Capt. Sergio’s Corner  By: Capt. Sergio Atanes

Summertime Blues and Kids

Handling summertime blues can be fun, if done right. Time spent now while they are young could prove to be one of the best things we can do for our kids.

Fishing is a sport for families to spend some quality time together.  Not all kids are created equal when it comes to sports, but fishing is different and any youngster can learn the basics and catch fish. In fact, fishing is 20% knowledge and 80% luck.

Let’s start with the basic tackle. A saltwater rod and reel combo can be purchased for under $45.00 at most tackle stores.  Add a small tackle box, some hooks, sinkers, lures and swivels, all of which can be purchased for under $50.00.

The next question is where do we go from here? The Tampa Bay area has plenty of fishing piers both inside Tampa Bay and on the Gulf of Mexico. We are also blessed with miles of shoreline.

Pier fishing could be your best source of information on what is biting and how to rig them.  Look for the anglers with wagons or small shopping carts converted to carry rods and tackle. These guys are what I call pier pros, and they know their stuff.  Fishermen are good-natured and most are always willing to extend a helping hand to get someone else started.

Another source for action is along the miles of shoreline and beaches.  Wade fishing can be both fun and refreshing during the summer months. Add a picnic lunch, and you are ready for action.

Shore bound anglers can catch as many, if not more, as pier fishermen. The Tampa Bay area has miles of shoreline to walk and try your luck; some examples are Courtney Campbell Parkway, Cypress Creek Park, the South end of Picnic Island and the East side of Gandy Bridge around the radio towers. Weedon Island has a productive fishing pier, kayak ramps and a museum with a lot of history about the island.

A family that fishes together stays together.  I am always willing to help kids learn more about fishing, so do not hesitate to call me with any questions you may have.