fishing with kids

Why to Go Fishing with Kids and What You Need For a Successful Trip

Are you wanting to go fishing with your kids but not sure what you need? I’ve been fishing for decades and this is what I use for my kids and myself.

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Why to Go Fishing with Kids

I have such fond memories of fishing with my dad when I was a child. I hope my children have these nice memories with me as well.

My dad not only taught me how to fish but also how to bait my own hook and take off the fish I caught. I was one of the few girls I knew who would touch worms and fish. Haha! I also would typically kiss the first fish I caught each season, one of the pictures shown below when I was little. That’s my dad holding the fish.

This was handy as I grew up and would fish it on my own so needed to do it all without my dad. It also came in handy when I dated a guy after high school who was rather redneck, as he called himself, yet wouldn’t touch fish. Lol I helped him fish since he did enjoy it but just not actually touching the fish.

Three pictures of me when I was little and fishing, including a picture with my dad where I was kissing a fish!

Fishing Tips for Kids

Try to think back to when you first started fishing and what someone taught you.

Here are some fishing basics I remember and have taught my kids:

  • Always keep your hands on the fishing rod/reel
  • Don’t drop it in the water unless it’s either you or the pole going in
  • Accept help from the person teaching you
  • Be careful with where the hook is going, don’t hook yourself or others
  • Teach kids how to let some line out, turn the reel a bit until the line clicks/locks
  • Keep your eye on the bobber or end of your rod if you’re not using a bobber
  • Pull up when you get a nibble to set the hook
  • Be quiet while you wait (though honestly, my kids are not quiet and they still get fish)
  • Teach them how to reel the fish in
  • For the sake of the fish, it’s also nice if you teach the kids not to swing the fish around once they get it out of the water.
  • And of course, how to take the fish off, which parents will likely do for years until the kids are comfortable and able to do it themselves.

If you’re on a boat it’s helpful to tie kids’ rods to the boat or if on a dock tie it to the dock. I remember my dad tying mine to the boat when I was little.

All the basic stuff that kids don’t know until you tell them outright.

Fishing Supplies

Having quality fishing supplies can help make fishing more enjoyable instead of frustrating. I’ll start off with some fishing supplies I got for our kids that they love.

Kids Retractable Fishing Rods Kit

I was looking for fishing rods for our twins and came across these. Considering single rods and reels were $20+ at our local store, I feel this kit is a great deal. Even better than what I’ve found in the store before, these are retractable and come with other supplies and in a case!

My twins are quite young so my husband and I were helping them the whole time they were fishing and we both agreed that these fishing poles are durable enough the kids will be able to use them for years and we’d even use them ourselves!

This kit includes two telescopic fishing rods with spin-cast reels, fishing line, 2 fishing nets, 1 travel bag, 2 collapsible buckets, 1 fishing tackle box with jig heads, bobbers, swivels, beads, rope, hooks, soft lures and hard lures.

Though both of my twins are boys one of them likes pink so this worked out well! They also have kits with a single fishing pole that come in blue, pink, or green.

Picture of my twins with their extendable fishing poles. Each caught a fish!

Hook Keeper Bobbers

I just happened to come across these on Amazon and I’m so glad I did! I also love that they come in a 3 pack since I have 3 kids!

These are great for ensuring kids don’t accidentally hook their parents or themselves! It’s also great not having to worry about where to put the bobber on the line as this one adjusts on its own.

Shakespeare Hah3Pck Hide-A-Hook Floats (3 Pack), Red/White
Shakespeare Hah3Pck Hide-A-Hook Floats (3 Pack), Red/White
 Price: $ 5.42 Buy now at Amazon
Price incl. VAT., Excl. Shipping

Kids life jackets

Sterns is a great brand of life jackets that have been around for decades! We love this one and that it has a strap to go underneath as well for extra safety.

This life jacket is U.S. Coast Guard approved for boating, water skiing, tubing, swimming, and more.

This life jacket is for 30-50 lbs which is what all 3 of my kids are right now.

KastKing Centron Spinning Reel

About 11 years ago when I was 25 I finally graduated from a closed reel to an open reel and I love it! No more snags and much easier to cast. I’m sure there are a lot of other awesome benefits but for the once-a-year fisherwoman that I am, that’s what I focus on. It’s also lightweight which is great!

I really like it a lot and it’s lasted me many years. It doesn’t telescope like the kids’ ones above but it does have a split handle so you can have two parts of the pole for travel instead of a super long one.

Tackle Box

Gone are the days, for me at least, of a traditional tackle box. I have one, the same one I’ve had for 20+ years but I no longer use it because it’s not practical. There is no place for my phone, my water bottle, bait, grubby old towel to wipe my hands, or other essentials.

I’ve found that having an old backpack with a simple plastic box with dividers works rather well and was a very inexpensive solution for years.

However…as I was writing this blog post I got curious about more legitimate backpack tackle boxes and holy wow I want this one! I put it on my Christmas list and got it!! I used it this year and LOVE it!!

This fishing backpack has a place for everything and even secret compartments for a phone and ID. That’s one of the many things I have trouble with is I don’t want to bring my whole wallet fishing, just my ID, fishing license, and a credit card just in case the fish take Visa (haha jk, but really, I do tend to always have some sort of payment with me as a rule in general). This secret zipper pocket on the straps would be perfect for those items!

This tackle box backpack also has a waterproof cover when it inevitably starts to rain. There is a place to keep your water, your fishing pole, 4 individual tackle boxes, safe place for your sunglasses where they won’t get smushed, and even a special area for your pliers! I love this!!


Don’t forget the sunscreen!! Though this isn’t fishing specific, I feel it’s important to mention.

We love the Goddess Garden sunscreen, especially the stick ones for our faces and the lotion that spreads in well as long as you do it quickly, just like any mineral sunscreen. Goddess Garden sunscreens are safer for kids and families than the traditional chemical laden sunscreens. They also have a spray version though I haven’t tried that yet.

Unfortunately, I’m having a hard time finding Goddess Garden lately but have heard good things about ThinkBaby/ThinkKids brand of sunscreen.

Think Sport Clear Zinc Sunscreen SPF 50, 3 FZ
Think Sport Clear Zinc Sunscreen SPF 50, 3 FZ
 Price: $ 14.85 ($ 4.95 / Fl Oz) Buy now at Amazon
Price incl. VAT., Excl. Shipping

Stay Hydrated!

Be sure that you bring plenty of water to stay hydrated while fishing. I find that having some coffee helps too, but that’s just me. I prefer a slim water bottle such as the one below but I have a whole blog post about water bottles I recommend that I’ll link as well.

It’s easy to become dehydrated by accident when you’re out fishing, on the beach, or in general. Be sure you have even more water than you think you’ll need, just in case.

This Contigo water bottle I love because it stays closed, doesn’t leak, has a cover to go over the top so nothing can get in it, as well as my water stays cold for HOURS! We just got back from our first vacation in 3 years and did plenty of fishing as well as time on the beach. I was amazed at how long my water stayed cold inside of this water bottle, especially compared to others that I had on the trip.

Contigo Jackson Chill 2.0 Vacuum-Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle, Secure Lid Technology for Leak-Proof Travel, Keeps Drinks Cold for 12 Hours, 20oz Steel/Dragonfruit
Contigo Jackson Chill 2.0 Vacuum-Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle, Secure Lid Technology for Leak-Proof Travel, Keeps Drinks Cold for 12 Hours, 20oz Steel/Dragonfruit
by Ignite USA
  • QUICK HYDRATION WITH AUTOPOP TECHNOLOGY: Lid pops up for easy drinking and seals shut for no leaks when you're on the go
  • QUENCH YOUR THIRST: Wide mouthpiece is ideal for quick, easy drinking
  • VACUUM-INSULATED: Drinks stay cold for 24 hours thanks to the double-wall vacuum-insulated stainless steel
  • LOCK IT IN: Button lock ensures the top doesn’t open accidentally
  • CARRY ON: Integrated handle makes it easier and more comfortable to pick up and go
 Price: $ 27.22 Buy now at Amazon
reusable water bottles for all

Fishing License

One last thing, don’t forget a fishing license! We don’t keep the fish that we catch so my husband and I have a combined conservation license that costs less than a typical license since we don’t keep many, or any, fish. Always be sure you have your fishing license and drivers license/ID with you when fishing!

Why to go fishing with kids and what you need for a successful fishing trip.

Founder, Professional Blogger at The Way it Really Is, LLC | [email protected] | Website

As a mom of identical twins and a son two years older, I have gained invaluable experience in the realm, and chaos, of parenting. With a Master's Degree and Education Specialist Degree in School Psychology, I spent years as a school psychologist, helping children navigate through their educational and emotional challenges. Now as a stay at home mom and professional blogger, I combine my areas of expertise to help you in your parenting journey.

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One Response

  1. Mike Aune June 25, 2024

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