In so many ways, fishing with a child can be a wonderful experience for both you and the child. The child can grow patience, learn to love the great outdoors, and develop new skills. You can experience the joy of passing on a hobby you enjoy to the next generation.

But if it's the first time you've fished with a child, you'll want to ensure that you have the proper plan and equipment. Having the right bait and tackle is a big first step toward success in fishing with your child. Here are some tips for a successful fishing trip.

Get the Right Bait and Tackle

You can easily find a cheap children's rod, but that's not necessarily the best way to spend your money. Purchase a lightweight rod and reel that is shorter in length, about 5 to 6 feet.

The bait could easily be earthworms you dig up in the backyard. In some locations you can purchase bloodworms for bait (be careful, they bite). Some people also use minnows, mealworms, cheese balls or chicken livers for bait.

You will often find that people who work in bait and tackle shops love fishing themselves. They can be a great resource, if you're a little uncertain about the best equipment or bait for the area where you'll be fishing.


If time allows, spend some time before you go fishing practicing the techniques with your child. Find an open space outdoors and teach the child how to cast. Explain the parts of the rod and reel and how they work. Talk about how to safely handle the hooks, so you don't hook yourself – ouch!

Plan for Success

There are many ways to fish, depending on where you live. Including fresh water or salt water, boat or a dock or the shore, a pond or a river or the ocean. Some fishing can be highly challenging, requiring skill and experience, in order to be successful. In other locations, fishing can be much more relaxed. If you're taking a child who's just learning to fish, choose the location with the best chance for success. Be sure to pack cold water and snacks, sunscreen, and a hat. Once you're at the water, catching fish, you won't want to have to go back home for forgotten supplies.

Be Safe

Whether or not the child knows how to swim, make safety a priority and wear life jackets. This applies whether you're fishing from a boat, the shore, or a dock/pier. It's too easy in the excitement of the moment – catching a fish – to slip and fall, especially where it's wet underfoot.

Wilcox Bait Tackle is a local tackle shop you can stop as you leave for your fishing trip.