Spending quality time with your children is one of the best things you can do as a parent. Quality time doesn’t really mean watching a movie on the couch. It means doing something exciting that you and your children will remember for years to come. Fishing sometimes gets a reputation for being boring, but it can actually be a fun activity to do with your children. Below are three strategies that will ensure your family fishing trip goes smoothly.

Keep It Simple

If you have young children then it’s likely that they’ll get easily distracted. It’s a good idea to take your kids to a small pond or river with a shore. This way they can interact with the scene and take a break if they get bored. When it comes to gear, stick with the simple stuff. There’s no point in taking a risk with your expensive equipment. Depending on your child’s level of interest, your fishing trip might not last that long. Therefore, it’s a good idea to pick a location that’s close to home.

Be Patient

Fishing normally requires patience. Fishing with children requires a different kind of patience. It’s likely that your children will make mistakes. They’ll also probably make loud noises and scare the fish away. Don’t be surprised if you and your children don’t catch any fish on your first adventure.

When you take your kids out for a fishing trip, make sure you plan ahead and stay organized. It’s a good idea to bring snacks, toys they may need, extra clothes, and extra fishing gear. If this is their first time out, they might not be able to tolerate much, so remember to have a flexible plan.

If it’s raining out it’s probably best to cancel the fishing trip. While you probably won’t mind the weather, your children won’t enjoy sitting out in the chilly rain waiting for fish to bite. It’s better to wait until the weather is as perfect as possible. The best way to get your children to enjoy fishing is to make the experience as fun as possible—that way they will want to come back again and again.

Get Excited

If you want your children to be excited about fishing, then you need to be excited. Dress your kids up in fishing gear, even if they’re not going to use it. Hand over the rod to your child if you’re about to reel in a catch and take pictures of the moment. By acting excited and making a big deal out of the trip, your children will stay interested and remember how much fun the activity was. Give your children free reign to play in the dirt, sand, and mud. Don’t be afraid to let them get messy. At the end of the day, they might remember the fishing trip as one of the best days ever.