How to have a great camping and fishing trip with young kids at Silent Lake Provincial Park…and stay (mostly) sane


Step 4

Be prepared

Maya and Sam in canoe

Make sure you have the right kind of gear and tackle for the species of fish found in Silent Lake—lake trout, small and largemouth bass, yellow perch and sunfish. I find that ice fishing rods and reels are ideal for kids. They might not have the same visual appeal as a Snoopy or Barbie set-up but they’re better in the long run, because kids learn proper techniques right from the start. To keep the kids interested, I think it’s better to try for numbers of fish rather than trophies so I rigged up their rods with small jigs and soft-plastics for perch and wacky-rigged senkos for bass. We didn’t have much success with either, to tell the truth, but that was more to do with the cool, low-pressure front that socked in while we were there more than the lake’s potential. Note: if you’re fishing from a canoe with a young and restless little one, like my three-year-old boy Sam, you might consider snipping the tip off his hook for safety’s sake. This was Sam’s first canoe-fishing excursion and while he did sit down for the most part, he would occasionally swing his line around like a lasso, causing his sister and I to take cover. He really just wanted to hold the rod and plop the jig up and down in the water anyway. There’ll be more times to actually catch fish down the line.