Gone fishing—grandparents raising grandchildren who love the outdoors

fishing bobber in the waterFishing…

Is there any greater pastime? Some might argue that there is, but they would be mistaken! Fishing is one of the great outdoor activities that can be enjoyed by almost anyone at almost any age and during any season.

Once you have your equipment and a fishing license, the sport of fishing can be relaxing and inexpensive. Growing up, we would dig our own worms and fish all day in one of the 10,000 lakes that Minnesota is known for.

Now that I’m older, I don’t have as much time to go fishing, but I still enjoy it when I get the chance to go. We take our granddaughter and other grandchildren fishing when we have the chance because we want them to know the great joy that fishing can bring.

Selecting the “right” fishing pole

Depending on what kind of fishing you plan to do, selecting your fishing pole is pretty easy. You don’t have to have something that is fancy with all the bells and whistles—those things scare the fish anyway. All you really need is an inexpensive rod and reel, a hook, some weight and a bobber. You can skip the bobber and fish by feeling, as well, but if you haven’t fished before or not in a while and you have little ones, use the bobber.

Let’s take a look at some more popular types of fishing.

  • Trolling
  • Angling
  • Fly fishing
  • Ice fishing

Each type of fishing—except for trolling and casting—require a bit different pole. Here is just a small sampling of the huge variety of fishing poles and equipment available on Amazon. (Please note the following: Grandparentssecondstory.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon properties including, but not limited to, amazon.com. Amazon offers a small commission on products sold through their affiliate links. Each of your purchases via our Amazon affiliation links supports our cause at no additional cost to you.)

Trolling is a type of fishing done from a boat, typically. In this type of fishing, you let your line out while the boat slowly “trolls” about in the water. The rate of speed of the boat is relatively slow. For this type of fishing, my experience has been using a shiny lure, but this all depends on what type of fish you are after and what type of fish are in the lake you are fishing.

When trolling, most people use a trolling motor because it is easier to control the speed because it is smaller and not that many horsepower. We use a trolling motor on our 14 foot fishing boat.

I am not a big fan of trolling, I prefer casting out from the boat when it is anchored in place, especially when you find a “hot” spot! Even if you don’t find a great spot, just spending the day on the lake is worth it! By the way, we use our trolling motor to get us around the smaller lakes without pulling out our big motor. The trolling motor is rechargeable so we don’t have to worry about running out of gas—just a low battery. Keep your battery charged and watch the levels so you aren’t too far from shore should you need to row back.

fishing from shoreAngling is my prefered way of fishing. It works well from the shoreline, dock or pier or from a boat when you want to get far, far from the crowds.

Angling or casting is just what it sounds like—you “cast” out your bait at the end of your fishing line and wait for a fish to “strike” or “hit” on your bait which can be real or artificial. Personally, I prefer real bait like worms or leeches (it isn’t as disgusting as it sounds). I have never had much luck with artificial bait.

Once a fish hits on your bait you reel in and with proper technique (or just plain luck), you will have a fish on your hook!

fly fishingFly fishing is another type of fishing that many people enjoy. I have never done it so I can’t say if I really like it or not, but I have watched people do it and they really seem to be enjoying it.

This type of fishing uses a very lightweight artificial “fly” that is the bait. It requires specific casting techniques.

Ice fishing is another popular form of fishing during the winter months when lakes are frozen over. While I suppose you could use a “regular” fishing pole, you don’t cast in this type of fishing as you are dropping your line through a hole you cut in the ice.

ice fishingMany people have fish houses and some of our lakes in Minnesota resemble small communities during the winter because there are so many of them out on the lake!

I used to like ice fishing when I was a kid, but as I got older—and a little heavier—the sound of the cracking ice made me really afraid to go out on the ice. Even though several thousand pound cars, trucks and fish houses are out on the ice, at the sound of the first crack, I am hightailing it to shore!

fishing luresBait—real or artificial

Some people say they will only use artificial bait. They don’t like the feel of real bait and prefer the flexibility that artificial bait gives them.

Personally, I do not like artificial bait. Like I said previously, I don’t have much luck using it and I would rather get “skunked” with real bait than with artificial.

As I said, there are many types of bait, from metal spinners to plastic worm-like baits to the real thing. I really do believe that fish bite much better on worms and leeches than any other bait I have used. Sometimes, minnows can prove to be an effective bait, too.

The type of bait you choose will also be partially dependent on what type of fish you are after. Here are a variety of fishing supplies that you may purchase on Amazon.

Reeling it all in . . .

Take the kids out to fish! It can be a challenge because you have to keep your eyes open (shut) when the little ones are casting until they get the hang of it, but it can also be a great time of bonding. A time when dreams and secrets are shared. A time when it feels like you can forget everything and just be!

And don’t forget the bug spray and sun screen! We prefer Bull Frog products because they include both an insect repellent and a sun screen.

I would love to hear your thoughts. Please leave questions or comments below and I will get back to you very soon!



  1. What a wonderful article. Fishing is such a wonderful past time and a perfect way to bond with children. I used to enjoy fishing with my grandparents actually. I loved it!

    • Thank you for your kind words. Fishing is awesome! And if you are good or lucky, you get a meal, too!
      Best Wishes! Karin

  2. Hi Karin,

    It’s funny, we live near the water and have never taken our kids fishing. There is a pier and there are often people fishing on it, and I’ve always thought it looked very peaceful. Perhaps our kids are now at an age where they would appreciate it. It seems like a lovely activity to do with the kids to take them outside and off their electronic devices. I have great memories of fishing when I was a kid on school holidays.

    On another note I adore your site! I’ll share it with my parents who are often asking me about activities they can do with our kids (and not to mention ideas for me too!).

    Best wishes

    • It’s interesting that you mention that. When I lived less than a 1/2 mile from our favorite fishing spot, I only went one time. When we moved farther away, we go all the time! I appreciate you sharing the site with your parents! We are here to help with ideas and activities!
      Karin 🙂

  3. Great article .some of my fondest memories are of the time I went over night fishing with my family .It was a great bonding experience that I will never rforget

    • Thanks for sharing your memories about night fishing. I haven’t done that, but it sounds like fun! I may have to try that with my granddaughter when she gets a bit older. Do you do that from shore or on a boat?

  4. Thanks for the tips for fishing! I am a beginner and this site was a great place to start and purchase some fishing gear and what ones at that!

    • I am glad you found the site useful! We have a lot of fun with what we do and hope to pass some of that joy onto others! I am glad you found the tips on the types of fishing and some of the gear useful, too!

  5. Some of my greatest memories of childhood are of fishing with my dad. I don’t so much remember the fishing…if we caught anything or not, but I remember the time spent in the fish house or on the boat; the bonding. That is what makes me love fishing.

    • I have those same memories with my mom. My dad wasn’t into fishing as much. Now we like to spend that time with our granddaughter and, with hope, she will remember those fishing trips with us and the time we spent together. Maybe she’ll even pass it on to her children!

  6. I agree fishing is one of the greatest pastimes. Gone fishing is one of my favorite sayings. I have an ugly stick and I won’t by another brand of pole it has lasted me the longest and is very durable. Also I caught the biggest bass I have ever caught when I was using that pole.
    Standing on the bank casting or casting from a boat it my favorite type of fishing bass is the most fun fish to try and catch.
    I used to be like you and only used real bait until I tried some lures and started catching big bass with them.

    • I’ve never had an ugly stick, but when I was a little girl, I had a Zebco 202 that could catch me any fish I set out to get! It was only about 3 feet long, but that little pole was my best friend!

  7. I remember fondly fishing with my grandfather in the lakes of northern Saskatchewan in Canada. My grandfather was so patient in teaching about casting, hooks and bait. He was always ready to help out with snags or baiting a hook. Memories that have and will last a lifetime.

    • Thanks for sharing your memory. My grandfather was one of my teachers in this great sport, too! These are still some of the very best memories that I have.

  8. Hi, this is a fantastic post. My family and I are really into this hobby. Our three children absolutely love it too, even our youngest who started at age three. We enjoy eating healthy food particularly enjoy food that we have reeled in or hunted ourselves. This is something anybody can do at any age. Once you have the equipment you are set up for many hors of fun. Think I am going to have to go out this weekend now. All the best and thank you so much for sharing!

    • Thank you. It is a great hobby, isn’t it! We, too enjoy eating the fish we have caught and cleaned ourselves. Nothing better. We would have went fishing this weekend, but we had our town’s annual summer festival, so we were busy with that.
      Glad you enjoyed the post!

  9. Fishing is such a great hobby for bonding and enjoying the outdoors. You gave some great suggestions for how to enjoy this hobby with your grand kids and what you might need to have a successful trip. I see you are from MN–I am too! Fishing definitely is an important past time here, and very much part of state culture!

    • We love fishing! It has been such a part of my life since I was a little girl. I had some great instructors from early on and grew to enjoy just sitting and waiting for that bite! The worst day of fishing, still beats the best day at work!

      Where about in the state are you? We live in Central Minnesota.

      Best wishes,
      Karin 🙂

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