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Where to Go Fishing With Kids Around Seattle

Free fishing weekend! Plus, getting started fishing with kids

Writer author Allison Holm and family on a ferry in Puget Sound
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Published on: June 07, 2021

Where to Go Fishing With Kids Around Seattle

girl holding up fish fishing wearing life jacket where to go fishing with kids near seattle

Gear and tips on fishing with kids

Gear tips:

  • Most kids do well with an ultra-light spinning or spin-casting rod-and-reel combo. The Avid Angler in Lake Forest Park, Seattle’s Orvis store or any REI can provide gear options and tips from knowledgeable staff. 
  • Small floats work well for kids. This way there's no casting and re-casting.
  • For younger kids, try a simple pole with no reel. 
  • When it comes to bait, keep it approximately the size of your hook. Avoid hooks larger than size 10 (hooks run backwards in size). Fish won’t readily take large hooks.
  • Kids might have fun digging their own bait. They can dig in the garden to find angle worms. Beyond worms, bait can be anything from salmon eggs to marshmallows.
  • Kids should always wear a life jacket when around water. By law, children ages 12 and younger must wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket when in a boat smaller than 19 feet in length. Start things off right by getting your kids familiar with personal flotation devices (also called PFDs).

Tips for a first fishing trip with kids:

  • Keep your children's interest levels in mind and aim for an experience that will result in a catch.
  • Encourage kids to plan the fishing outing with you. Study a map together, pick the spot, make a list of gear and pack a lunch.
  • Give kids things to be responsible for, such as carrying the net or making sure everyone wears a PFD.
  • Dress in layers, and be sure to pack rain boots, umbrellas and jackets.
  • Be flexible. Cut it short if you see that the kids are done, or extend time if they are having fun.
  • Be a good example of conservation and preservation of our fisheries.
  • Teach and practice “catch and release” where appropriate.
  • Keep kids busy: Look for wildlife, have a picnic or play games.

Editor's note: This article was originally published several years ago and most recently updated in May 2021.

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