When my son was growing up, one of his favorite things to do was to anchor up and catch sharks. We had a couple of spots we could go and set out a couple of rods and he could catch a variety of species until his arms were about to fall off. Not only was this great fun for him, but it also helped him learn how to fight a larger fish so when we made our first trip offshore he already had some understanding of what he needed to do.
Kids are prone to picking up a rod with a fish and reeling, reeling and reeling. It is a natural reaction when they are fighting a fish to reel as hard as they can and the harder the fish pulls the harder they reel. Fishing for sharks not only allowed us to hook and fight several larger fish in a short amount of time, but with so many opportunities in one trip it allowed a lot of time for me to spend coaching him on how to work the rod and to stop reeling when they fish is making a run and how to use the rod to help you gain line back after the fish made a run.
The summer is a great time of year to target smaller sharks in the 10-20 pound range. On 20# tackle you can really help a young angler to learn some of the finer points of fighting fish and at the same time they really do have a good time catching a shark that they can tell all of their friends about.