The first port of call when planning a fishing trip with kids involved is to check out our pre-organised Get Fishing events listings page that lets you search by postcode to find the latest events in your area. There are lots of family fishing taster sessions run by the Angling Trust’s ‘Get Fishing’ team and partners like the Canal and River Trust and national angling charity Get Hooked on Fishing. The great thing is that most events are COMPLETELY FREE! Yes – that’s right – everything you need to enjoy that first fishing trip is included right down to bait, use of fishing tackle, a day-ticket to fish at the fishery and a rod fishing day licence completely free of charge thanks to the Environment Agency. The Get Fishing team recommend you bring sun protection, a snack and water – that’s all!
Find tailored events across the North East, North West, West Midlands, East Midlands, East of England, London and the South East and South West Regions of England in the UK and take the hassle out of planning, when it’s already been done for you!
For a more bespoke arrangement, if you’re not an angler, the first thing on your mind could be finding the expertise of a coach or club that can help show young people how to get started when it comes to fishing rods, tackle and how to use it. View our Get Fishing map where you can search by coach or venue and find contact details. If you can’ find who or what you’re looking for, please email [email protected] and we’ll do our best to help you find a solution. The good news is that angling has a fantastic safeguarding record with UK Sport and the Child Protection in Sport Unit, so you can be reassured that your child’s safety and wellbeing are being looked after.
OK – so this is the important bit! Remember that apart from when you are going to go fishing at an event organised as part of the Get Fishing campaign, before you go fishing in freshwater rivers, lakes, ponds canals and streams in England you will need to get a fishing licence. Children under 13 do not need a licence, and licences for children aged between 13 and 16 are free. You can get a licence for the full year, for 8 days (ideal for holidays!) or just a day’s fishing.
NOTE: Although young children who are under 13 years old do not need a licence to fish, the person supervising them needs the proper fishing licence to take hold of the rod or to help the child fish with it.
As well as the licence from the Environment Agency on the .Gov.UK website, you will also need permission from the person that looks after the land or fishery where you want to fish, so make sure you ask or find out first. The best way to find out about fishing licences, where to fish, what to use and how to use it is to come to a Get Fishing event and ask one of the people running the event where to go fishing near to you.
You can also check the Get Fishing map or contact your local Regional Angling Development Officer and see if they can recommend a beginner-friendly place to go fishing with children near to where you live. The Get Fishing Regional Angling Development Officers have brilliant local knowledge on where and how to go fishing and will help you learn how to fish!
Another great place to find out where to fish and what to use is by visiting a local fishing tackle shop, where you’ll be able to access information to sustain your child’s new hobby. See if they can recommend a club which has a junior section or runs junior fishing days. These can be a good way to get additional help from experienced anglers or angling coaches and make connections. Look out for an Angling Direct store near to you – they’ve teamed up with Get Fishing to offer friendly beginner advice on angling with an angling coach in all their shops who can help with tips and money saving info so you only get exactly what you need to start fishing.
Finding your way around equipment can become easier after initial coaching sessions. Children can be encouraged to invest in a small tackle box of their own containing a few packets of hooks, some floats, a disgorger and some weights – this is a good way for children to learn what each item is used for and can encourage them to make progress as they start to need additional items for new or different types of fishing methods or species. Again, this is where your local fishing tackle shop can offer invaluable info – you don’t need to spend much to get everything you need to go fishing. The short videos below will explain the basics of fishing tackle too – have a look!
Once you’ve got your time and place sorted, our how to fish videos are a useful resource to find out what’s involved or improve your skills.
For help every step of the way, subscribe to our Get Fishing TV YouTube Channel and keep up-to-date with the latest family friendly events on social media: Follow us on Instagram @getintofishing and find our Get Fishing Facebook page here.
The Get Fishing campaign to get more people fishing more often is funded by the Environment Agency from fishing licence income as part of the National Angling Strategic Services contract with the Angling Trust, and Sport England. Children under 13 do not need a licence, and licences for children aged between 13 and 16 are free but you still need to register and receive a licence in order to go fishing. Although young children who are under 13 year old do not need a licence to fish, the person supervising them needs the proper fishing licence to take hold of the rod or to help the child fish with it.