Family Guide For Fun Fishing Trips With Kids

How to keep it fun and develop a love for the outdoors.

Girl fishing from a boat
On a fishing trip in Washington State.

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Are you planning a fishing trip with your little ones? Awesome! We’re passionate about fostering a love for outdoor activities in kids at a young age- especially fishing. 

Our oldest son recently caught a fish in our neighbor’s pond, and the look on his face was priceless! However, there have been many fishing trips where he didn’t catch anything- and he still had a blast.

So, how do you make sure your kids are enjoying themselves, whether they’re hooking fish or not?

Well, before diving into fishing techniques and locations, it’s really important to make sure that your kids are comfortable, safe, and prepared for the adventure ahead. 

Because these factors while fishing are the first steps to creating a life-long love of the sport. 

In this article, we’ll discuss outfitting your kids for a fishing trip, covering everything from clothing and food to safety equipment and entertainment options. 

Let’s make sure your young anglers have a fantastic time!

catching fish
What a fun catch!

Three important things to consider when it comes to kids: 

Kids get bored easily. We all know kids have short attention spans, especially younger kids.

If your child’s first time fishing is too long or boring, it can leave an impression on them, making them less likely to want to go again. 

Discomfort will make them irritable. Any outdoor activity can get uncomfortable if you’re not prepared, and kids especially don’t do well with this. Being too cold, hungry, or standing or sitting for too long, are going to end up making everyone miserable.

Safety is paramount for any parent. Setting up a safe environment is important for all parents, and ensures everyone can relax and enjoy the experience. 

So, what can you do to outfit your littles for a fishing trip?

Clothing: Comfortable and Weather-Appropriate

comfortable clothing while fishing
Make sure your littles are comfortable!

– Always pack extra clothing, including layers suitable for any weather conditions.

– Choose clothes that can get dirty and handle the outdoor elements. 

-Wear shoes that can handle dirt, rocks, mud, boat floors and grass. These water shoes work great for any terrain.

– Opt for comfortable attire that allows for easy addition or removal of layers.

– Bring a blanket and, if possible, an umbrella or covering for shade or unexpected weather changes.

Food and Hydration: Keep Them Energized and Hydrated

– Pack plenty of food, considering the duration of the fishing trip. 

For shorter trips, we like to bring snack options, like granola bars and pepperoni sticks. 

For longer trips we pack sandwiches. Include protein and carbohydrate-rich snacks, along with vitamin-rich fruits or veggies.

– Carry ample water and drinks with electrolytes for hydration. Parents- bring caffeine! 

– Surprise your little ones with special treats reserved exclusively for fishing trips. For instance, we love to bring hot chocolate along in a big insulated mug on a cold day- our kids love the coziness and treat of hot cocoa.

Safety Equipment: Prioritize Their Well-Being

– Life jackets are essential. Choose one that fits well and allows freedom of movement. If your child feels like they’re in a straight jacket, they aren’t going to enjoy the day. 

We use these life jackets for our kids. Have them try them on beforehand to make sure they fit properly.

using a life jacket
Make sure your life jackets fit properly!

– Bring towels and hot pads in case you end up wet- and cold. 

– Before you go, discuss water safety rules and the importance of staying a safe distance from water bodies. Make sure your kids understand the dangers related to water. 

The American Red Cross has great resources for teaching water safety to your kids.

– Avoid fishing near fast-moving, deep, or slippery bodies of water. Opt for shallow lakes or ponds until children are cautious and capable.

kids fishing near shallow water
Choose safe areas for fishing, with shallow water

Entertainment: Keep Them Engaged During Slow Fishing Moments

– Prepare extra entertainment options for slow fishing periods.

– Allow them to play in the dirt or sand, embracing the joy of the outdoors.

– Encourage imaginative play with toys, books, and exploring nature.

Bring entertainment while fishing
Bring toys and let them play when the fishing is slow!

Teach Them: Make It Educational and Fun

– Let your child participate in gear preparation and casting, fostering their interest in fishing. But, don’t force it. If they aren’t ready yet, take care of the prep and casting.

Be patient with tangles and snags. Don’t get frustrated visibly or it will affect their mood

– Teach them about different plant and animal species, encouraging curiosity and observation. This is a great educational opportunity, but it doesn’t need to feel like it. 

– Involve them in lure color selection and suggest potential casting spots.

-Ask them where they think the fish are, and what they might be eating. Let their imaginations run wild!

Learning how to fish
Be patient and encouraging.

Flexibility and Positive Reinforcement: Adapt and Encourage

– If the weather is unpleasant or fishing is slow, be flexible and consider alternative activities.

– Avoid overdoing the fishing time unless your kids are having a blast.

– Use treats as positive reinforcement for a good attitude during outdoor adventures.

Fishing off of a dock
Reward good behavior!

To Sum Up…

Outfitting your little ones for a fishing trip is crucial to ensure their comfort, safety, and enjoyment. By providing appropriate clothing, nourishing food, safety equipment, and engaging entertainment, you’ll set the stage for a memorable fishing experience.

Remember to be flexible, patient, and encouraging throughout the trip. In a future article, we’ll delve into fishing involvement based on age and ability. Get ready for a fantastic fishing adventure with your little anglers!

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