Texas is full of incredible fishing opportunities, and fishing is a great way to inspire curiosity and a love of nature in children! I’ve rounded up some of the very best places to take your kids fishing that offer either complementary poles or pole rentals, and many even have trained staff on hand to help with baiting a hook and even removing the fish once you catch it!
Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center, Athens
You could almost call this a fishing theme park! Poles sit waiting to be used, and the friendly staff of mostly docents will assist you in baiting the line, and even help you remove your catch from the hook! There are also plenty of exhibits to see, a fish feeding show and a tram tour of the fishery. They also have a fun line-up of events year round, and best of all, fishing license are not required! Click HERE to read more.
Bass Pro Shops, 7 locations around the state
There are 7 Bass Pro Shops located in Texas, and many have FREE Kids Fishing Events each Saturday, and they provide all the equipment necessary for kids to fish, including knowledgeable staff to assist with baiting the hooks and removing the fish! Click HERE to visit their website.
Chisholm Park, Hurst
The shore of this North Texas city park pond is usually lined with chairs each weekend evening with eager fishers! Part of the Texas Parks and Wildlife’s Neighborhood Fishing Program, the pond is stocked weekly, during the summer with channel catfish and from November – February with Rainbow Trout. Fishing is free, and poles and tackle can be borrowed from the City of Hurst Public Library! Click HERE to read more!
Texas State Parks & Wildlife
Did you know that TPW offers many fishing programs each month around the state, and most are FREE with park admission? From Fly Fishing Classes, to Kid Fish Day and annual tournaments at many parks, there’s almost always a reason to Go Fishing! Click HERE to see their calendar of events!
Galveston Island State Park offers Bay and Beach Explorations each Saturday and Sunday morning, showing participants how to use a seine to collect fish, crabs and otehr animals from the water and they then identify and discuss them. Click HERE to read more about GISP.
Houston Boat Show
Amid the boats, vendors and entertainment, the biggest thrill for any kid at the massive Houston Boat Show is always the fishing tank, filled with fish just waiting to be caught! Click HERE to visit their facebook page!
Lewisville Fishing Barge, Lake Lewisville
Don’t worry about the weather at this temperature controlled indoor fishing barge. When the kids get tired, bring some cut up grapes to feed the friendly and always hungry ducks and geese! Click HERE to read more!
Sea Center Texas, Lake Jackson
The Texas Marine Fish Hatchery releases over 25 million juvenile red drum, spotted sea trout and southern flounder in the Gulf of Mexico to assist in replenishing the population that is still recovering from decades of over-harvesting. Sea Center offers guided and self guided tours of the hatchery, as well as exhibits, aquariums and annual fishing events! Click HERE for more information.
Woldert Park Lake, Tyler
Another of Texas Parks and Wildlife’s Neighborhood Fishing Programs, this family-friendly park is stocked with channel catfish during the summer, and rainbow trout during the winter. Fishing poles and tackle can be borrowed at the park. Click HERE to read more about TPW’s Neighborhood Fishing Programs and find a park near you!
Horace Caldwell Pier, Port Aransas
While inland fishing is fun, it doesn’t beat the thrill of saltwater for not knowing WHAT you could possibly catch! There are several pay to fish piers along the coast, and most will rent you a pole and sell bait! The Horace Caldwell Pier in Port Aransas stretches across a couple sandbars, and it’s where my son had his biggest fishing thrill, catching a young hammerhead shark! Click HERE to read more!
Galveston Party Boat
Ready to head out even farther into the bay or Gulf? Galveston Party Boat offers half and full day bay and deep sea fishing excursions, and even 30 hour Safari and Tuna trips! Trips start at $30/person and all equipment and bait is provided! Click HERE to visit their website.
Here are several Summer Camps from around the state that focus just on fishing.
Texas Outdoor Camp, Lake Bastrop
A week long camp focusing on bass fishing and fun! Click HERE to visit their website.
Kurt Dove’s Pro Bass Youth Camp
Many Texas High Schools now offer fishing as a sport, and most colleges have a fishing team. Kurt Dove’s Pro Bass Youth Camp is a terrific way to get your child ready for tournaments. Click HERE to read more.
Texas A&M Galveston Sea Camp
Week long camps, as well as day camps during the year offer great opportunities to learn about the fish and other creatures of the Gulf. Click HERE to read more!
Great Texas Fishing Resources
Kayaks are terrific vessels to reach the best fishing spots, and they are easy to manuever and travel with! Texas Kayak Fisher takes you all around the state and will teach you the basics of kayak fishing
Fishing Guides in Texas who specialize in Family Fishing Outings
Garquest Bowfishing, Central Texas
Bowfishing is a terrific sport, and it’s a great way to introduce kids to archery, too! Click HERE to visit their website.
Surrender at Sunrise, Port Aransas
Fishing isn’t always with a fishing pole, and there’s no bigger thrill than gigging a flounder! Kids will love these fun trips! Click HERE to visit their website..
The Sporting Goods Company offers FREE Fly Fishing Lessons and programs during the year. My husband and I also joined them for their FREE Introduction to Fly Tying class, and it was really information and fun Saturday morning date.
Kids Fishing Tournaments
If you have a cub scout, don’t miss the fun at Trout-O-Ree, a fun fishing competition held each January at Camp Tahuaya, Texas largest spring-fed lake! Click HERE for more information.