9 Tips For Fishing With Kids

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Hey there my fellow anglers and welcome to my post where we will check out my 9 tips for fishing with kids this year.  For many families, a fishing trip is a fantastic past time and one that many enjoy.  However as with anything to do with the little ones, things can go wrong very quickly.

And as someone who has certainly spent his fair share of time clearing snags, baiting hooks and helping to cast, there are certainly a few things I have learned along the way that can make things just that little bit easier.  Let’s check out my 10 tips below.

Tips for fishing with kids

Ok, so in an effort to ensure you and your family have the best time out on the water, let’s check out my 9 tips below:

1. Plan your fishing trip

For me, this is a very crucial step. Planning your fishing trip means you are able to ensure not only that the fishing grounds are suitable for the little ones, but there are actually some fish there as well.  Also, this step increases the excitement of your children, which is essential for them to appreciate fishing at a young age.

As you plan your fishing trip, you should factor in the weather for your target day, as well as the fishing season to determine what kind of fish you expect to land.  Oh, and for your own sanity, if you follow no other tips here, follow this one – choose a fishing ground with no snags if you can!

2. Make sure you have all your gear

In my experience, fishing is something that can throw all sorts of unexpected surprises at you at any given time.  And whilst this tip is just as important for adults, it is even more critical when fishing with kids to ensure that they can keep going quickly and easily – or before they get bored – haha.

By preparing a fishing checklist, you can make sure you have everything you need at any given time.  This includes: 

  1. Fishing rod and reel combos
  2. Tackle box
  3. Bait
  4. Life jacket (if on a pier or boat)
  5. Lunch
  6. Snacks
  7. First aid kits
  8. Hat
  9. Sunscreen
  10. Sunglasses
  11. Insect repellent
  12. Suitable footwear

In my experience, involving the kids in your planning is an excellent idea since they have a sense of ownership of the activity. Let them suggest the snacks to bring or even the color of their shirts.

Check out these: Rod and Reel Combos for Kids

Fishing with kids - girls on a jetty

3. Chase fish that they can catch

For this next tip, it is time to leave the old ego at home and remember that part of the fun for kids is to simply catch fish.  So to get started try and take them where you know there is something to catch – even if they are undersize.  Obviously if they can catch a ‘keeper’ then it makes things all the more enjoyable for them however if they have to wait all day for it then there really is no point.

4. Use some kid friendly bait

And whilst we are talking about chasing the right target, this is also not the time to try out that new bait or lure that a friend of a friend has used and caught a bucket full.  From my point of view, live bait such as worms or squid is a good option as it falls neatly into that sweet spot between:

  1. A bait that will attract the largest variation of species.
  2. A bait that till not fall off the hook too quickly or on the first bite – especially as most little ones will wind the reel in like their life depends on it at any sign of a bite.

That being said, one of my major rules of thumb is to use a bait type that is found naturally in your local waters so if you want a little extra fun, you can try and catch some live bait with them first – speaking from experience, kids love doing this!

Fishing with kids - kids fishing at beach

5. Ensure their safety

When we are out there in our favorite fishing spot, one consideration not to forget is safety. And of course when it comes to kids and water, fishing has its own risks meaning you must bring with you items designed for their protection.   We have listed many of these items above in our fishing checklist however for safety, make sure you include:

  • Life jackets – a must (and a legal requirement in many areas) if you plan to bring them in open waters.
  • Protective eyewear – such as polarized sunglasses  for decreasing eye strain, detecting fish, and protecting against branches etc.
  • Sunscreen and a hat – well for obvious reasons
  • Water – as you know – it can get hot out there
  • Warm clothing – if you are fishing in winter
  • Towel – because you they are going to “accidentally” fall into the water
  • Food – if your kids are anything like mine, if they get bored, they get hungry

6. Choose nearby fishing locations

Again, this is probably a follow on from our planning above but the closer to home you can go to fish, the better – trust me!  To help you out here, try checking out a fishing app etc. to give you the information you may need.

Some include a “Featured Sites” map filter for staff suggestions with improved access to water and other popular features such as state parks  and facilities such as picnic tables, barbecues and restrooms.

7. Provide some breaks

With all due respect to the little ones, we all know that kids have a relatively short attention span and fishing for hours may not be as enticing to them as it is for us. So the best way to deal with this issue is to provide some in-between breaks.

Do not keep youngsters glued to their fishing poles if the fish are not biting  and allow time for rock climbing and swimming etc. – whatever makes them happy and helps them to enjoy nature.   Don’t be surprised if catching fish isn’t their top focus and keep in mind that as your child’s attention span expands, so will your fishing trips.

8. Remember to show them

In my opinion, this is one of the biggest mistakes that many of us make when we take the little ones fishing – assuming they know what to do.  This could also be a good reason why they lose interest quickly.  Take the time to show then how to cast, bait their hook or remove it from a fish etc.  

Children above the age of 12 should have large enough hands to release fish on their own, but encourage careful release by immersing the fish. Children may fear the first time they handle a fish – especially as there are spikes etc. so make sure your bigger adult hands are cupping the children to prevent the fish from moving around too much.

Fishing with kids - by tying a knot

9. Don’t forget to have fun

Some of us tend to take our fishing very seriously however remember that your children should also have a fun as well. Don’t take it too seriously and make light of it if they make a mistake or get a snag.  If they enjoy their day, they will want to come back!


And there they are, my  nine tips for fishing with kids. I would be pleased to know how this article helped you, and as usual,  let me know of your experiences here.

Also, please do not hesitate to comment below if you have any questions, concerns, corrections, or would like me to check anything else out for you.

Until next time.

Have fun


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Hi, I'm Paul

I am a passionate fishing, camping and four wheeled driving hobbyist who researches, tests and educates around issues and equipment relevant to them.

I am by no means a professional however my passion is to assist you in making informed decisions about buying and using awesome gear that will give you the best chance of success at whatever you are doing for the best price.

Please get in touch if you have any questions.