Taking Your Kids Fishing at Backroads Inn & Cabins

You’ll never be bored while staying at Backroads Inn & Cabins – there are simply too many fun things to do. In fact, you’ll likely find it difficult to fit in everything you’d like to do during your visit. There are beautiful caves to explore, neat reptile exhibits to check out and several different national parks to enjoy during your visit. You may even want to check South Dakota’s most famous rock carving while you’re here.

But we’d like to recommend one other fun activity to try while you stay with us: Introducing your kids to fishing at one of the many lakes that are 10-15 minutes away: Sheridan, Pactola, Horsethief, etc. Fishing is a productive, constructive and fun activity, which often becomes a lifelong hobby for many. And while fishing with your kids isn’t exactly rocket science, you will have more success and see more smiling faces if you embrace a few important tips.

1. Set your kids up with the correct gear.

A lot of parents mistakenly set their kids up for failure by providing them with rods and reels designed for adults. Instead, provide your kids with an age- and size-appropriate rod and reel, such as a 5- to 6-foot-long spinning combo.

2. Target kid-friendly species.

Many anglers visiting South Dakota have their sights set on largemouth bass, pike or rainbow trout, but these fish are often challenging to catch – that’s part of their appeal. And because you’ll want your kids to enjoy the best chance to catch lots of fish, you’ll want to target easy-to-catch species that are aggressive feeders with bold personalities. This primarily means fishing for bluegill, catfish and bullheads – all of whom are easy to catch.

3. Use real baits, rather than artificial lures.

Many advanced anglers like to use spinnerbaits, jigs and other artificial lures, but these will lead to more snags than caught fish in the hands of youngsters. Instead, tie on a worm- or doughball-baited hook and tie a float about 1 to 2 feet above it to keep the bait floating where the fish can see it. However, you’ll want to swap out the float for a sinker if you are targeting catfish, as they like to feed near the bottom.

4. Fish alongside your kids.

Fishing with your kids entails plenty of responsibilities, as you’ll need to help bait hooks, untangle lines and release caught fish (unless you’re taking them back to the dinner table). However, it is important that you keep your own line in the water, as you’ll be more likely to get nibbles and hook fish. Once you do, pass your rod to one of your kids (alternate between them so everyone gets a chance) and let them reel in the catch.

5. Make sure you obtain all necessary licenses and permits.

You don’t want to set a bad example for your kids, so be sure to obtain a South Dakota fishing license before hitting the water. South Dakota even offers a convenient Family Fishing License, which will ensure everybody in your family is legally permitted to fish.

If you’d like to learn a few more tips and tricks for making your child’s first fishing trip a success, check out Outdoor Empire’s comprehensive review of the subject. There, you’ll not only learn more about kid-appropriate fishing equipment, you’ll be able to read about some of the best baits and tackle to use with your kids too.