Fishing with Kids

Where Should We Go?


Top Places to Take a Kid Fishing

Below are some specific locations that you might want to consider. These locations were recommended by our Fisheries staff and are listed alphabetically by the general region of state where they are located. 

Additional information, directions and maps may be found at the links in the "More Information/Maps" column.  

Location Name  

Region of State, County 

More Information/Maps

Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center

Central, Jasper/Newton

PFAEducation Center

Clayton & Henry County Water Supply Reservoirs

Central, Clayton/Henry

Clayton CountyHenry County

Cochran Shoals
(Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area)

Central (Atlanta), Cobb/Fulton

National Recreation Area

Hard Labor Creek State Park

Central, Morgan

Park

McDuffie County PFA & Hatchery 

Central, McDuffie

PFAHatcheryEducation Center

Lake Varner Water Supply Reservoir

Central, Newton

Newton County

Watson Mill Bridge State Park

Central, Oglethorpe

Park

Amicalola Falls State Park & Lodge

Northeast, Dawson

Park

Buford Fish Hatchery Kid's Pond

Northeast, Forsyth

Hatchery

Burton Fish Hatchery Kid's Pond

Northeast, Rabun

Hatchery

Go Fish Education Center

Central, Houston Education Center

Tips For Fishing With Kids

  1. 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. 
  2. 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.
  3. Keep them covered. Use plenty of sunscreen and protective clothing. Try not to make anything about the experience painful or unpleasant.
  4. 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. 
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

First First Awards


Kids' Fishing Events

Fishing together with your child and family can build some powerful memories, so make this a summer to remember! Don’t know how to fish? No problem. There are plenty of on-site volunteers providing assistance at the many statewide kids fishing events scheduled in spring and summer. These events take place in locations where kids are likely to catch fish and are surrounded by people with like-minded interests, which help reinforce the positive experience.

Research shows that most people are introduced to fishing by a family member, and most consider a family member to be their best fishing friend.

Kids fishing events are sponsored across the state and provide fishing lessons to both children (under age 16) and parents from knowledgeable instructors. The Wildlife Resources Division co-sponsors many events by providing channel catfish or trout to improve fishing, educational materials for participants and guidance for sponsors.

Many kids fishing events (or KFEs) are held around the state throughout the year, with the majority of them taking place in the spring and summer (April through September).

Find a KFE

Events may be found at GoOutdoorsGeorgia.com. Select "Kids Fishing Event" under the "Event Type" tab. You can further query for events close to you, by date, etc.

Other Places to Find KFEs & Fishing Events


General Considerations for Sponsoring or Hosting a Kids Fishing Event

Participants

One of the first things that you should consider when planning an event is "who", as in who is your target audience and who will attend. Closely related to this is consideration of "how many", as in how many participants might attend and how many you can successfully accommodate.

  1. Determine your target group (children under age 16, scout group, church youth group, etc..)
  2. Limit the number of participants based on fishing site and/or where there is at least one adult for every two children under the age of 12.
  3. Pre-registering participants will prevent overcrowding by anglers.
  4. Provide safety rules to participants and adults supervising children.

Event Site Selection

Having a suitable site for your event is also an important consideration when planning your KFE. If you are planning on using your own facilities or resources then your site selection process will be simpler. If you do not have a facility available then you will need to locate one.

  1. Small (less than 2 acres) ponds where the kids can fish from the entire shoreline are ideal.
  2. Municipal lakes, golf course ponds, privately owned ponds and accessible streams are excellent locations (see the Small Lakes portion of this website to locate potential places for events in your area).
  3. Pick sites with healthy populations of catfish and bream species or stock the event site (contact your local fisheries office for information and procedures for obtaining catfish from WRD for stocking an event site). 
  4. The KFE site should be chosen with safety in mind. Avoid steep shoreline with deep water and strong currents in your site selection.
  5. Sites with controlled access (fenced in or private property) will avoid conflict with other water users.
  6. Men's and women's restrooms on-site are preferred. If such facilities are not available, you can rent portable restrooms. Look in the phone book under "Toilets-Portable" or "Rental".
  7. Look for sites with parking that can accommodate your target group and the number of people expected.

Event Sponsorships

Pooling of resources and involving other groups can be a great way to spread the workload of organizing and hosting a KFE.  

  1. Talk to businesses, fishing clubs and other sportsmen groups to be sponsors to help with mentoring kids on how to fish, provide prizes/donations, oversee casting contest, provide equipment and refreshments, etc.
  2. Encourage parents to participate and help with the event. Fishing is family fun!
  3. It would be a good idea to form a committee of interested volunteers to spread out the work (3–5 people).

Event Publicity

To attract participants and volunteers you will need to get the word out about your event.

  1. Advertise the event though local newspapers, handouts, and on available Internet web sites. Visit  www.takemefishing.org for ideas.
  2. Call local radio and TV stations to advertise the event.
  3. Contact local businesses and provide them with posters or single-sheet handouts that promote the fishing event.

KFE Organizer/Sponsor Resources

Research shows that most people are introduced to fishing by a family member, and most consider a family member to be their best fishing friend.

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