How to Maximize Family Fishing Time

“Lack of time” is a major reason families do not go fishing or boating together. Although there are only so many hours in a day, it may be possible to “find” some free fishing time for these stress-relieving, fun, family activities.

Here are a few ways to make family fishing time

  1. Stay Organized. Utilize “down-time” (any time not fishing or boating) and make sure all of the fishing lures are sorted (by size, type, or target species) and tackle (long-nosed pliers, extra hooks, etc.) is where you can find it. I try to keep tackle boxes that needs attention in the truck so I can organize during the kids’ baseball practices.

  2. Pre-rig. The night before a family fishing trip, rig several rods with cast-ready options. For example, have a couple of rods ready for an early morning topwater bite, a couple with midwater lures like spinnerbaits, or rigged with soft-plastics for a deeper bite or weedy conditions, and of course a couple of kid friendly bobber and hook setups ready for bait.

  3. Fuel. Make sure you don’t need to stop on the way to or from the lake to fill up the truck. And have some fisherman fuel ready too. Pack PB&J sandwiches, bottles of water, and snacks to enjoy enroute or on the boat to maximize time efficiency.

  4. Get Stuff Done. If you and your family want a free fishing day, make sure the kids have their chores (or soon, homework) completed, the lawn is mowed, and that you’ve crossed off all the tasks on your “honey do” list.


An efficient use of down-time can help you get on and stay on the water. How many times has that “one more cast” made the difference for a successful fishing trip? Make sure your fishing license is up-to-date so that process doesn’t cut into family fishing time. What other ways do you free up some fishing and boating time?

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.