The Top Mistakes When Taking Kids Fishing For The First Time [With C.A.S.T. For Kids]


One of the most rewarding parts about fishing is teaching a kid to fish.

At Salt Strong, one of our main goals is to get more kids fishing and to help create the next generation of anglers.

Introducing kids to fishing brings a whole new level of joy to the sport for us and the more kids we can get into fishing the better the future of our sport.

However, getting a kid into fishing isn’t always easy. You want to make sure that their first fishing experience is a positive one.

There are some key steps to take to help you avoid the mistakes most people make when introducing a kid to fishing.

We wanted to tell you the top mistakes that people make when teaching kids fishing. To do that, we decided to talk to Jeff Barnes from C.A.S.T. For Kids.

C.A.S.T. For Kids Foundation

kids fishing for redfish

C.A.S.T. For Kids is the largest fishing charity in the world that focuses on serving children with special needs, military personnel and introducing children to the sport of fishing.

Since it was established in 1991, C.A.S.T. For Kids has held over 1,000 events across the country taking children fishing for the very first time through a couple different programs.

The flagship program — the C.A.S.T. For Kids program — brings children with special needs (ages 6-18) and their caretakers and community volunteers together for a fun day of fishing the kids may not otherwise get to experience.

This program aims to spread a positive message that kids with disabilities can accomplish anything and include all children, despite their limitations.

The Fishing Kids program was built around the slogan “getting more kids fishing, more often” and focuses on introducing urban youth age 5-14 to fishing for the first time.

Each event takes an average of 300-800 children fishing.

Check out the video below to learn more about the C.A.S.T. For Kids events:

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In this podcast episode, we talk to Jeff about how to get kids fishing for the first time, including:

  • The biggest mistakes when introducing kids to fishing
  • What to consider when taking kids with disabilities fishing
  • Fishing safely with kids
  • The biggest threats to the next fishing generation

Have any questions or feedback about this podcast episode?

Let us know in the comments at the bottom of the page!

Note: Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to the Fish Strong podcast on iTunes or Google Play.

Learn more about the Insider Fishing Club

The Fish Strong Podcast: C.A.S.T. For Kids

kids fishing with C.A.S.T. For Kids

Click the play button to listen right here on our site or click either button below to go directly to iTunes or Stitcher to download the episode.

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stitcher fish strong podcast

Note: Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to the Fish Strong podcast on iTunes or Google Play.

Learn more about the Insider Fishing Club

The Top 10 Mistakes For Fishing With Kids

kid fishing for bass

Getting your own kids or other kids into fishing is a special experience.

You want to make sure you give them a positive experience the first time you take them out. The first trip will lay the foundation for their passion for fishing for the rest of their lives.

To help you with your kids’ first fishing trip, here the top 10 mistakes people make when introducing their kids to fishing:

  1. Making The Day Too Long – You want to make sure you don’t spend too much time fishing on the first outing. An hour to two hours is really as long as it takes to get a kid fishing, even if you don’t catch a fish.
  2. Overcomplicating Things – Don’t have your kid out there throwing suspending plugs on a surf rod the first time you go out. A 5′ rod with 8-10 lb line, some split shots and a bobber are the perfect setup for fishing with kids.
  3. Using Too Big Of Hooks – Small hooks make it manageable to target small fish such as bluegill. Big hooks can make it more difficult to fish.
  4. Targeting Big Fish – Catching bigger fish is challenging. A first-time kid angler is not going to care whether they are catching a glamorous species or not. The best thing for introducing kids to fishing is to go to a small pond and target bluegill, bass, crappie and other easily caught species.
  5. Not Using Live Bait – Live bait is the easiest to use and most effective way to fish for new anglers.
  6. Not Using A Bobber – Bobbers are the perfect way to introduce a kid to fishing. Nothing is more fun than seeing your bobber go down and getting a bite for the very first time.
  7. Using Too Big Of Gear – Remember, go small with everything – from tackle to fish. Target small fish such as bluegill or mangrove snapper. Use small hooks, a small bobber and a small rod. This will allow the kids to handle their fishing gear more easily.
  8. Not Using The Right Bait – You can’t go wrong using red worms and crickets. Simple, small and easy to find.
  9. Have A Backup Plan – There is a good chance you won’t catch a fish the first time you take your kids fishing. Have a backup plan — like a small dip net to catch minnows or tadpoles in the shallows of the lake or pond.
  10. Not Making The Trip Fun – The biggest mistake with taking your kids fishing for the first time is making the trip all about fishing. MAKE THE TRIP FUN. Go get breakfast at a diner before the trip or have a big lunch by the lake. Maybe go fishing at a place where the kids can go swimming afterward. Overall, just focus on having an awesome time with your kids.

Learn more about the Insider Fishing Club


kids fishing with dad

If you get the chance, take your kids fishing and show them the sport that you’re passionate about.

Today’s kids are tomorrow’s anglers. We need as many new anglers as possible to ensure we have people to fight for our fisheries in the future.

Another great way to give back to the sport is to get involved with charities that promote the outdoors to youth.

You can start by checking out the C.A.S.T. For Kids website here.

If you have any questions about introducing kids to fishing or this article, let us know in the comments.

Tight Lines!

Related Posts: 

1. The Biggest Threat To The Future Of Fishing In America

2. 9 Amazing Reasons To Teach Your Kids How To Fish

3. Take A Kid Fishing: FREE Online Fishing Course For Parents & Kids

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Nick Christo
8 months ago

Gentlemen, that was an awesome podcast . So many things I didn’t think about which make sense. I listened because I have a 4 year old grandson who I want to get started properly. This CAST for kids project gives many fishermen the opportunity to give back to the community in a big way and thank you for that. God Bless the CAST for kids foundation and you all at SaltStrong for waking us up to this organization as well as giving us guidelines on how to build those memories.


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