Activity/Craft,  Family

A Guide For Introducing Children To Fishing As A Hobby In The UK

New research has revealed that families up and down the UK are looking for more ways to spend time in nature. Post-lockdown statistics show that families have long-term plans to spend more time enjoying the great outdoors and start participating in hobbies that involve interacting with wildlife and nature, such as fishing, bird watching, and gardening.

Fishing, in particular, has exploded in popularity over recent years, with exclusive fishing outings such as these Swansea fishing charters providing a great immersive experience. As a fun and interactive way to learn new skills and show respect for nature, it’s easy to see why. There has been a 40% rise in women’s interest in fishing too, and as families start to explore this sport together, many are looking for guides about introducing children to fishing as a hobby.

young boy holding a fishing rod in a misty setting by a lake

Introducing Children To Fishing As A Hobby

Fishing is a great hobby for families looking for a way to spend more quality time outside together. Introducing children to fishing as a hobby isn’t as complex as you may be expecting. In fact, with only a few simple tips and a couple of investments, your children will be fishing like pro anglers in no time. 

So, if you’re ready to get your kids fishing alongside you, take a look at our guide for introducing children to fishing as a hobby in the UK. It covers the following topics:

  • How to choose the best rod and reel for your kids
  • Setting up a basic tackle box for kids
  • Understanding which fishing license you need
  • Finding help and advice within the fishing community

How to choose the best rod and reel for your kids

For beginner anglers, it’s best to look out for spinning rods and reels as they’re versatile and forgiving when mistakes are made. Remember that a child needs equipment that is designed with their needs in mind, therefore expecting them to start learning how to fish with an adult-sized rod will lead to chaos. Look out for shorter rods with light reels to ensure your kids don’t get tired too early and get frustrated early on. 

Setting up a basic tackle box for kids

When it comes to introducing children to fishing as a hobby, they’re going to need somewhere safe to keep all of their new supplies. Setting up a tackle box is an important part of the process when learning to fish as it helps to teach children all about the pieces of equipment, what they’re used for, and how to use them properly. It also encourages kids to learn more about the different items and discover new additions to their tacklebox based on the types of fish they’re looking to try and catch. Fishing tackle for beginners should include a couple of hooks, floats, a disgorger, and some weights.

a black and white photo of a father and son laughing. The boy is holding a fishing rod.

Understanding which fishing license you need

If you’re planning on fishing in public waters throughout the UK, you will need a fishing license. A fishing license can be purchased from the government website; the type of license you will need depends on the number of rods you will be using, the type of fish you are intending to catch, and the location of the waters. Children under the age of 13 do not need a fishing license and kids aged between 13 and 16 do require a junior license, however, there’s no fee for this type of license. 

Finding help and advice within the fishing community

Introducing children to fishing as a hobby is much more fun when you’re part of a club. There are clubs set up locally in all areas of the UK and they can provide additional expertise and guidance when needed. Fishing clubs are also a great place to meet like-minded people who are interested in spending more time outdoors with their families. 

If you can’t join a local club, look out for local fishing tackle shops. Very often these stores have expert anglers willing to advise you on the best equipment needed for the type of fishing you’re interested in.

a beautiful landscape of autumn trees line the background of this photo, with a lake in the foreground. The sun is reflecting off the lake and a small boy is standing at the edge of the lake, looking out across the scene.

Frequently asked questions regarding introducing children to fishing as a hobby in the UK.

The above information includes everything that you need to know in order to get started on your fishing journey as a family unit. Below are some additional frequently asked questions that will help you when it comes to introducing children to fishing as a hobby.

What should my kids wear when fishing?

Fishing takes patience and the best weather for fishing isn’t always the best weather for kids! To make sure your children stay happy during your fishing trips you will want to make sure that they stay warm and dry. Waterproof clothing, lined wellies, and warm coats will ensure your child stays content during the fishing trip.

How much does a fishing license cost in the UK?

The cost of your fishing license will depend on your age and the type of fishing that you’re going to be doing. Below is a screenshot of the government’s official pricing for fishing licenses. 

How old can you be to go fishing?

Introducing children to fishing as a hobby can start at any age, but you will need to make sure that your child will be happy and entertained throughout the experience. Therefore, it’s recommended that children under the age of 2 years stay at home, as they may find the experience to be unpleasant. Starting them young is fine, but take it slowly. Children are not built to sit still on a river bank for 2 hours, so bear this in mind when you start introducing fishing to your child. 

What is the fine for fishing without a license in the UK?

If you are caught fishing without the appropriate license in the UK, you could be fined up to £2,500. 

A close up of a bot holding a fishing rod, the background is blurred.

Final thoughts on introducing children to fishing as a hobby in the UK.

Fishing is a fun way to spend time together as a family in the great outdoors. This post offers information on how to get started with the hobby and answers some of the most commonly asked questions regarding introducing children to fishing as a hobby in the UK. Is fishing something that you enjoy with your family? I’d love to know your experiences with fishing in the UK, so please feel free to drop a comment below.

Rachael is a 31 year old mum to 10 year old Luke and 5 year old Oscar. She lives in England and writes about family life, crafts, recipes, parenting wins(and fails), as well as travel, days out, fashion and living the frugal lifestyle.

One Comment

  • Karletta

    Love that families are looking to spend more quality time together – that is at least one good thing we learned from Covid. I have never been fishing before, ever in my life. I enjoy eating fish, so I think it would be worthwhile for me to spend some time going into nature and getting a greater appreciation for the fish and what it would take to catch one.

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