5 tips for taking kids fishing in Indiana

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It may not feel like it right now, but summer weather is definitely right around the corner {like holla!}. So when the folks at Outdoor Empire reached out to us with tips on taking kids fishing for the first – or millionth! – time, we were hooked. Take it away Ben!

fishing Indiana - theCityMoms

Few memories last as long as those surrounding your first fishing trip (family’s first camping trip maybe?). You probably still remember the sights, sounds and smiles of the occasion vividly, and you probably look back on the outing fondly. Now, so many years later, it is time to introduce your children to fishing.

You certainly don’t have to do anything fancy to introduce children to the sport, but it helps to have a good game plan in place. After all, you may be introducing your children to a lifelong hobby, and you want to get started on the right foot.

Here are 5 tips for taking kids fishing in Indiana:

1. Invest in the right kid-sized gear.

When fishing with kids, simplicity is the name of the game. Until they get their sea legs, we recommend using cane poles or spinning and spincasting reels instead of bait-casting gear or other complicated systems.

Young children may want to start out by fishing with a bobber and live bait, instead of lures. Lures are more likely to become snagged and will take some skill to cast and retrieve properly. Kids also often appreciate being able to see their float bounce and bob around in the water.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A pole strung with lightweight fishing line.
  • A float or bobber, with a small hook tied to the end of the line.
  • A live bait of your choice to thread on the hook.

Remember your youngster may not be comfortable wielding a standard fishing rod, so consider using kid-sized gear. Don’t want to invest? Ask to borrow from friends.

2. Try to select a fishing spot best for kids.

Young fishers often have difficulty casting and like we said above, are likely to get their lures snagged on every object in the vicinity. Try to select a wide-open location like a long open stretch of bank or roomy dock. Also look for a spot without a lot of trees, rocks or weeds.

Avoid crowded locations to ensure everyone stays safe and your children won’t disturb other anglers.

Read up on the best spots for fishing in Indiana, according to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of Fish & Wildlife.

3. Pick your bait.

Bait selection is a controversial topic among adult anglers, but when fishing with children, it’s best to keep things simple. Here are the three basic choices:

Worms: Work very well for most fish species and easily available. Worms are available at virtually every bait store in the world, but you can also go digging for them yourself. In fact, your kids may find this part of the outing more fun than actually fishing.

Crickets: Also very effective bait, and they often lead to more strikes than worms.

Bread: In some places, particularly those with dense populations of specific fish species, you can often catch fish with nothing more than a bit of bread. Squish the bread up into a small ball and just stick it on the hook as though it were a cricket or worm.


MORE TO KNOW: Goldfish Swim School offers free water safety presentations


4. Know the rules and regulations before heading out to the fishing hole.

Most states allow youngsters under an established age to fish without obtaining a license of any kind, but the age at which this occurs varies. In fact the State of Indiana requires a license for anyone over the age of 17 – that means you, parents! Purchase your license here.

5. Try before you go.

Look for “free fishing” days for kids or families, which give a chance to gauge your youngster’s enthusiasm for the activity before fully investing in the sport. Here are some key fishing days to put on your 2018 calendar:

To learn more about fishing with kids, check out the resource section put together by Bump Reveal.

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Ben Team - Guest author theCityMomsABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ben Team is a lifelong environmental educator, former ISA-certified arborist and avid angler who writes about the natural world. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia with his beautiful wife and spoiled rotten Rottweiler. You can read more of Ben’s writing at FootstepsInTheForest.com.

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