11 Things You Must Have to Take a Kid Fishing

By Debbie Hanson

Apr 15, 2016

Some of the tangible and intangible things that are important when taking a kid fishing.

If you want to take a kid fishing and share all of the excitement that a day on the water can bring, there are a few things you'll need for a safe and productive trip. There are the tangible basics, such as life jackets and sunscreen, but there are also a few intangibles that can make a world of difference when it comes to a great family fishing experience.

  1. Life jacket. Make sure you bring along a youth life jacket or PFD that is U.S. Coast Guard Approved and properly fits your young angling companion.
  2. Youth Kids fishing rod and reel. Smaller hands are better suited to smaller rod and reel setups. A kids fishing rod and reel that fits a smaller grip will make it easier and less cumbersome for young anglers to successfully land a fish.
  3. Bobbers. When taking a kid fishing, keep in mind that it may take a while for the child to get accustomed to "feeling" the bite. The use of a bobber will help them detect a bite and learn when it's time to reel.
  4. Live bait. Always have live baits handy when taking a kid fishing to keep the action consistent. Focus on helping them get a number of bites from smaller fish using live baits instead of using artificial baits with the hopes of a trophy. Keeping them engaged with plenty of action should be the family fishing goal.
  5. Fishing license. Make sure you have a current fishing license before you take a kid fishing. You will be setting an example for young anglers, so explain to them why fishing licenses are important, and check the license age requirements in your state.
  6. Fishing regulations. Remember to check the fishing rules and regulations for your state before your family fishing trip. If you are the responsible adult, you need to know the fishing regulations for the state and waterway where you plan to fish.
  7. Patience. As kids are learning how to fish, have patience and be as encouraging as possible. Remind them that mistakes are part of the learning process.
  8. Conservation mindset. There is no better time to instill conservation-related angling values than when a child first starts learning how to fish. Tell them why it's important to handle fish carefully with bare hands instead of using a towel, educate them on the use of circle hooks, discuss proper release methods, and set a good example when it comes to caring for the environment.
  9. Water and snacks. Keep kids well-hydrated and have plenty of snacks on hand to help prevent a case of the crabbies.
  10. Sun Protection. Always make sure kids have plenty of broad spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen on. The sun's rays are magnified when on the water, so reapply often to keep them protected. Bring along an extra hat and youth sunglasses as well.
  11. Nature knowledge. Be prepared with several interesting facts about the area where you plan to fish or about the wildlife. If the bite slows down, you can teach kids about some of the wildlife that is native to the area.

Now that you know about some the tangible and intangible things that are important when taking a kid fishing, all you have to do is find a good place to fish and boat in your area.

Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, women’s sport fishing advocate, IGFA world record holder, and freshwater guide living in Southwest Florida. Hanson’s written work has appeared in publications such as Florida Game & Fish Magazine, BoatUS Magazine, and USA Today Hunt & Fish. To learn more about her work, visit shefishes2.com or follow her on Instagram @shefishes2.