5 Tips to Plan a Fishing Trip with your Kids

By Slaton White

Jul 03, 2019

Fishing is an activity the entire family can enjoy. As a parent, you get to see the unbridled delight of a son or daughter catching their first fish.

Fishing is an activity the entire family can enjoy. As a parent, you get to see the unbridled delight of a son or daughter catching their first fish. For the child, they get to enjoy a pleasant day on the water, learning a skill that can give them a lifetime of enjoyment.

Watch this video about this mom's story and how fishing has become an important part in her life and in the life of her children.

1. Get Fishing Tackle

The best approach is to keep the gear simple. A good starter set for younger children is an inexpensive rod-and-reel combination that features a closed-face reel (also known as a spin-cast reel). By design, it will limit line tangles. Older children, capable of casting farther, can use the popular spinning rod and reel. Adults also will prefer spinning tackle. The folks at your local bait and tackle shop can help you match the rod to the reel and select appropriate fishing line as well as terminal tackle (hooks, sinkers, bobbers, etc.)

2. Choose the Right Bait

The tackle boxes of experienced anglers are filled with artificial lures, such as spinners, jigs, and spoons, but beginners and kids should go with live bait, preferably earthworms (which also will be available at that local bait and tackle shop). Worms are easy to put on a hook, and they don’t require any sophisticated action or technique to entice a bite from a fish. Simply pull the hook through the middle of the worm, leaving both ends free. Attach a bobber to the line and then clamp on some weight (“split shot”) a few inches below the bobber. The weight of the split shot gets the bait down to the fish. You’re all set.

3. Find Places to Fish

Small ponds and lakes that hold panfish such as crappies, catfish, bluegills, and other sunfish are ideal spots to fish because your young charges won’t have to deal with the current of a river. Have everyone cast their lines into the water and then sit back and wait for those bobbers to dip under, signaling a fish is on the line. In most cases, the fish hook themselves, so all you have to do is tell your kid to reel in. Unhook the fish, re-bait, and have them cast again. For more information, tips, and tricks, head to takemefishing.org.

4. Keep Safety First

In many cases you can do all this from shore. But if you do fish from a boat (or if the family is fishing on a dock over deeper water), make sure everyone is wearing a PFD (Personal Flotation Device).

5. Enjoy Every Minute

Don’t forget to take lots of pictures of their first fish. You’ll enjoy the memory in the years to come, and your kids will enjoy those images as well. Get Your Fish On at TakeMeFishing.org

Slaton White
Slaton White
Slaton White is a contributing editor at Field & Stream. He joined Field & Stream in 1981 and has fished throughout North America, as well as in New Zealand and South America.