Taking the Grandson Fishing … with his dad

Parker Costello With His Father Kyle
Parker Costello with his father, Kyle.

In the new world of the coronavirus, the great outdoors has become a diversion of sorts – especially with fishing. License sales for residents have been on the rise because more adults were off work and kids were out of school. They needed something productive and relaxing to preoccupy their time. It did not take long to realize that fishing was not for everyone though.

Two of my grandsons are Parker and Landon Costello who live nearby in Lockport. Parker is going to be 7 on June 24 and Landon turned 8 back in March. I have talked to my son-in-law Kyle several times about taking the kids fishing but it never seemed to work out. We agreed that we did not want to force them into something that they did not want to do.

It was during this pandemic that Parker started to fall in love with catching fish. His first catch was a rock bass from the Erie Canal right around the corner. While Landon was excited with his first catch a few outings later (also a rock bass), he would rather further his knowledge on things that are better suited for teenagers like the countries of the world, the universe and our solar system, the human body and more. Both boys are whiz kids when it comes to a thirst for knowledge.

For Parker, professional wrestling was a current interest and he still enjoys it. But now that fishing has become more of a personal desire, he grabs has tablet to play fishing games or learn about the different species of fish that are available in our area. His father has not deterred that desire and tries to take him fishing whenever he can. However, he really knows little about the angling life and he is also striving to learn more so that he can share it with Parker (and Landon when he wants to tag along).

Enter the fishing grandpa. Most of my angling action takes place in boats in the big lakes and the river so I needed a bit of a refresher when it came to local waters for kids. After the canal, I planned with friends to hit some farm ponds. We sampled the piers that extend out into Lake Ontario in Olcott and Fishermen’s Park at the base of Burt Dam on 18 Mile Creek. We tried to come up with different spots to keep Parker’s interest and expand the knowledge for Kyle. Our list also included Wilson Harbor, the Niagara River, and some other private ponds.

“For my birthday I want to fish the Erie Canal, Bond Lake, Burt Dam, Olcott Harbor and Wilson Harbor all the same day,” said Parker. “I’d like to catch some bigger fish, too.” He has it all planned out, a day of fishing in the area with a packed lunch and drinks in a cooler. That is his perfect day and when I saw him yesterday, he was extremely excited.

Getting the next generation exposed to fishing is the first step. Do not push them too much. Give them a taste. You will be able to gauge their interest.  If they want to give it a go, make the time to feed their enthusiasm. Do not be afraid to help the parents out either. It is important to make sure they feel comfortable enough to take them out to catch fish.

It also makes buying a birthday present much easier, too. A new rod and reel combo with a tackle box is already in the car for that special day. The funny thing is that his dad is getting excited, too. Hopefully, as Kyle and Parker build the bond of fishing together, Landon will show an increased interest as well. All we can do is to keep trying.

I cannot forget to mention about my granddaughter Alaina Brong, also from Lockport. She is an avid fisherperson, taking it up with the help of my stepson Keith. His family moved up from Jacksonville, Florida last year to spend more time with family. It does not hurt that there are all kinds of fishing opportunities and the Erie Canal is only a cast away. We have already had some family gatherings around water and fishing is a big part of that.

With plenty of kids around, we do not have to worry about social distancing too much. No one wants to get within a rod’s length of any of the youngsters when they are casting, for sure. It is a built in 6-foot distance that works out great. Now get out there and catch some fish!

Categories: Blog Content, New York – Bill Hilts Jr

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