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I am in the military and live in Aurora. My son turns 4 yrs old this month.
Yesterday (1Apr), I took my son fishing out at aurora res. and he appeared to have a great time. We had several bites and his first USA hooked fish was a 15inch Trout. Today, he told me that he wants to go fishing again.

I am wondering if I should consider getting a small boat that we can troll around the lake in. He now has a year of swimming lessons under his belt. Up to moving to Colorado, he normally spent many weekends at the beaches of Amalfi, Crete, and the like. We are all pretty confortable on/in the water.

If I get a small boat, should I consdier a hard structure or one that is air filled so we can collapse it when we are not using it. We have a small house and don't really have any storage space for a boat.

We don't know how to fly fish but I would like to take him to a river sometime. Are there any good rivers to fish? If so, what kind of gear should we have.

Any suggestions are welcome.
 

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If you like to fish and will get your use out of it I'd say get a small boat and a trolling motor and have at it. Will open up alot more fishing opportunities and it will be a great experience for your son-just being out on the water. Forget an air filled boat-get a "hard structure" one-way more confortable and way better resale when you trade up. Which you probably will. ;D
 

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I agree with kirbydog on the boat. If you are planning to primarily fish Aurora, a 14' aluminum
with an electric motor would do the job. If you have access to a military base storage lot, you could store it there and remove the battery and motor to stow at your place.
 

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By far, get a small hard-structured boat. You have a lot more opportunity getting to where the "big ones" are at, when on a boat.
Personally, I'm very glad your son likes fishing. It's great to see young kids get into things like fishing. A number of years ago, I use to teach kids (and some adults) how to rope for Team Roping in rodeo. It really gave me a great feeling to see the kids rope a dummy steer head, fast and accurate. In fact, some of the young kids done better than the adults.
"Take a kid fishing today and watch his face when he hooks into a big one"
Cody (cowboyfisherman)
 

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I wouldnt recommend a boat, yet. Here is the reason. You have a small child, and he needs to dictate how you fish. Childern have frequent pottie breaks, they need to get up and move alot, they mostly just like catching and reeling in fish. I would wait tell your son is a little older, unless you want to just get out and use it with you and your buddies. THen I would say go for it. For the smaller childern to make it more enjoyable keep to shore fishing.
 

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My 4 YO loves boat fishing. I would agree that you get an aluminum boat. A 4 YO is not going to sit still and walking in an inflatable would be interesting. You just have to allow that most trips are short and you may be pulling up onto the beach for playing in the sand and such at intervals. Go for the perch at Aurora and Quincy to keep them interested and not fearing for their life at the bigger lakes when the jetskis and skiers approach.
 

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I agree with Williep99,
Kids love boats, I did, my kids did, and still do. Like willie said pull up on a beach everynow and then, expore... lots of fun stuff.
 
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TAL0362 said:
I agree with Williep99,
Kids love boats, I did, my kids did, and still do.  Like willie said pull up on a beach everynow and then, expore... lots of fun stuff.
I agree, too. Get the boat. My 19 yr old daughter still talks about how much fun it was growing up in, on, and around our different boats!
 

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I have to agree with ePic, but also have to agree with you other guys.
A boat "might be" just the thing, but if you are not getting any bites or catching anything for a period of time, a 4 YO might get pretty antsy.
I guess that are "pros and cons" to getting a boat when you have a small child.
Cody
 

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When I was in the military in the 90's we could sign out campers and aluminum boats for a small fee on base. Have you checked into it?
 
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cowboyfisherman said:
A boat "might be" just the thing, but if you are not getting any bites or catching anything for a period of time, a 4 YO might get pretty antsy.
Naw,

A 4 year old will make friends with the night crawlers and get them out to crawl on the boat seat, net every minnow in the bucket, take your Sassy Shads out and play like they're little fishies, ask you every question a 4 year old can dream up and....
well, you get the picture.

Just go somewhere that he can catch perch, or bluegill, or crappie or stocker trout.

He'll be fine in the boat. Just don't expect him to have the attention span of an adult.
 

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Small boats are great and you can usally find them reasonably priced. i just picked up a 14' v hull with 15hp and trolling motor, fish finder and tilt trailer for $1000. If I decided to go bigger I can easly get that for it. Just shop around you can find some good deals out their craigslist web sites is a good place to start. My boys and daughter love it.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Ivandog said:
When I was in the military in the 90's we could sign out campers and aluminum boats for a small fee on base. Have you checked into it?
yes, we can still rent out items like boats, campers, tents, etc.  The downside is you are at the mercy of the facility.  If I can find a nice little boat to start with, I can go just about any time I want.

About wee-wee breaks....plastic water bottles do wonders for toilets when kids just gotta go.  It is a bit harder with a girl.  My daughter just turned 1 so it will be a while until she tries fishing on her own.
We just came back from living in Italy and spent a lot of time around/on the water.  If my son was apprehensive about being on the water or was not patient, I probably would not consider a boat right now.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Don In Denver said:
He'll be fine in the boat.  Just don't expect him to have the attention span of an adult.
You have not met my son! He has a pretty good attention span "when he wants to". He was more patient than I was to get a fish on the line!
Then again...I guess it depends on the individual, ehh? ;)
 
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