Fishing with Kids: A Survival Guide May 10 2013

Nothing is more relaxing than spending the day fishing, unless that day involves taking your kids along. Fishing with kids can be a challenge, but it can also be a lot of fun and is a great way to introduce your children to the outdoors.

Get Everyone a Pole

Would you enjoy fishing if you didn’t have a pole? I know I wouldn’t and your child won’t either. Make sure everyone has a pole. Children’s fishing poles aren’t necessary and often don’t work as well as the full size adult models. They can be difficult to cast and reel in. Instead, let your children use lightweight adult poles (it’s a great excuse to get a new one for yourself).

Toddlers will want to get in on the fun too. I find that a fishing pole without a hook on the line can be a great way to help a little one feel included without having to worry about getting stuck by a hook. Just add plenty of weights and a float if you like and your toddler won’t know the difference.

Take Advantage of Free Fishing Days

Depending on your state your child may not need a fishing license if they are accompanied by a licensed adult. If you don’t regularly fish, but would like to take your kids, consider going on a free fishing day. Free fishing days are a great opportunity to take the whole family fishing and, since adults generally don’t need a license on these days, you can take additional help to wrangle the kids without having to spend a fortune. Check out this helpful PDF from for a listing of free fishing days this year.

Get Up and Move

When fishing with adults you have the luxury of spending the entire day on the boat or sitting by the lake, but with kids short periods of fishing with other activities mixed in work better. If you’re going to a lake with ducks, take along some bread and feed the ducks. If you’re pier fishing, take an afternoon break and play in the ocean. Most fishing locations have plenty of other fun family activities to enjoy when the little ones tire of fishing.

Use Safety Equipment

Fishing involves water which means extra precaution is always a good idea, especially if you’re on a boat. Life vests and other safety equipment will help keep you safe this summer. P.S.- Don’t forget adequate sun protection too.

Secure Important Belongings

Fishing with kids can get chaotic. Make sure your valuables and electronics are secured, especially if you’re fishing off a pier or from a boat. T-REIGN retractable tethers are essential for keeping things like fishing knives or a multi-tool close at hand and away from the kids, while a ProCase will keep your valuable electronics from getting wet.

Catch Something

Always go stocked and ready with plenty of bait to help ensure a catch or two. Nothing keeps kids interested in fishing more than seeing results. Outfit your child’s pole with light line and a small hook. Small hooks generally catch more fish and a lighter line is easier for first-time fishers to handle.

Now grab a pole and take the whole family fishing.


The president of T-REIGN emailed after reading this article:

"It brings to mind a treasured family memory. My son was fishing with an old pole I had growing up. He caught a fish and was so excited
he let go of the pole. The pole went over the side of the boat and we lost both the fish and the pole. We got lucky and were able to retrieve the pole (the line was crossed with my line) but it brings to mind another use for T-REIGN retractable gear tethers - tether the pole to your kid!"

-- Boake Paugh, President of T-REIGN