Tips for Taking Kids Fishing for the First Time

Taking Kids Fishing at the LakeRecently, on our facebook page we were asked for advice about taking kids fishing for the first time.  So we are sharing our family secrets to keeping fishing trips fun and stress-free. We don’t reveal where we like to fish.  You’ll have to find your own fishing spot.

Tips for Taking Kids Fishing For the First Time

Consider cane pole fishing.  Cane pole fishing is a good option for families who have never been fishing.  It is very simple and you are more likely to catch a fish (although it may be a small fish).  You can buy a pole with fishing line, bobber, etc… already included.

Don’t forget your fishing license.  You can buy one at many sporting goods stores, the sporting goods departments of large discount stores, convenience stores and park offices close to the lake or river.

Arrive early.  We try to get to our favorite fishing spot by 8am. By 11am, it starts getting hot and the fish stop biting.

Keep the first fishing trip short. Keep it short. Keep it sweet. Keep it fun.

Bring snacks and drinks.  You want this to be an enjoyable experience.

Bring lots of hand sanitizer.  We bring wet wipes as well.  Fishing is messy.

Why You Take Kids Fishing

Remember the sunscreen and insect repellent.

Don’t forget your camera.  You’ll want to get a picture of your child with their first fish.

Bring a 5 gallon bucket.  We bring a 5 gallon bucket to hold the fish we catch.  When we catch one, we fill the bucket part way with lake water and place the fish in it.  The kids love looking in the bucket at all our fish.  And before we leave, we carefully drop the fish back into the lake so they can swim back home.  Throwing the fish back is a big event on our fishing trips.

Kids’ Fishing Rodeos are another option. Fishing rodeos are a great place for kids to learn to fish.  Many are held at lakes that have recently been stocked with fish.  Experts are on hand to give advice to the kids (and their parents).

For tips on teaching kids to cast a rod and reel, see my post Bucket Fishing- Teach Your Kids to Fish.

Another fishing resource is  They have a lot of articles, videos and illustrations about fishing.

I hope this advice will come in handy on your next fishing trip with kids.  And keep those questions coming…

I’ll see ya by the campfire.


What tips would you give to someone taking their kids fishing for the first time?

***If you enjoyed this post, consider liking our facebook page (here) – where we have lots of fun and try to answer your outdoor questions as best we can.

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Tiffany loves tent camping and knows how to bait a hook.

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  1. Definitely hand wipes or paper towels. We forgot those and our hands were pretty dirty. I would say it’s also important to know whether or not you need a fishing license where she is going.

    • Good point. The guidelines for fishing license differ by state. You can look up your state guidelines on the web or ask about this where you are planning on purchasing the license. Thanks, Justin.

  2. My kids have been fishing since birth (I fished with them in the Ergo)! They have their own poles (the button reels are easier than the flip type) and I often clip off the barbs on the hooks (just in case!). My youngest son also use lures without hooks, so he can safely practice casting!

  3. When we took our daughter fishing for the first time, my partner caught some excellent fish for eating (normally its catch & release). When she realised that the fish was NOT going back, and was about to meet its maker, she was hysterical. Much to my husbands horror and dismay, the fish was set free, but my daughter to this day remains freaked about fishing!

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