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Try Fishing While Camping This Year. Photo: Lacey Pukas for Freshwater Fisheries Society

5 Reasons You Should Go Fishing While Camping in BC This Year

Try Fishing While Camping This Year. Photo: Lacey Pukas for Freshwater Fisheries Society

Try Fishing While Camping This Year. Photo: Lacey Pukas for Freshwater Fisheries Society

The tent, trailer or RV is packed and you’re ready for a camping vacation. With 20,000 lakes and 750,000 km of streams in British Columbia, there is a very good chance you’ll be camping next to water. Why not take advantage and go fishing on your next camping trip? We’ll give you five reasons why you should – with tips so you have no excuses not to.

It’s inexpensive

An annual fishing licence for B.C. residents’ costs $36. Purchase your annual licence on April 1, and you get 365 days of fishing before it expires on March 31 the following year. What else can you do for less than 10 cents per day?  And kids under the age of 16 fish for free.

Don’t have gear?  Borrow a rod and tackle for free at locations throughout the province, including Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC hatcheries and select tourist visitor centres.

Blackwater Rainbow. Photo: Steve Olson Freshwater Fisheries Society

Blackwater Rainbow. Photo: Steve Olson Freshwater Fisheries Society

Learn a new skill

Whether you’re new to the sport or a seasoned angler, the Freshwater Fisheries Society’s YouTube channel has you covered. Learn the basics, like how to cast with a spincasting reel, or pick up some new tips from fishing expert Brian Chan.

Kids never tried fishing? Take them to a Learn to Fish program. Check out the Events calendar to find a program offered in provincial, regional or municipal park near you this spring or summer or book a program through one of their hatchery visitor centres.

Experience the outdoors

Kids aren’t into hiking and are tired of riding their bikes up and down the campsite? Strap the lifejackets on and pile them into a boat or find a good shore fishing location.  If you don’t have a boat, try casting a line from one of the growing list of lakes in the province with a fishing dock. (Use the Dock filter on this Where to Fish map to find a lake near you). Watch insects hatch and enjoy the call of a loon – and if you’re lucky you’ll get to feel the tug of a fish on the end of your line and reel in a trout.

Edith Lake Dock. Photo: Jess Yarwood Freshwater Fisheries Society

Edith Lake Dock. Photo: Jess Yarwood Freshwater Fisheries Society

Connect with family and friends

Put the laptops and phones away. Water and devices don’t mix, so you’ll get uninterrupted time to catch up. If you need to use your phone, use the camera and take an awesome photo of a happy angler in action!

You can catch your own food

Fish are nutritious and delicious. Share a meal of your freshly caught trout or kokanee at the dinner table, along with the story of how you caught it.

To ensure our freshwater fish stocks remain abundant, follow the regulations and observe the catch quotas.

And to find a campsite near one of the 800+ stocked lakes in B.C., use the Stocked Fishing Lakes filter on the Camping and RV in BC’s website.

Share your BC camping and fishing photos using hashtag #campinbc

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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