California Outdoors Q&A: Fishing with Young Children

California Outdoors Q&A: Fishing with Young Children

Fishing Times Publishing Group Inc tpgonlinedaily.comQuestion: I have four-year-old twin daughters and am looking forward to taking them fishing. I am a bit apprehensive about keeping my eye on both girls, plus the two to three rods, tackle and bait.

Fishing Times Publishing Group Inc tpgonlinedaily.comWhat if I bring mommy or grandpa along to help? I am a licensed angler but neither mommy or grandpa have fishing licenses, nor would they even want to fish aside from helping my daughters. If I am assisting one of my daughters with her rod, and while doing so the other daughter suddenly needs help with her rod, would my wife or father-in-law be allowed to step in to help my other daughter even if they are without fishing licenses?

And while on this subject, if I am holding two rods at once and assisting the girls, could a California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) officer cite me for not having an extra rod permit?

Answer: First of all, we are happy to hear you are taking your kids fishing! We hope it impresses upon them a lifetime passion for fishing and the outdoors. You’ll probably agree that fishing is a great way to spend family time together.

Since you already have a fishing license, you can always assume control over one of the rods. Purchasing a second-rod validation for $15.12 may help with your situation in the event you need to assume control over another rod.

Fishing Times Publishing Group Inc tpgonlinedaily.comBut to answer your question, your daughters should be doing the fishing by closely attending their rods and no one should be controlling their rods or reeling their fish in for them unless licensed. Mom or grandpa may help the girls with things like untangling lines and baiting hooks but when it comes to attending the rod with a line in the water and then reeling lines in, especially if a fish is hooked, that must be all them.

To specifically answer your question about a second rod validation, you should not be cited for fishing with two rods as long as your daughters are doing their own fishing as described above. One of the biggest problems in this scenario is if one of your daughters must leave to use the restroom or they get tired of fishing and want to go do something else. At that point they must reel their lines in and stop fishing. You cannot hold onto their rods and continue to fish for them if they step away.

One last FYI — juveniles who are 15 years old or younger are allowed to fish with two rods each in most inland waters, but that is of course after they have mastered the use of one rod.


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