How to

School holiday fishing tips

SCHOOL Holidays are the perfect time to take kids fishing. The weather is cooler and there’s an abundance and variety of fish in all corners of the country. However, be warned, taking kids fishing can be hit and miss!

It’s essential you create a fun experience for kids. It could mean the difference between raising a fishing crazed kid or one who’d rather spend their days inside playing video games.

Let’s look at some of the dos and don’t of taking kids fishing.


  • Make your days short! This is a must. Kids have short attention spans and spending a full day on the water may appeal to a seasoned fisho, but its far too long for most kids. Get up early and aim to be off the water mid morning. Or, spend and afternoon on the water for a few hours. These are the peak fishing times anyway, so it makes sense.
  • Take plenty of food and drink. This is a game changer. Even if you have a strict health food diet for your kids, now is the time to be flexible and introduce some “fun” foods. They’re outdoors and active, so don’t be too concerned about the odd donut or soft drink. It makes all the difference.
  • Practice casting before you go fishing. Teaching a four-year-old to cast while controlling a boat and fishing fish is not enjoyable! Teach them some casting skills in the backyard or local park before you hit the water.
  • Any fish is a good fish. Kids don’t have egos and they typically don’t care if they catch a 10cm poddy mullet or a metre long flathead. Aim small, literally, and prioritise constant action over targeting big fish.
  • Bait vs lures? My kids love using bait. They love feeling the bites. It gives them an instant connection and keeps them motivated to keep fishing. It’s also a great way to learn the basics. As they get older, make that transition over to lures or fly. But don’t be rushed. Bait fishing is still the most productive and fantastic fun.


  • Don’t make it about yourself. There are no winners from this approach. Leave your fishing for another day when the kids are elsewhere. When you have young kids with you, it’s about them.
  • Don’t take risks. Now isn’t the time to risk it while crossing that dangerous bar or heading out in poor weather. Just re-schedule and go when it’s safe.
  • Don’t forget the safety gear. Make sure you have a suitable lifejacket and make sure the kids wear it.
  • Don’t lose your patience. Things can get messy while fishing with kids… literally! They’ll tangle their line, lose gear, have tantrums and pretty much make your day on the water a living hell. The worst thing you can do is lose your temper and turn a fun day into a negative one.
  • Don’t forget suitable clothing! In certain parts of the country, it’s getting cold and hotting the water without the kid’s jacket is a sure way of ending a fishing trip prematurely.

To wrap things up, the important points are to make sure the kids are well fed, are experiencing plenty of action from any size fish and never get bored. Short, action packed days that aren’t taken too seriously, is the best way of ensuring your kids grow up and love fishing.

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