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Both my girls age 6 and 12 are very excited to go fishing with me. I usually just fish in a friends kayak or next to a campsite at the lake. I dont have a boat or access to one right now. I'm hoping for some recommendations as to where to take my girls to maximize their chances of catching fish and have a good time. All the ways I know are to just wade a river or walk bank. Anywhere around Springfield, Ozark, Ava would work as i am in those areas every day. Thanks for any suggestions. 

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You gotta scout it. Bluegill are done spawning so that’s probably out. Glue up some Ned rigs and let them drag those around in a clear water creek. 1/2” long worn out Zinker and Senko bits will tear up sunfish on a pond or lake.  Weightless on a small circle hook. Rarely snag on anything. Don’t fish, and let them do something else when the are done.

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Have you considered one of the trout parks? A couple of light weight spin casters and you’re set.

Roaring River shouldn’t be too far away. Plenty of other things to do while you’re there to keep them having fun. Camping, hiking, hatchery, pool (I think it’s open). Stop by Tim’s Fly Shop — he was always good to my babies and will be able to help you be successful. 

My theory is to have them fish only as much as they want to, and not a bit more. 

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Never underestimate worms and a bobber.   Get the 6 year old a character pole (princess, Minnie mouse, snoopy etc) and the 12 year old a zebco 33 combo.  The one with a little tackle included.  Go to any local creek, and bait their hooks the first time explaining that they will do it next time.  Let them wade the shallows and throw some rocks.

  And as was mentioned, when they are done, move on.  That's my hardest lesson,  but I have a 19, 12, and 9 year old.  They each like to fish but not anywhere near as long as I want to.   

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This is also a perfect time to teach them to remove a couple pieces of trash each as you leave.  My kids now act like it's s treasure hunt.  One day it's who has the most weight,  or the next, who has the most pieces.   

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Unfortunately in Springfield the best options for kids have been closed to fishing due to ignorance of the park board. Fellows isn't bad but with the water up it might be hard to find a spot where they can get past the bushes. The rivers offer some good options. The James and Finley have accesses that give you good options. Catch some fish. Chase some frogs and crawdads. That will keep them entertained. Bryant Creek around Ava has some nice options too. Lots of nice accesses on that one. 

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You can also get a bag of cooked/frozen shrimp from walmart and throw a few in a baggie, leave the rest in your freezer for the next trip, and hit a local pond. The cooked ones stay on the hook better and my 8 year old granddaughter has learned to bait her own hook. 

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