As the days begin to warm up many of us are looking for ways to spend time with our families outdoors again! Fishing with your kids is a great way to introduce them to the fantastic natural resources we have here in Michigan, and provides both learning opportunities and bonding time.
1 – Focus on the kids. When fishing with children, especially young kids and those new to the sport, it’s especially important to keep in mind that this experience is for them. If either parent is an avid angler, it may be best to leave your own equipment at home so that you can focus on teaching your child the rules of safety and how to operate their poles. They’ll need help tying lures and putting bait on hooks, not to mention casting, and landing a fish!
2 – Be legal. In Michigan, children do not need licenses to fish, but any adult who is actively helping must have a fishing license. You can purchase your online here http://www.mdnr-elicense.com/Welcome/Default.aspx
3 – Be prepared. This includes proper attire for the weather, first aid kit, bug spray, sunscreen, working equipment (rod & reel), rag to wipe hands off, bait and/or lures, bobbers, weights, snacks, water, etc. See more fishing guides here.
4 – Talk. Fishing is a great time to connect with your child! Talk to them about where fish like to hide, what they eat, why they may not be biting right now. Get excited when your child catches a fish!
Belle Isle, Detroit – The inland lakes on the island are great spots to catch small and large mouth bass and there are several docks along the river frontage that are for fishing also.
Milliken State Park, Detroit – The marina and the RiverWalk offer several great fishing spots. There is also a Kids Fishing Fest June 12, 2016 – you can register here http://detroitriverfront.org/2016kidsfishingfest
Spring Valley Trout Farm, Dexter – Has a stocked pond for children under 10. If you’re looking for a high likelihood of a catch, this is a great fishing spot for youngsters.
Heritage Park, Taylor – The small fishing pond is a great for first timers!
9 Mile Pier, St. Clair Shores – It’s a bit of a hike to the end of the pier, but the fishing is usually spectacular. Lots of sunfish, perch, and bass to be caught here.
Pontiac Lake Recreation Area, Waterford – Shore fishing and boat rentals for fishing deeper in the lake. There are opportunities here for younger and older children to fish many species.
Lake St. Clair Metropark, Harrison Township – There are many fishing spots in the park, near the pier and also on the peninsula that juts north. Not the best spot for the youngest of kids.
Kensington Metropark, Milford – Many places to try fishing from the shore as well as boat rentals to go further out onto the lake.
Stoney Creek Metropark, Shelby Township - Many places to try fishing from the shore as well as boat rentals to go further out onto the lake.
Mae Stecker Park, Shelby Township – A lovely stocked pond has small panfish and some good sized bass. This is a great place for shore fishing with younger kids as they will have a good shot at landing a fish. The mosquitos can be pretty heavy in summer, so be prepared with bug spray.
The DNR also has a nice list of Family Friendly fishing waters listed, and you can search by county here http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,4570,7-153-10364-299046--,00.html