You will need
- Pens or pencils
- Fishing equipment including suitable tackle and bait
- Camera (optional)
Before you begin
- This activity is best scheduled a few weeks before the group goes on a fishing trip, especially if you have your fishing equipment available to practice with, as this will save lots of time on the day of the trip. For more information on guiding and managing that day out, run Fishing trip.
- Those with fishing gear should be reminded to bring it along to this session. Remind everyone to label their personal kit with their name, in case it’s similar to an item brought along by someone else. If the group is borrowing or renting equipment for the fishing trip, then allow extra time for everyone to get familiar with the kit on the day, if there isn’t an opportunity to use it beforehand.
- If leaders or helpers don’t have the knowledge and experience to prepare everyone for a fishing trip, you’ll need to invite an expert angler to the session to help. Your expert could even be a person in the group. A different expert will probably be required depending on the style of fishing you’ll be taking part in. Consider getting in touch with the expert well in advance, to give them lots of notice, and to ask them about the location, date and time, whether they have any access needs and whether they need to bring along any of their own equipment.
- See if your expert can bring along photographs of them fishing and using their equipment for reference. Explain in advance that they’ll need to talk the group through: choosing the correct equipment, assembling a rod, reed or pole, what kind of bait (lure or fly) to use and how to identify different species of fish.
- Remember to remind everyone working towards their Scouts Angler Activity Badge that they should bring a notebook along to the fishing trip. The notebooks could be brought along to this session too, as there’ll probably be some handy hints to write down.
- Consider assembling rods, reeds or poles outside, as this is safer. Think of a spot with no overhanging branches or cables and level ground where it’s safe to do this.
- You could run this activity as a base to be visited by small groups, as part of a bases activity session. Run this alongside other activities like Knot your average angler and Camera angles.
Run the activity
- The person leading the activity (a leader or expert) should gather everyone together in the activity area. An expert should be introduced, if they’re a new face, and a leader should explain what’s going to be happening in the session.
- The person leading the activity should talk a little about their experience, why they enjoy it and share any photographs that they might’ve brought along.
- The person leading the activity should share details about their choice of kit and why it’s best suited to their style of fishing.
- Everyone should spread out to look at the fishing equipment. Examining long objects, like rods, may be easier outside where there’s more space.
- Have everyone demonstrate how to assemble and take apart each piece of equipment. The person leading the activity may need to lend a hand. Once everyone has gotten the hang of this, disassemble each item and secure it safely. The gear won’t be needed for the remainder of the session.
- The person leading the activity should now talk through the kind of bait, fly or lure used in the fishing style the group will be trying. If they’ve got some examples or a photograph of some, that would be ideal.
- Talk through the kinds of fish that might be caught using the chosen style of fishing and what kind of environment they might be found in.
Understanding when to outsource expertise is a useful skill for leaders as well as young people. Have a chat as a group about the benefits of having an expert-led session (it doesn’t matter if this expert was from within your group or not).
Everyone’s learning styles are different. Are there people in the group who prefer to watch online content and others who need face-to-face guidance? There’s no single right way to do things, but talking about learning can help a group to find a balance that works for everyone. This discussion can be considered the next time everybody is developing a new skill or hobby together.
- Sharp objects
Teach young people how to use sharp objects safely. Supervise them appropriately throughout. Store all sharp objects securely, out of the reach of young people.
- Water games and activities
Be careful when doing activities with, in, or near water. Check surfaces and reduce the risk of slipping where possible. Make sure you have appropriate supervision for this activity.
- Poles and long objects
Be careful when moving poles or long items. Take care if the ends are sharp. Have appropriate supervision for this activity.