12 Tips to Make Saltwater Fishing More Fun for Kids!


Small girl fishing at a fishing pier in Florida.

I think one of the greatest things about fishing is that it can bring you closer to your family. Parents and children don’t spend enough time together in this era. Fishing is one of those things that can be a half day ,or full day, or even weekend or long three day weekend event.

You can combine it with camping, hiking, and visiting somebody in another state.

One of my favorite activities is to take my kids fishing at a nearby fishing pier. That’s what I’ll talk about in this article. It would be really great if your kids were into fishing, wouldn’t it?

You have to give it some thought and make it fun for them so they like it from the beginning. It would really be nice if you could fish the rest of your lives together.

Here are 12 ways to make fishing more fun for your kids. It will help them enjoy it through their youth and carry that into adulthood where they’ll hopefully do the same with their kids – right?

1 – Take Your Kids to a Fishing Pier

Don’t just take them fishing down to the river to catch carp or other junkfish. Take them to a pier! There is no better place for children to fish than at a fishing pier. There are many reasons for this like being able to use the restroom. Yeah, that’s probably the best reason! Go to a pier where they have fishing bait for sale, snacks, beverages, and whatever else you might need. I can’t stop talking about the Sunshine Skyway Pier in St. Petersburg Florida because it has everything that you could possibly need. As well as having lenient rules and regulations about most things, you will rarely have a bad time on a fishing pier. You can camp there or sleep in your car. You might be able to start a fire in a barbecue and set up chairs hammocks large umbrellas and many other things. There is so much space that you have more freedom to do what you want.

2 – Tell Your Kids to Invite a Friend!

It does get boring just with mom and dad and your family or your brothers and sisters. Why not ask your kids to invite a friend along? It will make the fishing trip at least twice as good. A really good idea is to have a surprise birthday party on the pier with all of your child’s friends coming. Or go on July 4th and watch the fireworks too!

3 – Better Still, Call their Best Friend’s Parents so They Can Meet You There as a Surprise!

Another thing you can do if you have friends that have kids is to invite your friends to meet you at the pier and that way you have a sort of picnic with friends and family and fishing. The best of all worlds!

4 – Plan it in Advance and SURPRISE THEM!

There’s nothing better to a kid than a surprise, so surprise him and her with a fishing trip to a large fishing pier where they can catch fish and eat their favorite foods.

5 – Bring Favorite Foods in a Cooler / Warm Box!

To make it more fun, make sure that you do bring their favorite foods in a cooler or some sort of warm box to keep it warm if it’s something that they like warm like pizza or something like that this could also be a big surprise.

6 – Go at Night! Make S’mores on the BBQ!

Some fishing piers will allow barbecues barbecues to be made on the pier, but these days it may not be very many piers. I don’t even know if the Sunshine Skyway Pier allows this anymore but we used to do it years ago.

7 – Combine it with Camping!

A really good idea is to combine fishing with camping. Maybe you can load up the car and don’t tell them where you were going and then as it turns out you were going camping and a fishing trip. Or you can take a kayak somewhere down a stream or a canal and add fishing to that boating trip.

8 – Have a Contest with Prizes

First fish caught gets a prize. Longest fish gets a prize. Heaviest fish. Biggest of some species. Smallest fish. Most beautiful fish. Ugliest fish. Scariest fish. Last fish before leaving! You can make the prizes money if your kids are older, or things to eat or an extra 30 minutes to stay up late on the weekend. Something that means something to kids, you know? Tell them if they catch a state record you’ll buy them a car! Come on, what are the chances?! Make it fun.

9 – Bring Lunch and Dinner and Have a Picnic!

I think I said this already but you can have a picnic on the pier lay out a blanket and sit down and have fresh fruits and cold drinks with ice and cups and some of the foods that your kids like.

10 – Buy Your Kids their Own Rod and Reel, Tackle box, Gear!

If you are going fishing especially for the first time, why don’t you buy your kids fishing rods and reels and tackle box and some gear for their tackle box. This will really make them excited even if they were not excited about fishing before. There is something about getting new stuff and the kids will play for a long time with the new stuff even if they don’t particularly enjoy fishing. Take that time to help them enjoy it by making it easy and fun. Check tip #12.

11 – Bring Binoculars and Let them Scout for Baitfish and Birds.

Binoculars are really cool because most kids don’t get to use them often but this is a great chance to pull them out of the cellar or the attic. Scanning the water for birds diving or four fish splashing at the surface will give your child something to do that’s different than fishing but it helps catch fish.

12 – Start by Catching Baitfish Off the Pier with Sabiki Rigs!

Whenever you first arrive at a pier or wherever you are going to fish one of the first things you should do is set up some Sabiki Rigs. These are small pre-made rigs that you can buy in any bait shop or at Walmart. They are excellent for catching small pinfish that you can later use as bait. If your child is very young and gets very excited even just catching pinfish you can leave it at that and just catch pinfish all day.

Pier fishing is magical because you have all of the ingredients that are necessary for how to catch fish available at your fingertips. There is almost always a big shop very close by to the pier or else right there on the pier and convenient for you. There is usually enough space that you can bring a chair to relax as you fish which makes it a lot easier for kids too.

You should probably invest in one of those fishing carts to pull all of your gear because you can put water coolers, ice chests, multiple fishing rods, and tackle boxes and other gear that you need on the cart and pull it anywhere.

Some of my fondest memories are from fishing from piers and bridges over water both as a child and adult. You may have had the same experience and want to share that with your kids.

I can’t think of any better way to share a day or at least a few hours with my kids teaching them something they don’t know and watching the smiles on their faces as they catch the first fish.

One of the really amazing things about fishing from fishing piers in Florida and other states is that most fishing piers include the price of a fishing license with your admission fee. Children fish free anyway but with a simple payment you can also fish with your kids for very little money.

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and take your kids fishing and record their smiling faces with the videos and photos that you take.

If you haven’t been on our website very often you may not know that we have a large selection of Pier Fishing Guides that can help you find a nice pier that it is close to your home.

You also might not know that we have How To Catch Fish Guides that will help you catch certain fish that are fun to catch in Florida. You can see all of our 20+ fishing guides and choose from the fish you want to catch!

Let us know how your fishing trip went! We’d love to hear that you had a good time and introduced more kids to the amazing hobby we enjoy so much!

About the Author

My name is Vern Lovic. I grew up in Pennsylvania fishing for trout in the streams and bass in the lakes. I’ve fished both coasts of Florida for more than a decade, but I’ve been primarily on the West Coast around St. Petersburg. I fish mostly from a Kayak and pier along with wade-fishing and shore fishing but I occasionally will go out on a boat with one of my friends.

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