There is nothing like good healthy outdoor activity for growing children, and summer is the perfect time to get out and about in the open air. One great activity to do with kids is fishing for crawdads. In this article we will look at what’s involved in teaching a child basic angling or fishing techniques using a bamboo pole.

The target catch will be crawfish, sometimes called crayfish or ‘crawdads’. These are a type of small lobster widely found in lakes and rivers. However, before embarking on a fishing expedition, you should take care to check that crawfishing is permitted at your chosen location as this is not always the case.

First of all, visit a garden store to equip each child with a bamboo pole, which will act as their fishing pole or rod. Take the bamboo poles home and get the kids to measure out the appropriate length of ‘line’ using a ball of string. The correct length would be about the same as that of the pole itself. After cutting the length of string, it needs to be tied securely to the end of the bamboo pole. Tying on its own may not be sufficient to secure the line and you may need to reinforce it with duct tape.

To catch crawfish you need bait. In this instance we will be using some canned tuna fish. This procedure should be carried out at the river or lake where you plan to fish, so the best way is to transport the tuna bait in a sealed plastic tub. The bait can then be prepared and attached to the lines by the water. For each fishing pole, you need a small piece of cloth to form a bait bag. After filling it with tuna, tie the cloth bag to the end of the line.

Show the children how to dangle the baited line in the shallows. With luck you should soon start to attract crawfish. The trick is to get them to bite. For this, you need to fool the crawfish into thinking the bait is a live fish, so get the kids to move the bait around in the water, which should tempt the crawfish to bite.

Once the crawfish make up their mind to go for the bait they tend to hold on, after which it should be easy to reel those critters in. Bear in mind that crawfish can bite, so you should intervene to prevent the kids getting an unwanted nip. Disengage the crustacean from the bait and then return it carefully to the water.