Tips for Fishing with Kids in the Coastal Bend - The Bend Magazine

Tips for Fishing with Kids in the Coastal Bend

Fishing with kids is a different animal, but there are a few tricks to make the experience better - here are some tips for fishing with kids

Photography by Rachel Benavides

Fishing is excellent for kids to spend time outdoors and interact with nature, plus it makes for some of the best memories. Family Fishing Charters offers inshore fishing excursions geared toward the kiddos and designed to be exciting and fun for the whole family — no prior experience necessary. Based in Ingleside, Captain Dan Wilkerson’s fishing guide service specializes in taking first-time anglers out, introducing them to the sport and teaching productive techniques new fishers can apply on their own

“I wanted to become a guide since I was around seven years old, when my grandmother purchased a guided fishing trip from a charity auction and gave it to my dad,” said Captain Wilkerson. “I don’t think we ever caught any keepers, but I had fun and remember telling my pops on the way home I was going to figure out how to become a captain, and here we are. I just hope one day I inspire some kid to follow his dreams the same way that gentleman inspired me.”

Fishing with kids is a different animal, but there are a few tricks to make the experience better. Whether you use a fishing guide or not, taking time to practice with kids is easier than you might think. To help you get started, Captain Wilkerson has a few tips for your next fishing trip.

Here are some tips for fishing with kids:

1.   Lower your standards. Kids don’t care about bringing home dinner; they just want to have fun!

2.  Small hooks and dead shrimp on a kid-sized fishing pole will always produce non-stop action off a pier or boat. Usually, you can sneak out a rod to catch bigger fish while the kids stay entertained with perch.

3.  Practice casting in the yard or at a park. You can purchase practice plugs at many sporting goods stores. It makes for   a fun activity and can build excitement for fishing. 

4.  Bring a hook remover for catfish and questionable species. When in doubt, do not touch it, but try to release it carefully.

5.  Pick up a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department outdoor manual to stay up to date on fishing rules and regulations. Remember, all adults over the age of 17 are required to have a valid fishing license.  

6.  Fishing with kids can be super rewarding, but kids have their limitations. Some kids can fish all day long, and some only last an hour. Most importantly, know when to call it quits, like if there is inclement weather. The last thing you want to do is ruin the sport by forcing them to participate. 

Get started by checking out 5 Best Coastal Bend Fishing Piers or Discover Top Fishing Types in the Coastal Bend.