Tips for How to Take a Family Fishing

One of the excuses I’ve read for people not fishing is that it takes away from family time. My solution? Bring ‘em! With some planning and preparations, this activity can be enjoyed by all.

Here are a few tips:

  1. Look for places to go fishing and boating in your state. Take advantage of every opportunity such as “Free fishing days,” fishing derbies, or “mentored youth days”.
  2. Have you asked for permission to fish at a neighbor’s pond? Ponds are a great source of fishing success. Don’t overlook them.
  3. Scout ahead of time. A little recon trip will be very beneficial to a family trip. Be able to drive right to the boat ramp or access area. How brushy is the shore? Are there places to cast? Other hazards to watch out for?
  4. Make sure the weather is nice. Even if the fish are really biting, you will find the family’s patience lacking if it is cold, rainy, and windy.
  5. Empower. Give the kids a duty or assignment. My daughter isn’t always interested in fishing, but if we offer to take the boat and let her run the trolling motor, she has yet to refuse. We love having her along and sharing the experience so much that we overlook the fact that we perhaps don’t get to fish our exact target areas.
  6. While you are renewing your fishing license, pick up a new set of fishing regulations and read them closely for changes and new prospective areas. For example, there may be early trout stockings of special “artificial lure only” streams. Recently, my current state even loaded some select streams with some extra large trout for an even better chance at something trophy sized.
  7. And finally, don’t push too hard. Everyone needs to be on board. (a-hem) If not, wait and try another day.

Andy Whitcomb

Andy Whitcomb

Andy Whitcomb is a columnist, outdoor humorist, and stressed-out Dad. He says there are “people who fish”… and there are “fishermen”.  One of the few things he knows is that he is a “fisherman”...  To the point it could be classified as borderline illness.  Sharing this obsession is rewarding, therapeutic. He likes to encourage people to “stop and smell the crappie."  Enjoys catching fish, but gets a greater thrill out of helping someone else hook up.
Born in Florida, but raised on the banks of Oklahoma farm ponds. Now relocated to western Pennsylvania. He has fished, worked, lived all around the US.  He has a B.S. in Zoology from Oklahoma State as well...
And he met his wife while electrofishing. He has been contributing weekly to since 2011.