muskies but it’s as simple as finding a good weedline and can be very effective.
Heading up to the family cabin for Labor Day I grabbed my trolling rods and a few Rapala Super Shad Raps. A couple trips around the bay near their cabin (Pro tip – Casting likely areas ahead of time will allow you to see which are holding fish) and BOOM – FISH ON! Not only were we successful in giving Hunter his first trophy pike but this was also actually the first boat ride ever for my 5 week old Weston. Now he’ll forever be able to say (once he’s able to talk anyway) that he caught a 41″ pike the first time he ever went fishing!
Throw in the added bonus of being able to bring the whole family along for a relaxing cruise around the lake and it was a perfect weekend. So next time you head out on the pontoon don’t forget the trolling rods, Rapalas, and most importantly the snacks!