Ten Useful Guidelines For Fishing with Children

It’s both thrilling and challenging to take your kids fishing for the first time. You’re well aware of the difficulties that lie ahead, and it gives you chills to consider the prospect of the youngsters out on the water hunting. Taking the kids fishing is a fantastic way to enjoy the outdoors together while creating lasting memories. However, one’s level of readiness is a critical factor in determining one’s level of success. Your kids may be exposed to dangers on the water or grow to dislike the activity altogether if you don’t set them up for success.

We have compiled some helpful hints to make it easier to share your love of fishing with the next generation, and to ensure that your first fishing trip with kids goes off without a hitch.

kids fishing


1. Seek out a good fishing spot

Try to find a place where children are welcome and where there is a good chance of catching something. Choose a small body of water like a pond, river, lake, or reservoir, and work your way up. Seek out waters teeming with fish the size of bluegills and crappies, which children can easily catch on their own. The thrill and awe they feel from this experience will make them eager to go fishing again. If you want to take the kids boat fishing but worry about their safety, try going to one of the many shallow, protected bays.

If the kids don’t reel in a fish for a while, they might get bored and give up. Don’t be afraid to explore new territory; cast your line from the opposite end of the pier or try a new part of the lake. There is also the option of purchasing a castable fish finder that can be thrown into the water. Even if you’re fishing from land, you’ll be able to find out if there are fish in the area.

2. Get going with basic equipment

When children are interested in what they’re learning, they absorb information quickly.  Therefore, a good start is to make sure your kids have equipment that is sized appropriately for them.  It should be small enough for them to handle without strain. You might want to get an 8-10 pound fishing line, a 5-foot rod, some split shots, and a bobber. With the help of a bobber, children can easily tell when they’ve gotten a bite.

Provide them with a basic tackle box to store all of their fishing gear in, and make sure they have plenty of backups of everything in case of damage. Your fishing trip may be cut short if you don’t bring extra hooks and baits in case they get tangled up or lose theirs. In order to pique the interest of your young angler, use live bait.

3. Be sure to pack plenty of food, snacks, and fluids

Hunger impairs children’s ability to focus. Bring along enough of their favorite snacks to keep them going and energized so that they can concentrate on the task at hand. In order to maintain the interest of the younger anglers, it is important to take frequent snack breaks every 30 minutes to an hour. In addition to keeping warm, staying hydrated is crucial when you’re outside. In order to prevent dehydration, it is important to bring enough water and encourage the kids to drink regularly. Juice boxes are a great alternative to water if you need to bring more with you.

4. Limit yourself to the bare minimum

In general, keeping kids busy for too long with the same thing is a surefire way to drive them crazy. Your kids will be more engaged if the trip lasts longer than a couple of hours, so plan accordingly. You can keep their attention spans intact until the end of the trip by letting them know when they can expect to return. You should fish for no more than two hours at a time, but you can increase that as your children’s interests and abilities grow. If you can, try to schedule your trip for the early morning or late evening when the sun isn’t as intense.  During this time, you can catch the most fish.

5. Relax and enjoy yourself

While adults may take fishing seriously, children require a more casual approach. Recognize even the smallest achievements and put all your energy into providing a memorable experience for your kids. Be patient and optimistic no matter what happens. If you see that your kids are getting bored, suggest that they go exploring along the shoreline, play with some jump rope, or go on a cricket hunt.

6. Show them how to fish properly

Teach your kids how to fish properly from the start, and they’ll remember it forever. Get the word out that anglers who care about the environment will follow the rules and take precautions to protect it. Consult a local fishing guide who can fill them in on the various fish species that can be caught in the area. Make sure you have the appropriate fishing license and familiarize yourself with the current fishing laws. Also, make sure they know how to stay safe on the water.

7. Prepare back-up plans in case fishing doesn’t pan out

Even if you’ve picked the best spot for catching fish, there will be days when you don’t get any bites. Young children may become agitated if you do not have a backup plan. A net is easily transportable, so you can take the kids fishing for minnows in shallow water. Kids may wish to play a variety of games on the beach, such as catching worms, throwing rocks, and more. To that end, bring along some fun distractions like a jump rope.

8. Be careful

Make sure your children are safe as you assist them in catching fish and enjoying themselves. Prepare them for the elements by having them wear appropriate clothing, carrying hats and sunscreen to shield them from the sun’s rays, and packing bug spray. Even when just playing on the sand, your children should be dressed safely, with reflective jackets and other safety gear. Consider bringing an extra set of dry clothes just in case yours get soaked. Preparing for minor injuries by packing first aid kits. To reduce the risk of injury, however, you may want to invest in barbless hooks.

9. As the trip comes to a close, let it be memorable

Finish on a high note if you want your kids to remember and enjoy their fishing trip and be eager to go again next time. You can break up the drive with a short reward, like an ice cream cone from the drive-thru or a visit to the park. Whether or not they succeed in catching a fish, the kids will still feel like they’ve accomplished something that day.  Take the excitement of fishing and play and learn about it at home with you.  Some examples include taking a trip to the aquarium, playing the game “Go Fish,” or learning how to tie a knot.

10. Don’t stop now

When you end the trip on a high note, kids will always look forward to more trips. Keep going for fishing expeditions, but make it more interesting by trying a different type of bait or a new fishing spot. As your kids grow and gain more experience, teach them new techniques as you prepare them to be independent.


All in all, if you take the time and effort to properly plan your fishing trip with your children, you will have an experience that is not only fun for everyone, but that will build memories, strengthen bonds, and create a lifetime of fishing successes.


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