Here are our tips on fishing for kids – everything from what you need to pack to how to teach kids fishing! Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll be all set for a fun day out on the river!
Teaching your kids to fish can be a special time together when you can bond and have fun, away from the stress and hurry of everyday life. In our modern age, taking some time away from screens to share your hobby with your kids is a great way to connect and build deep, lasting relationships.
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Fishing for Kids: The Basics
What is a good age to take a child fishing?
Your child is never too old to get involved in fishing in the great outdoors! Just remember that little kids will have a shorter attention span, and you’ll have to keep a constant close eye on young kids and toddlers near water. Keep any fishing trips with little kiddos short and sweet.
A great age to start taking your children fishing is around six years old. Most 6-year-olds will have more patience and be able to understand simple instructions, and even handle their own fishing rod.
Do kids need a fishing license?
Whether kids need a license to fish will depend on where you live. Generally in most states, minors under the age of 16 can fish without a license. However, make sure to check the fishing regulations for your state, as this can vary.
In some places, kids as young as 12 or 13 need a license, so it’s always better to be safe and check the regulations first before heading out. And of course, don’t forget to grab your own license, too!
What do I need to go fishing for the first time?
Some careful thought and planning always pay off when you go fishing, especially if you want your kids to feel relaxed and confident when fishing. Here’s the equipment you’ll need for your fishing trip:
- Bug spray
- Small first aid kit
- Sunhat and sunglasses
- Clothes appropriate for the weather so you can be comfortable
- Lots of snacks
- Drinking water
- Your fishing gear – rod, reel, line, flies, etc
- Your fishing license
- Waterproof bag for your phone/valuables
You can check out our recommended best kids fishing pole here
As with anything where kids are involved, being well prepared will make the day go smoothly. Kit your kids out in dark-colored, long-sleeved T-shirts so they blend in and are protected from bugs and sunburn.
Take some extra layers and waterproofs and even a spare change of clothes. But most of all, take a confident and positive attitude, and you’ll all have loads of fun!
If you need some help choosing the best kids fishing pole, check out our guide to the best fishing rods for kids here.
Where should you go fishing?
It’s easy to find fishing spots for kids fishing: Just type in ‘fishing with kids near me’ or even ‘fishing farm near me’ into Google, and loads of results will pop up. You don’t have to travel far – you’ll find plenty of opportunities nearby.
Check out your local spots like a nearby lake, pond, or stream. We recommend looking up the location first to see if the fishing is reliable and not too tricky. You should also find out if there is easy access and whether it’s a safe destination for kids fishing.
Some of the best fish for beginners and children are perch, bluegills, trout, and bass. Don’t be too ambitious. Your kids will never forget the first fish they catch, no matter what size it is!
If you want to take things to the next level, why not plan a fun road trip with your kids to a new fishing spot? Make it a fun adventure with a soundtrack and lots of snacks for the road. Your kids will fall in love with fishing even more!
Teaching Kids How to Fish
Now let’s get onto how to teach your kids to fish. Because even if you know the ropes, showing someone else how to do it is another matter.
The most important element when you show your kids how to fish is to make it enjoyable. You want your kids to get outdoors into nature and enjoy fishing, rather than feel stressed because they can’t quite master a technique. Keep things light!
Before You Head Out
We recommend showing your kids some videos of fishing online and talking through the basics before you hit the water. Explain the common vocabulary they will come across, and be prepared to answer lots of questions.
You can even practice casting at home in your garden or in a grassy field! This way, your child can get a general idea of how fishing works before you get outdoors and onto the river.
On the Water
Now it’s time to head out to some local fishing spots and get started with this fun sport! Kit your kids out with some high-quality, lightweight tackle that they can handle on their own. The best technique for kids to try is bottom fishing with a strike indicator. This way, they’ll be able to spot any strikes immediately.
Use live bait at first. You don’t need to show your kids complicated dry fly presentations – stick with mealworms, crickets, or red worms at first. Kids learn by doing, so show them how to thread their own bait safely onto their hook.
The next step is to demonstrate the proper way to hold their rod, and a simple sidearm cast. Talk them through what they should do when they catch a fish and how to release it gently, and you’re all set! Have fun fishing with your family!
You can also find out online if there are any local kids fishing programs near you. Signing your children up to a fishing club can be a fantastic way to foster their interest in fishing, while they hang out with other kids at the same time.
The Wrap Up
Fishing with kids is great fun and really special experience that you’ll treasure for years to come. By making their first fishing trips short, relaxed, and lighthearted, you’ll enjoy your time together. And they might even get bitten by the fishing bug!
If you found these tips helpful, make sure to share it on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram! Check out our other articles on fishing techniques, gear reviews, and more on the blog.