Giving Kids A Positive Start

E-Sox consultant Steve Rowley strongly believes that we need to spend more time introducing kids to our beloved sport.


“Because there are so many other things that kids can do with their time these days, if we leave them to just stumble across angling, we are in trouble,” says Steve. “How many times have you talked to people at work about fishing, and they come out with the same old story about how they went once with their Dad when they were little, got cold, caught nothing, and never went again? It is a common story amongst non-anglers, yet many of those that go fishing and have early success, are hooked for life.”

To prove a point, Steve took three youngsters pike fishing on his favourite lake, all three caught some fish and guess what? All three are desperate to go pike fishing again!

e-sox-zagtailSteve’s son Luke has been fishing with his Dad a few times, but only now, at the age of 9 is he really strong enough to have a go for big pike all on his own. Steve and Luke spent a cold morning lure fishing from the boat, and after an hour of inactivity Luke managed to hook into a feisty 13lb 8oz pike which took his E-Sox Zagtail and fought right to the net. As you can see from the photo, Luke was very proud of his first big pike, and was desperate to go again.

Next up for his first ever pike trip was Fergus. Fergus is the son of Steve’s best friend who lives in Cape Town in South Africa, and Mark flew Fergus over especially to do a bit of pike fishing. The pressure was on for Steve and he armed Fergus with a 9ft E-Sox lure rod and E-Sox Zagtail lure, putting him at the front of the boat to ensure he could cast to fish before they were spooked by the approaching boat. On his very first day, Fergus managed to catch a 21lb, 22lb 8oz and two high doubles. To say he was happy was an understatement, though I must say he was a little spoilt, as he may never have another day like it. Fergus is already pestering his dad to bring him over again next winter.


Finally, Steve had promised to take his Boss Simon’s son Kian for a late winter session, and the pressure really was on here because the weather had been awful, and the pike had not been playing ball the weekend before. When things get this poor, Steve likes to rely on live baits.

Ten-year-old Kian and his Dad were both feeling the cold during the first two fishless hours. Steve feared the worst as they changed from free roving baits to trolling baits. After half an hour of slowly working their way around the lake, however, Kian shouted, “I think I have one on!” and as Steve turned the engine off, he could see the line kiting across the lake, a sure sign that there was a fish on!

The next minute or two were a mixture of calmness, then complete chaos as the pike realised that it was hooked as it approached the boat, going ballistic close to the net. Bringing about a face of disbelief as Kian battled with something he hadn’t even seen yet, this was obviously a big fish, soon to be confirmed as it slipped over the net cord. “You may have a twenty pounder there,” screeched Steve. The hooks were quickly removed and the fish went into the weigh sling to register a superb 19lb 8oz. What a start for a 10-year-old boy who will never forget his first experience of pike fishing.