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Get Your Kids Out Fishing & Watch the Magic Unfold

Get your kids out fishing

As an angling coach I’m often asked by fellow anglers keen to get their kids interested in fishing what is the best way to go about it. I just love this question and hope these tips help you!

Present The Idea

The first thing I’d always say is, as with anything, don’t push your kids to do something just because you want them to. I don’t believe in forcing anyone, let alone kids, to go fishing - they must want to do it for it to be fun and if they are to be successful at it. Show them the fish you catch, how to gut them (all kids love this!) and enjoy them for dinner together as a family – all things my parents did with me and it definitely sprung an interest in trying the sport.

Pick Your Day

Summer can be the best time of year to take kids fishing – warm weather, longer days and the kids' school holidays offer more time for outdoor activities, but summer can also be one of the hardest times of year to fish and the last thing you want is for them not to catch. Given this, try to pick a day when it’s not blazing sunshine – cloud cover is good. Failing that, fishing earlier or later in the day when the temperatures have dropped is much better than fishing at 12 noon when they’re at their highest.

Don’t fish for any more than two hours, or at least not if they’re not catching. Whether it be adults or kids, 95% of my lessons are no longer than two hours – as a beginner, any longer than two hours and the student gets bored, tired or can’t take in any more information.

Ensure you bring plenty of layers of clothing, a hat, sunglasses and suncream – safety is paramount and you never know what the great British weather will bring!

National Fishing Month is the perfect time to try fishing. Running from Saturday 29th July – Sunday 3rd September inclusive, many fisheries are offering reduced-price fishing tickets or hosting events in support (the Sportfish Game Fishing Centre is offering buy one get one half price on beginners casting lessons). The perfect time to have a go!

Lucy Coaching Young Angler RubyLucy Coaching Young Angler Ruby
Lucy introduces Ruby to fly fishing
Lucy Coaching Young Angler RubyLucy Coaching Young Angler Ruby
Lucy Coaching Young Angler Ruby

Make It Fun

Kids are very visual learners so pop the indicator on so they have a target to focus on - there’s nothing worse than standing staring at a blank lifeless water for hours and, love them or hate them, indicators can be a great way to generate fairly quick early success.

Fish from the bank – I wouldn’t advocate a boat on a first lesson. They need to get their sea legs first!

If they’re struggling to cast, cast for them and let them retrieve. The best bit is hooking into a fish anyway and early success is sure to stoke their interest!

Take a picnic. Yes, your usual fishing session may consist of 8 hours catch and release and every minute you stop fishing may feel like you’re missing out on precious fish-catching time but stop for lunch and enjoy some downtime with your kids during the day.

The first trip is all about instilling confidence. Confidence in a new environment, in the outdoors and with the fish when they catch them – it all takes time.

8 year old Maia with her first ever trout8 year old Maia with her first ever trout
8 year old Maia with her first ever trout
11 year old Nathaniel bagged up11 year old Nathaniel bagged up
11 year old Nathaniel bagged up

Enjoy It!

Enjoy the time you spend with your kids on the bank. Let them learn from you but also you learn from them. Kids will notice things that you don’t. As experienced anglers, we’re programmed to catch fish, but kids see so much more. Sometimes it’s spotting a dragonfly, a deer or an un-cooperating trout swimming in the margins that inspires their excitement. Take photos of your kids casting or holding fish and enjoy the time spent with them. Even if they never fish again, at least you’ve given them the opportunity to try it along with memories they’ll never forget.

What if they don’t catch? Explain to them that’s what fishing is all about - that’s why we call it fishing and not catching! Explain to them what they’ve learnt in the short time you’ve been out and suggest you come back another day when perhaps the weather conditions are a little more favourable.

Finally, if fishing sparks their interest, encourage it even further by booking them a fly fishing lesson for a birthday or Christmas present to continue their interest and learning. Life skills they’ll thank you for later down the line.

Family fun for Cameron, Iona and HaydenFamily fun for Cameron, Iona and Hayden
Family fun for Cameron, Iona and Hayden

Top Tips for Kids Fishing

  • Pick a fair weather day
  • Choose a venue that looks to offer a high chance of success
  • Limit your session to a few hours
  • Take a picnic
  • Bring suitable clothing, eye protection and suncream
  • Make it fun!
  • Cast for them if frustration is setting in
  • Take photos
  • Book a fly fishing lesson

Here at Sportfish we’d love to hear about your family fishing trips! Send them to us, tag us in your fishing photos on social or, enter our photo of the month competition and you could win a £100 voucher – perfect to buy a beginner’s fly fishing kit!


Kids Fly Fishing Gear

2023-07-31 07:27:00
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