Taking a Child Fishing (Tips and Guide)

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Taking your child fishing is an unforgettable experience! There’s no better feeling than watching your kid reeling in the first fish.

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It is also a great way to take them outdoors and teach life lessons while making good memories and developing a better relationship with them.

Keep reading to learn some tips and guides to help young anglers have their most exciting, easy, and safe fishing trip!

Here are a few fishing gears best for kids:

child fishing
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Practice Casting

To get young children excited for their first fishing trip, one thing to do is to brief them on all the basics while at home. Start with teaching them how to cast even without fish hooks. 

It will surely help in their coordination and timing without feeling stressed. After that, you can try setting targets for them while casting their reel with their strength.

Plan Ahead in Case Your Child Doesn’t Catch Their Fish

Kids will expect to catch fish the first time they are on the water. It’s because they might not understand the difficulties involved in fishing. 

Always think of a backup plan if anything goes wrong. Try to bring along some fish bait and nets to catch some minnows, and you might also spot some tadpoles for them to keep.  

Make Use of Simple Gears

One of the ways for younger children to stay involved during their fishing activity is by giving them easy-to-use gear. You can make them use fish bobbers, an 8 to 10-pound line, split shots, and five ft. rods. 

Ensure that all gears are convenient for them, as they have small hands to make their casts and feel a bite easily. Bobbers can always come in handy to make the fishing process less difficult for young anglers. 

Here is the list of equipment you should include in the tackle box for kids and adults:

  • Child reel
  • Life jacket
  • Shorter rods
  • Rod
  • Live bait
  • Lures

Always Bring Live Bait and Lures

This is not something that first comes into mind, and it might look unpleasant for your child. However, remember this is one of the most efficient methods to land on the best and biggest fish. 

Try teaching them to fish with it. Your kids might even enjoy it when fish are coming their way. 

Fish in Smaller Ponds and River

Catching large fish species might be great for their first-time fishing. However, it’s better to choose smaller ponds and rivers where they can easily wander around to catch some fish, such as bluegill, trout, and crappie. 

This will make it more convenient for them, feel a sense of achievement, and think of fishing as a very exciting activity. Let them use smaller hooks to focus on catching smaller-sized fish. 

Choose a Good Location

It’s best to choose a location not far away from home. Search for open areas that have spaces for your kids. You can look for places on the map or the internet to check for the best fishing spots nearby. 

To ensure a great day, you can also consider state parks, as they usually provide amenities such as public bathrooms, nearby restaurants, picnic tables, and more.

Begin Fishing for a Limited Time

You should let them fish for a limited time only to preserve the excitement, or it may bore them if you let them out fishing for a longer period. Keep in mind that a child’s attention span is very short. 

So, if you want them to have fun every time you go fishing, only give them a specified amount of time and let them know there will always be a next time.

Make the Most of Their Fishing Experience

Parents should make sure that their child has the most fun experience outdoors. It’s the day you can do your hobby while spending it with your family.

Take all your attention to your child and toddlers this time by helping them participate and achieve their goals in the activity. 

Let them enjoy every moment and relax now and then. Don’t forget to praise them every time they catch one. Bring plenty of snacks to eat and play games too!


Since you are fishing with young children, making mistakes is unavoidable. There will be lots of tangling, snagging, and failure along the way, which is okay because they are all part of the learning process. 

Don’t run out of patience. Watch, cheer them up when things get tough, and let them know it’s okay to make mistakes. 

Brief Them with the Basics of Rules

All activities have rules to follow. Going fishing is a great time to educate them about the environment and conservation. Enlighten them that all ethical anglers, even young ones, have laws to abide by. 

The first is to get their ID guides to teach them about the fish species they can catch. The second is to let them know about the fishing regulations in wildlife and nature.

When planning to teach your children about reeling and casting, you should assist them in getting a fishing license.

Safety First

Safety is a top priority when on a fishing trip. This fun fish activity can all be ruined when somebody gets injured. Use barbless hooks or needle-nose pliers to keep the barbs in a safe position.

Show your kids how to properly bait a hook and remind them to be careful while on the boat. 

Life jackets while riding a boat may also be needed, even if you are just fishing in small ponds, as these are needed in actual fishing activities.

Bring protective sunglasses to protect their eyes even when fishing in direct sunlight. Never forget to bring sunscreens and first aid kits, too.

Teaching Your Kid to Fish is Worthwhile

This article has listed many things parents should consider before planning a fishing trip with their children. It also focused on how to put safety first at all times.

Many pieces of equipment and gear are available on the market to ensure their protection and comfort.  

It’s worth noting that fishing licenses, even for children, are important. If you follow all the tips and guides here, you are close to having the best fishing moments with the whole family.

Diana Nadim
Fishing Expert
Diana began fishing at the age of seven, as it has been a long-time family tradition. From catching small bullheads to catching strippers on the backwaters of Bighorn, she loves to get out in the wild and have a marvelous day on the water. Her dad was an expert angler, and he taught her fishing along with her two siblings. They used to go to the Bighorn River in Montana and Henry’s fork, Idaho. As a pragmatic person, she is obsessed with creating well-researched and practical guides and reviews of the best fishing methods and gear.
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