Reel ‘Em In: 15 Great Places to Go Fishing with Kids

a little boy stands at the edge of a kid-friendly fishing spot with a rod, his parent is in the background

One of the benefits of living in Seattle is our easy access to the Sound and all things water-related. Tidepooling is as easy as heading to a nearby beach on sunny day, and when it comes to kayaking, you can find great spots to put in no matter where you live. It’s just as easy to go fishing. The only question is: beach, pier or boat? If you’re ready to get the kids hooked on this easy family outing (hint: kids can fish without a license, so it’s easy on the wallet), check out our favorite kid-friendly fishing spots. Our tip? If your little fishers are completely new to the sport (or you are too), you might want to opt for one of the local fishing holes that charge a small fee. Here’s where to bring your pint-sized anglers.


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Seward Park

You’ll enjoy a lovely view from this kid-friendly fishing spot on Lake Washington, especially if the mountain is out. Après fishing, enjoy a stroll through Seward Park, swing on the zip line, play on the playground equipment or go for a swim at the swimming beach. Don’t forget to bring an extra layer. This fishing spot can get a bit windy.

Reverend Murphy Fishing Pier
5900 Lake Washington Blvd. S.
Seattle
Online: seattle.gov 

 

Jim’s U Fish at Old McDebbie’s Farm

The fish are jumping at Jim’s U Fish. With two freshwater ponds stocked with rainbow trout, the fish here are pretty easy to catch, but kids still think it’s lots of fun. This spot makes for a great day out with the fam. No fishing license is required, and they will clean and bag your fish for a minimal charge ($2). Bring your own gear or rent from them ($3/pold). But what about the kids in your family who aren’t interested in fishing? No problem. Enjoy all that Old McDebbie’s 20-plus acre farm has to offer including exotic animals, pony rides, petting zoo, playgrounds and more. Pack your own lunch to enjoy at one of several picnic spots for a full day of fun.

Good to know: No catch-and-release is allowed here, and there is a cost to enjoy the property amenities and go fishing.

4924 268th St. E.
Spanaway, WA 
Online: oldmcdebbiesfarm.com

Elaine Erskine from Pixabay

Lincoln Park

Watch ferries crisscross the Sound as you fish from the driftwood strewn beach at Lincoln Park. Popular with families, Lincoln Park boasts great salmon fishing during the summer months, as well as plenty of other activities (think playgrounds, hiking trails, ballfields, zip lines and even an outdoor, heated saltwater pool). Enjoy the inclusive and accessible play elements, including a small alcove for sensory sensitive children. But be prepared, Lincoln Park can get quite busy, especially during the bi-annual “pink” salmon run.

8011 Fauntleroy Way S.W.
Seattle
Online: seattle.gov

RELATED: 7 Easy Summer Hikes That Are Totally Kid Approved

 

Belvoir Place

Nestled on the shores of Union Bay, you’ll find Belvoir Place, a 400-foot fishing dock. This hidden gem in Seattle’s Laurelhurst neighborhood is not usually busy, so it’s perfect for beginners. Kids can fish for largemouth and smallmouth bass, yellow perch, sablefish, black crappie, and more. Psst…this spot is one of Seattle’s best-kept secrets, probably because it’s quite hard to find (squeezed between two houses).

3659 42nd Ave. N. E.
Seattle
Online: seattle.gov

 

Springbrook Trout Farm

Springbrook Trout Farm boasts that the water in their ponds is so clear, you can see the fish before they take a nibble on your line. The offer all of the equipment needed to make your day of fishing a success. They only charge by the length of the fish ($9 for an 8″ fish up to $29 for a 25.5″ fish). Pole rental, “power bait” and the fish cleaning is all included in the cost. While there, take time to notice the wide variety of wild birds who stop by including blue herons, kingfishers, woodpeckers and osprey. If you want to use the space for a birthday party (Finding Nemo would make for a great theme), they are down for that too.

19225 Talbot Rd. S.
Renton, WA
Online: springbrooktroutfarm.com

RELATED: 7 Places to Host an Outdoor Birthday Party (That Aren’t Parks)

a dad and daughter catch a fish
iStock

Angle Lake

Apart from the occasional airliner passing overhead, Angle Lake is a great escape from the city. At this L-shaped, 10-acre urban park, you will find a big fishing pier, sandy beach and grassy area as well as a playground, picnic/BBQ area, and swimming beach to pass the time when the fish aren’t biting. During the summer months, silver trout called kokanee are plentiful, but you can also reel in largemouth bass, black crappie, rock bass, yellow perch and, if you’re lucky, a rainbow trout.

19408 International Blvd.
SeaTac, WA
Online: kingcounty.gov

 

Redondo Beach Pier

Many kids have memories of catching their first fish at Redondo Pier. Fish for salmon, sole and perch at this popular spot south of Seattle. In addition to the large fishing pier, there’s a bait shop at the top. After you’ve gotten your fill, take a stroll along the boardwalk or visit the Marine Science and Technology (MAST) Aquarium for free to see what got away. The aquarium is open to the public on Saturdays from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. The aquarium is home to over 250 species of sea life with two large touch tanks.

Redondo Beach Dr. & Redondo Way
Des Moines, WA
Online: desmoinesmarina.com

RELATED: From Sea to Shore: Seattle’s Top Tidepooling Beaches

Green Lake

For little anglers in North Seattle, Green Lake is stocked full of rainbow and brown trout just waiting to be caught. Kids can also catch channel catfish, carp and pumpkinseed sunfish. With excellent shoreline access and fishing piers, you can drop your line anywhere around the lake and see what will nibble on your line. Of course, Green Lake also offers tons of other activities if the fish are not biting including a three-mile paved trail, boat rentals, a play area, wading pool and lots of tasty nearby eateries and coffeeshops.

5900 W. Green Lake Way N.
Seattle
Online: seattle.gov 

 

Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park

There’s so much to do at this Lake Washington park, including fishing from the pier. Hang out at the fishing pier or stroller along the paved shoreside walking trails. But don’t worry if you don’t catch any fish, you can always catch a tasty cod ‘n’ chips from Ivars Seafood Bar, located right by the fishing pier or grab a burger from Kidd Valley. No dogs are allowed at Coulon Beach, so leave Fido at home.

1201 Lake Washington Blvd. N.
Renton, WA
Online: rentonwa.gov

iStock

Luther Burbank Park

If you’re looking for a spot in between Bellevue and Seattle, head over to Mercer Island, where the fishing is fine! Drop your line into Lake Washington from the fishing pier at Luther Burbank Park and see if you can catch a black crappie, coastal cutthroat, largemouth bass, crawfish or longnose sucker—all while enjoying the amazing views. The park boasts three-quarters of a mile of waterfront, a swimming beach (no lifeguard on duty), a great play area, and an off-leash dog park for your pooch.

2040 84th Ave. S.E.
Mercer Island, WA
Online: mercerisland.gov

 

The Old Fishing Hole

The Old Fishing Hole, adjacent to the Green River Trail, is a favorite of young fishers for generations, catering to anglers aged 14 years and younger. The best part? It’s stocked with 1,500 trout every year. So grab yourself a spot on the grassy shore, bait your hook and reel ’em in! While there, take a walk along the loop trail. It’s easyit’s only .25-miles long. Also, check out the “Cedar and Salmon” totem pole carved by artist David Boxley.

Frager Rd. (south of W. Meeker St.)
Kent, WA 
Online: kentwa.gov 

a young boy shows off a very small fish at a kid-friendly fishing spot
Pixabay

Gold Creek Trout Farm

This hatchery can be loads of fishy fun for amateur anglers, but you might find the fish are really easy to catch (sometimes they’re practically jumping on to your line). They offer everything you need for a great first-time-fishing experience. The poles, bait, buckets, nets and helpful staff are all included and no fishing license is required, although outside poles are not allowed. No reservations are needed, and pricing is based on the size of the fish you catch. We’re sure the kids will be “hooked” in no time. They will even clean the fish if you like (.50 cents per fish). There’s no catch-and-release here, so plan to bring your fish home.

Good to know: Gold Creek Trout Farm is a state certified food fish supplier, and their ponds are filled with spring water so the fish have a very fresh taste.

15844 148th Ave. N.E.
Woodinville, WA
Online: goldcreektroutfarm.com

 

Pine Lake Park

The young Eastside anglers’ not-so-secret spot, Pine Lake is perfect for fishing with kids. The catch rate is highest early in the season, but also consider stopping by in the fall when fish have had all summer to grow and become active around the lake in the cooler temperatures. Here, you can reel in rainbow trout, largemouth bass, brown bullhead, yellow perch and pumpkinseed sunfish from the fishing pier. Or bring your boat and try catching a big one out in the lake. There is ample shoreline and a large fishing pier at the public park. There is a boat ramp, but water craft are restricted to car-toppers and float tubes; outboard motors are prohibited.

2401 228th Ave. S.E.
Sammamish, WA
Online: sammamish.us

Copyright © Gary Stebbins

Edmonds Marina Fishing Pier

With the incredible views of Puget Sound, the ferries coming and going and the seasoned fishers lined up along the railing, the Edmonds Marina Fishing Pier has lots to offer. Kids can watch the masters show them how it’s done and maybe even offer a little advice, if you ask nicely. The dock is walking distance from local shops and restaurants so you can grab a bite once you’ve caught your quota.

Admiral Way & Dayton St.
Edmonds, WA
Online: edmonds-on-puget-sound.com

 

Golden Gardens Park

It would be difficult to find a more beautiful spot to fish than Golden Gardens. Even if the fish aren’t biting, the view of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains is spectacular. Located in Ballard, this park also features two wetlands, a short loop trail and a children’s play area and lots of sandy beaches if you decide to hang up the poles and build a sandcastle instead.

8498 Seaview Pl. N.W.
Seattle
Online: seattle.gov

RELATED: Stay Cool at Seattle’s Top Splash Spots

Good to Know: Children 14 and under do not need a fishing license to fish or shellfish in the state of Washington. However, they do need to keep and fill out a catch record card if they are fishing for salmon, halibut, sturgeon, steelhead or Puget Sound Dungeness crab. You can register for one online or call the Fish Program Customer Service line at 360-902-2700 for more information. All catch record cards must be returned to the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife by the appropriate deadline, even if you didn’t catch anything.

— Jeffrey Totey, Abbey McGee, Helen Walker Green & Kristina Moy

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