Thanks to Seattle’s lineup of accessible fishing holes, going fishing with the family is surprisingly easy, even for beginners
One of the benefits of raising a family in Seattle is the accessibility to the Sound and, with it, all things water-related. Tidepooling is as simple as heading to a nearby beach on a sunny day, and you can find great spots to go kayaking no matter where you live.
It’s just as easy to go fishing. In fact, it’s especially easy to go fishing with kids because, in Seattle, children can fish without a license* (that makes it easy on the wallet, too!). The only question is: beach, pier, or boat? If you’re ready to get your little ones hooked on this time-honored family outing, check out the most popular kid-friendly fishing spots in the area. An insider tip for beginners: If your pint-sized anglers are completely new to the sport (or you are as well), you might want to opt for one of the local fishing holes that charge a small fee—they usually have experts who’d be happy to show you the ropes. Ready to hook, line, and sinker? Here’s where to bring your family of fishers.
Reverend Murphy Fishing Pier
You’ll enjoy a lovely view from this kid-friendly fishing spot in Seward Park 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.
5900 Lake Washington Blvd. S.
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 surprisingly easy to catch—so younger kids think it’s lots of fun. No fishing license is required, and they will clean and bag your fish for a minimal charge ($0.50). Bring your own gear or rent from them ($3/pole). 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—it’s got exotic animals, pony rides, a petting zoo, playgrounds, and more. Pack your own lunch to enjoy at one of several picnic spots for a full day of fun with the fam.
Insider Tip: No catch-and-release is allowed here. It costs $6 per fish, and expect a $25 fee for each fish thrown back. Also: there’s an admission cost to enjoy the property amenities and go fishing.
4924 268th St. E.
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.
Nestled on the shores of Union Bay, you’ll find Belvoir Place, a 400-foot dock that’s perfect fishing for kids. This hidden gem in Seattle’s Laurelhurst neighborhood is not usually busy, so it’s a calm spot for beginners. Kids can fish for largemouth and smallmouth bass, yellow perch, sablefish, black crappie, and more. Psst… one of the reasons that this spot is among Seattle’s best-kept secrets is probably because it’s quite hard to find—the dock is squeezed between two private houses.
3659 42nd Ave. N. E.
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 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.
Redondo Beach Pier
Countless children have memories of catching their first fish at Redondo Pier. Kids fishing for salmon, sole, and perch will be in luck 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. and is home to over 250 species of sea life with two large touch tanks.
Redondo Beach Dr. & Redondo Way
Des Moines, WA
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, a wading pool, and lots of tasty nearby eateries and coffeeshops.
5900 W. Green Lake Way N.
Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park
There’s so much to do at this Lake Washington park, including kid-friendly 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.
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
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 easy—it’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.)
Gold Creek Trout Farm
This hatchery can be loads of fishy fun for amateur anglers, but you might find the fish are a little too 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. They will even clean the fish if you like ($0.50 per fish). There’s no catch-and-release here, so plan to bring your fish home.
Insider Tip: 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.
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 then 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.
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.
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.
*Editor’s Note: As previously stated, children 14 years old and under do not need a fishing license to fish 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.
Additional reporting by Abbey McGee, Helen Walker Green & Kristina Moy