Five Tips For Fishing With Kids

By Coty Perry


I have some incredible memories of fishing with my kids but I can tell you one thing, it’s not always easy. 

Teaching kids to fish is a challenge for even the most patient parents and the best anglers. At first, it might seem like your kids will never learn but rest assured, a few trips to the lake and you’ll actually be able to get some fishing in. 

Here are five tips you’ll want to keep in mind when fishing with your kids. 

1. Have the Right Gear for Kids 

Even if you have $1,000 worth of gear in your garage, you want to make sure you’re getting your kids started with the right equipment. 

The size of the rod will play a major role in whether or not they can handle it. Your best bet is to purchase a four foot rod for most kids under the age of 8 or based on their previous experience. 

If they’ve never fished before, then a four foot rod will do the trick. 

Make sure to get a first time youth angler a spincast reel as well. These are push-button reels that are easy to cast and allow them to focus on casting distance and accuracy rather than having to think about the technique behind releasing a bail. 

Lures are another factor. I recommend starting kids with live nightcrawlers and a bobber. This is the simplest form of fishing and it allows them to understand how important it is to pay attention and keep their eyes on the bobber at all times. 


Fishing 1


2. Get Them Involved

Whether you’re fishing from a boat or on the shore, involve your kids in every step of the process. If you’re getting all the gear set up the night before, have you kids help you do it. 

Doing so will get them excited and ready to wake up early in the morning to hit the lake. 

If you’re fishing from a boat, provide different things for your kids to do in between catches. When they’re on the shore, it’s a lot easier to keep them entertained because they can run around and look at things like bugs and wildlife. 

Consider letting them control the trolling motor if you think they’re old enough and responsible enough. Let them drop the anchor or have them rig their own line with worms or lures. 



3. Adjust Your Expectations 

It’s important that you have your expectations set pretty low from the beginning. This is especially true for the first couple of fishing trips. 

I can remember the first handful of times I took my kids fishing, it was a day filled with stress and frustration. I didn’t get any fishing done myself those days because I was too busy catering to them and pulling their line out of overhanging trees. 

Expect this to be your day as well. Don’t anticipate getting any of your own fishing done and try to have as much patience as possible. 



4. Don’t Stay Too Long

Having a set time frame in mind is a good policy when taking your kids fishing for the first time. Don’t expect to fish for too long. Starting in small doses will provide your children with a positive opinion of fishing because they won’t see it as this long, drawn out, boring activity. 



5. Have Other Things Planned 

I think one of the most important keys to success when teaching your kids to fish is having other things available for them when it’s needed. Bring a book, a sketch pad, or provide some other type of activity. 

Certain things go hand-in-hand with fishing. Consider looking into nearby family friendly hikes or plan a picnic for when you go ashore. 

Having other things in mind will help break up the day and this can help you get through the midday lull when there may not be any fish biting anyway. 




We’ve got a great place to start your fishing adventures right in TR at Dodson Fishing Company!

(They offer free fly tying classes every Thursday night!)

Looking for a few other articles about fishing?

Top Five Bass Fishing Spots

Saluda Fishing Trip

Upstate Fishing Spots



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