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Spring is oFISHially here, and that means it’s the perfect time to start planning a family fishing trip!  Nothing says family bonding like spending quality time together while enjoying the great outdoors.  Fishing trips make for the perfect, inexpensive vacation.  Whether you are planning a catch-release trip, or hoping to cook food you caught with your own hands, here are some tips on planning a great fishing trip:

  • Location – Probably the first first step in planning your fishing trip is deciding where you want to go.  There are a lot of factors to consider in choosing a location.  What sort of accommodations are near the site?  What sort of fish do you want to catch?  Different types of fish are harder to catch for different level fishers, so make sure to choose a location that is kid-friendly.

  • Permit/License – Certains states and sites require you have a license to fish there.  Gone are the days of long application processes – licenses can be purchased online with the click of a button!  Here is a helpful guide to figuring out when and where you need one:

  • Equipment – Do you own fishing equipment, or do you need to rent?  A lot of popular fishing locations will have fishing rods, boats, and all other necessary equipment available for sale or for rent on-site or in nearby bait and tackle shops.

  • Gear – In choosing what types of clothes and other gear to pack, one important factor to consider is the weather.  Most likely, you will be out in the hot sun for multiple hours.  Make sure to pack plenty of sunscreen, light layers, and hats to protect yourself from harmful UV rays.  Does the forecast show rain?  Keep a poncho or rain jacket just in case.  If your location is in a wooded area, make sure to pack bug spray and other insect repellents.  Most importantly, make sure to rent or purchase life jackets to keep you and your children safe on the water.

  • Food – A fun way to pass the time on a fishing trip is to pack a picnic lunch!  Pack a cooler full of sandwiches and other snacks for throughout the day when your kids get hungry or restless.

  • Entertainment – It’s no secret that fishing is a long endeavor that can have lengthy stretches of inactivity.  Be realistic about how long you and your children can be out on the water.  A lot of kids do not have the patience to sit in a boat for many hours on end.  Pack a few other activities or come up with some games to pass the time.  Bring a portable speaker to sing along to your favorite tunes as a family.  Make separate playlists and take turns DJing!

When was the last time you took your kids fishing?  What are some of your favorite places to fish?  Share in the comment section below!

Jane Jozefowicz
Jane Jozefowicz
Jane Jozefowicz is a rising sophomore at the University of Chicago, where she studies Linguistics and Computer Science. Jane plays trombone and lacrosse and is the biggest animal lover you'll meet!