Six Tips for a Successful Fishing Trip with Kids in British Columbia

Learning to fish. Photo: Justine Russo

Learning to fish. Photo: Justine Russo

If you love fishing, you are probably hoping that your kids will as well. Many anglers have great childhood memories of fishing with their grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, or other fishing teachers. With Spring Break just around the corner, some of you will be venturing out on your first camping trips of the year. Here are some tips for a successful fishing trip with your kids:

Rod Loan Program. Photo: Justine Russo

Rod Loan Program. Photo: Justine Russo

  1. Don’t splurge on the gear before you know if they will like it. Take the pressure off, and borrow tackle and rods for free with the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC’s Rod Loan Program. Many Tourism Visitor Centres have basic freshwater fishing tackle and gear available to borrow on your next camping trip. If this wasn’t the time to introduce your children to the sport of fishing, you didn’t spend a lot of money, and you can try again when they are older.
  1. Have them practice casting before you go. Bring your fishing rod to a school field or park, with a small toy or ball tied to the end of the line. This way, kids can learn some techniques for safely casting with a rod before any potentially dangerous hooks are involved. Once they start to get the hang of casting, put hula hoops or other targets out on the field for them to aim at. Bring out your own rod, and make it a fun competition.

    Float Fishing. Photo by Tanya Laird

    Float Fishing. Photo: Tanya Laird

  1. Wear sunglasses or other eye protection (not only your kids, but yourself too). Some of those casts can be a little off-target; protect yourselves.
  1. Start with float fishing. Kids have a hard time reacting to the feeling of a fish striking a lure on the end of line, but they can see when the bobber goes under. Encourage your child to hold the tip of the rod close to the water so that when the float goes down, they just need to lift the rod tip high to set the hook.

    Caught a Fish. Photo: Justine Russo

    Caught a Fish. Photo: Justine Russo

  1. Increase your chances of catching a fish. During Spring Break, many lakes in B.C. will still be frozen, but lakes on Vancouver Island and in the Lower Mainland will be ice-free, and the stocking of trout will have started. Check the stocking reports to see where catchable rainbow trout will be released, and try those lakes first.
  1. Keeping your kids’ stomachs full and appendages warm will give you more time fishing. Snacks, warm socks, and fingerless gloves are the staples of a successful spring fishing trip.

Remember, kids under 16 years of age do not require a freshwater fishing licence in B.C., but still need to follow the provincial fishing regulations.

Good Luck!

Published: February 16th, 2017

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Avatar by GoFishBC

The Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC is a private, not-for-profit organization, funded mainly through freshwater fishing licence revenues. In partnership with the Province, the Society annually stocks eight million trout, char and kokanee salmon in 800 B.C. lakes. It also manages special hatchery programs for endangered species including white sturgeon, conducts fisheries research, education and conservation programs and works to make angling more accessible for all.

2 thoughts on "Six Tips for a Successful Fishing Trip with Kids in British Columbia"

Avatar Eric says:

I agree with introducing children at an early age, at the time mine were 3,5,7 &9, I have 3 girls and a boy, I did however purchase 4 inexpensive rods and issued one to each, And they were anxious to catch a fish. We went to a highland lake in the interior with camp facilities. Back then this lake (sadly) had perch illegally introduced and there were no perch catch limits then, which was perfect for us. My kids fished out the side of the boat near the opposite end of the lake with a bobber, worm and hook and when finished, we maintained the works and helped with the catch. The kids were catching 4 at a time, we had kept over a hundred in the live well. On the way back to camp, We tossed a few fish for the osprey and eagles to retrieve and, their excitement that day was so worth the trip for me, priceless. It’s worth involving the kids on your fishing trip. Bring them. Today, they all love fishing and reminisced about this first experience still.

BTW I still have a couple of the rods in my garage, soon I will pass them to my grandsons…

Patricia Patricia says:

Thanks for the email and your story Eric!

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