Donna’s Day: Fishing for ideas for outdoor fun with dad

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By Donna Erickson, Signal Contributing Editor

It doesn’t take much to get kids hooked on fishing, and it’s a great activity to get your family safely outdoors during these trying times. But before your kids hit the dock, pond or river bank, or climb aboard a canoe or boat, there are a few things to do to prepare for this fun family sport.

Safety first:

Check to see if life vests fit your kids properly this year. Remind them to wear vests at all times while near water.

Use a metal file to remove barbs from fishing hooks that young anglers will be using. This precaution can help avoid serious injury to the skin, as well as prevent snags in clothing.

Pick up a bottle of good-quality sunscreen, and have hats with visors for everyone.

Fishing fun:

Practice casting the fishing line without a hook in the backyard or at a park. Substitute a piece of hook-and-loop fastener such as Velcro attached to a weighted end of the hook. Place small toys with pieces of matching Velcro attached to them on the lawn. Try to “fish” for the toys.

Make a pint-size tackle box from a cardboard egg carton. Fill the spaces with useful items such as a bobber, canned or fresh corn kernels for bait, and some mini peanut-butter sandwiches in case the angler gets hungry for a snack. Use brass fasteners to attach fabric or leather strips on top of the carton to make it an easy carryall.

Tip utwit the worms!

The common way to transport worms and dirt to the fishing hole is with a small tin can with a plastic snap-on lid. But when it comes time to bait the hook, the worms are usually hiding at the bottom of the container. Here’s an easy solution: Before scooping worms and dirt into the can, remove the bottom with a can opener and snap on another tight-fitting plastic lid. Your kids can open either end when it comes time to fish and can easily find the bait. (Remember to poke holes in the plastic lids to allow air in the can.) 

Donna Erickson’s award-winning series “Donna’s Day” is airing on public television nationwide. To find more of her creative family recipes and activities, visit and link to the NEW Donna’s Day Facebook fan page. Her latest book is “Donna Erickson’s Fabulous Funstuff for Families.”

© 2020 Donna Erickson

Distributed by King Features Synd.

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