Fishing with Toddlers: A Guide for Parents

Fishing with your toddler is a great way to spend time together and teach them about fishing and the outdoors. Fishing can be one of the best bonding experiences for kids and parents because it gives both parties an opportunity to learn more about each other’s interests while also having fun.

This guide will provide you with all the information you need to have a successful first fishing trip with your little one and hopefully catch a fish!

Cute Young Boy With Fishing Pole Outside at The Lake. Fishing with toddlers is fun!

How do you go fishing with toddlers?

Since fishing is a very hands-on sport, you want to make sure that your toddler has plenty of space to move around. You should also set aside time for some outdoor exploration before hitting the river or lake so they can enjoy being outside and exploring new places!

They may even be more interested in going fishing if there are other fun things for them to do while waiting for the fish to bite.

Fishing Equipment

There are some different rods, reels, etc… that can be used to target the type of fish you’re wanting to catch so it’s important to plan ahead in this stage as well. The type of fishing you’ll be doing with your toddler will largely depend on the mood and personality that they have. If they’re very shy, maybe a reel rod would work better than one for casting lures which can be more complicated.


But what about bait? When it comes time for your child’s first fishing experience, make sure you take them out on the water early so that all of the activity is happening while they’re wide awake and attentive. You’ll also need some non-moldy bread or crackers as bait– even though these items are definitely not safe for human consumption, any food item will do when teaching kids how to catch their first fish! Other options to consider include worms, cheese cubes and even marshmallows.


The best way to go fishing with toddlers is by using smaller hooks, lures, and possibly a bobber as well as casting from shoreline access points. Be careful not put too much pressure on their little fingers when handling tackle like a hook or grabbing onto anything sharp because it could lead to injury. If you’re catching large species like trout or salmon then use a rod with a lighter fishing line.

illustration of father and son fishing together

Can a 2 year old go on a fishing trip?

Bringing a 2 year old on a fishing trip can be tricky because you want them to have an awesome time but also not cry too much when they don’t catch anything. Toddlers are more likely to stay patient if they’re allowed to participate in the catching process by casting their line into the water and waiting for that fish on the other end of it to finally bite!

Fishing with a toddler can be an exciting and educational time for both the parents and their child. It provides a great opportunity to teach them about new things, such as how fishing works, what bait is used in this hobby, or even some different types of fish that are found near your home body of water.

Fishing also allows children to get out into nature which helps develop skills like patience and perseverance that they may not have opportunities at school or at home because there’s less space outside than inside most buildings.

If at any point your toddler is feeling impatient or bored then try suggesting something else fun for them do while waiting on the water like throwing rocks into the lake (or river) or using their imagination by making up silly stories about what they think might be happening underwater! It may even help encourage patience if you keep their favorite snacks close by because who knows when those fish will finally bite?

What is a good age to take a child fishing?

Toddlers are a great age to start fishing with. It’s the perfect time for them to learn about this wonderful hobby because they’re at an age where they’ll have lots of energy. That being said, especially the first time you take your kids fishing, be aware that you will likely not be there targetting fish for hours.

When I took my 2 and 4 year old kids to a local pond, they saw a group of other anglers who had just caught a huge bass. First thing my daughter does is make a break for it and play with the fish in the net. I went on to talk to the anglers who loved the interest, which is something you will find almost all the time. I have never once gotten negative comments about fishing with kids from anyone.

In the end, this particular trip, while planned as a family trip taking the kids fishing, ended up more about play and talk than fishing with kids. Let me tell you though, a kid does not mind.


The regulations regarding kids fishing are minimal. There is no age limit when fishing with a rod in the UK for example, however you should check where you are to make sure there aren’t any stipulations such as size of fish they can catch or type of bait they can use.

Fishing with kids – How to prepare in 4 easy steps

Preparation is important before bringing the young one(s)! Here are 4 fishing tips to consider beforehand for your fishing trip to become a great success!

Step 1

The first step when fishing is finding the right spot- so it’s important to look around before you begin! If you’re looking for fresh water then head towards rivers, streams, or lakes while if you want salt water then head towards the ocean or bay.

Step 2

The second step is to prepare your fishing gear! Make sure you have a rod, reel and tackle box with whatever type of bait you are using- either for fresh water fishing or salt water fishing. Freshwater usually requires worms or lures while salt water may require squid or shrimp.

It’s important that kids know how to use these items correctly because they might need them in future years if their dad take up this hobby too; though it doesn’t hurt for children to learn how now just so they can feel more independent when tackling any task later on in life.

Step 3

The third step is to prepare your child for fishing! Make sure they have life jackets on and are wearing clothes that won’t get them too wet. You’ll also want to cover their arms with sunblock, as well as the rest of their exposed skin because they’re going to be outside in the hot summer sun.

Step 4

Lastly, before you head out onto the water it’s important that you tell your kid how fishing works so he or she understands what we’re doing here today.

Fishing is about being patient while waiting for a sign of fish bites and then catching them by using bait; though there’s no need to use worms or other live bait if this is an issue– just let him or her watch from shore instead (or take turns).

Happy Young Ethnic Father and Son Fishing at the Lake.

How do I introduce my kids to fishing?

Teaching your child how fishing works might be easier said than done. When going for the first time, you should explain to your child the general idea of fishing– that it’s a waiting game where you wait for fish to bite before catching them.

Though this might be enough, some kids may not want to just stand and watch from shore; in that case I’d recommend having him or her help bait hooks by grabbing pieces of bread or other food items off the ground so they can feel like part of the process. Make sure to talk to them and give them small fishing tips, mine love that.

If your kid is more interested in playing with their toy trucks than being at the water’s edge, try letting them stay on dry land while you reel-in one fish after another! This will give them something new to do and keep them entertained as we wait for our next bite. Seeing the fish will also often be enough to grab their attention eventually.

Benefits of taking kids fishing

Fishing is a great way to spend quality time with the family. As fishing happens in slow motion, it’s easy for parents and kids to converse without feeling rushed or interrupted. Plus, fishing gear can be easily transported so we can take our adventure anywhere!

Kids learn patience first hand by waiting for that fish bite; they also develop leadership skills as they help bait a hook or actually catching fish.

The water’s edge has alternating waves of high and low tide which makes it a perfect location for teaching your toddler about how nature works– helping them understand why things on land are sometimes wet while other times dry.

These lessons won’t just stay here though; when you’re at home talking about an animal or the environment in general, they’ll be able to give you their own perspective.

Fishing is a perfect activity for toddlers as it’s inherently safe and healthy, but we need to make sure that Toddler fishing trips are never boring! The world of fishing offers so many different things your toddler can do: from catching fish to berry picking on the beach, playing with crabs at low tide or finding little treasures like feathers and rocks in seagrass beds.

Taking your toddler fishing on a boat

Actually, this is an easy way to introduce them to fishing. That being said, safety is somewhat more of an issue when boating. Obviously, you need to make sure they are wearing a life jacket and there is water close by in case of incidents.

Remember that kids tend to have short attention spans; fishing with them on the boat for too long can be frustrating and boring. You might want to consider bringing some snacks or even some books that will keep their interest up as well.

Other related activities to consider

Picking fish out of the net: 

A lot of people love this activity because it’s so interactive! I mean, your child gets to actually touch the fish (which toddlers seem to find fascinating) while also learning about which ones work best for live bait.

Netting crabs at low tide: 

Kids like this outdoor activity since it’s fairly easy and requires little energy. Give them a bucket and some tongs to use while they hunt for crabs at low tide.

Scandinavian family lifestyle, summer.


Fishing is a great activity for children of all ages. But before you bring your toddler on the first fishing trip, you should do some preparation to ensure that they have fun and are safe. One way to make sure your child has an enjoyable fishing experience is by teaching them how to fish as early as possible in their childhood. They will be more interested in going if they know what’s expected of them at home!

Additionally, it’s important not only for safety reasons but also because having patience can help teach good values like responsibility, self-reliance and the importance of the environment at a young age. The most important thing is that your child enjoys themselves; so don’t put too much pressure on yourself or get frustrated with any mistakes along the way.

When done right, fishing with toddlers can be an unforgettable experience and a special bonding opportunity for the whole family.