1) Can I hand my pole to my son to allow him to fight the fish (or do I need a 2-pole permit - see #3)?
2) Can I cast out the line for my son and then let him hold the pole?
3) If I purchase a 2-pole permit, then this would allow me to cast out another pole and then let my son hold it?
Just trying to get some clarity on what is allowed with helping my son fish.
I understand that my son can purchase his own salmon tag. If not, any fish he wishes to harvest would go on my tag.
1) If you are fishing with your son and hook a fish that you want him to land, you will be legal if you have him reel in his line prior to you handing him your pole.
2) Yes, you can cast out a line for your son and let him hold the pole. He must be able to retrieve the line, himself. You would need a 2-pole permit if he is incapable of casting or retrieving, himself because you would essentially be fishing for him.
3) Fishing is defined in rule as: Any effort made to take, kill, injure, capture, or catch any fish, crayfish, or bullfrog. Your son must be capable of taking actions to meet this definition in order to fish on his own.
You are correct in that your son can purchase a salmon permit even though he doesn't need a license. This way, he can have his own bag limit of salmon. If you choose not to purchase a permit for your son, then the fish he catches and keeps go on your permit.
Let's be realistic, our agency is about promoting the sport of fishing. A father teaching their son or daughter how to cast and fish is sacred - but a "gray" area in the legal definitions section. However, I know of no IDFG employee who would cite someone for "fishing with two poles" when they are teaching their kids to fish - unless the officer could prove there was a blatant attempt by an adult to circumvent the two-pole permit rule.