Fishing with Kids in Georgia
by Ron Presley
Creating anglers for the future
Kids living in Georgia have a multitude of opportunities to fish and learn about the outdoors. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division (WRD) has a section on their website dedicated to kids fishing and outdoor activities.
Georgia officials obviously believe that fishing together with your child and family can build memories that will last a lifetime. Usually kids are introduced to fishing by a family member. However, not all kids have a fishing parent in the household. Georgia wildlife officials seems to understand that, so they identify volunteer type programs to help make it happen.
On-site volunteers provide assistance at many statewide kids fishing events (KFE) scheduled in spring and summer. It appears that rule number one is to stage the events were the likelihood of catching fish is high. It doesn’t really matter how big the fish are, but you do need to catch something. If you have ever been involved with a kid’s event, you realize that they are just as rewarding for the volunteer as they are for the kids.
Knowledgeable instructors provide fishing lessons to both children (under age 16) and the parents attending the KFE. The WRD co-sponsors many events by providing channel catfish or trout to improve fishing, educational materials for participants and guidance for sponsors. In fact, their website provides step-by-step instructions to help interested sponsors create an event.
The website also provides information on where to take kids fishing. Specific locations are recommended by our WRD Fisheries staff. They are listed alphabetically by the general region of state where they are located. Once a location is determination additional information, directions and maps can also be found on site.
WRD also offers a handy guide that helps understand the necessary components of a successful fishing trip with kids. The guide is specific, it emphasizes the kids, and if followed is likely to keep em’ fishing for a lifetime.
Tips for Fishing with Kids
- Keep it easy. Choose simple tackle, bait and techniques. Fish for a species that is plentiful and easy to catch. Your goal should be to keep their rod bent as much as possible. Don’t worry about catching a fish that YOU will be proud of…catch anything! The more interesting, colorful and unique the fish, the more excited they will be.
- Keep it short. Marathon days are not what they need. Try to find fishing spots VERY close to home that that don’t require long car or boat rides.
- Keep them covered. Use plenty of sunscreen and protective clothing. Try not to make anything about the experience painful or unpleasant.
- Keep them happy. Take lots of snacks including a treat that usually is not allowed at home. Snacks can help break up moments of frustration and will keep the kids interested.
- Keep your cool. Expect to re-bait hooks and take out line tangles and knots all day. This is their day, not yours. The quickest way to turn children off to fishing is to get frustrated with them. Teach them what you know—tell them about birds, plants, or fish. Kids remember these things and find it interesting. Read to them about fish.
- Keep a few fish for dinner. Keep fish within the legal catch limits and never keep more than you plan to eat. These lessons mold responsible and conscientious anglers helping to ensure the future of our fishery resources.
More information on fishing with kids in Georgia can be found at