It’s very important to keep kids comfortable and engaged in the fall so they can fish all day long. Here are a few tips:
• Make sure they are warm with layers of clothing. The same clothing as they would wear for ice fishing works great. Bring quality gloves and a facemask to handle cold boat travel. I use Clam Outdoors ice fishing gear which is outstanding for wet and cold days. A small portable heater can take the chill off and warm their hands when the snow is flying.
• Bring plenty of snacks and drinks to fuel them during the day.
• Keep them involved in the process of the hunt and explain how and why you are fishing your spots.
• Shallow Lake X Toads, Slammer and Musky Innovations crankbaits, and Suicks are extremely effective with short hops or twitches, perfect for the shorter arms of kids. A Chaos Pegassus jigged over the side of the boat will not only catch fish on its own but attract muskies to the livebait.
• For casting, I prefer 7-foot-6 to eight-foot heavy action rods for jerkbaits and twitchbaits. You can order rods with shorter handles for your kids (if needed) from Elk River Custom Rods.
• For livebait, a rod with good backbone yet a softer tip is imperative. Trolling rods or downrigger rods like eight-foot Chaos Assault Sticks are perfect for sucker fishing. The softer tip of those rods not only keeps the rod loaded during the fight, but the snap of the rod helps set the hook.