It’s a Keeper: Kids’ Fishing Events and Areas in the South Sound

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Today, I’m very proud to feature a guest post from Nicole of The Northwest Camper. If you enjoy getting outdoors with your family, you’ll love The Northwest Camper. It’s full of tips, ideas, and deals to help you make the most of your family’s adventures. I know you’ll enjoy her post on kids’ fishing and kids’ fishing events.

I love remembering my daughter’s first time fishing with her daddy. She had a ball. Didn’t catch but one teeny, little fish that got away before we could see much of it. But, she really enjoyed herself and liked playing with the worms. She still talks about the worms. She named them all.

Whether they get a big catch or not, children of most every age can learn some aspect of fishing and enjoy the activity  with a family member-a parent, aunt, uncle, or grandparent. Taking children fishing is a great way to teach them about nature, the food chain, the environment, and patience. Oh, wait-I actually think the adults learn patience the most!

There are many options available to take children fishing for free in our area. Children under 14 do not need a fishing license, so the only investment (besides time) is a pole and some bait. If parents will be fishing (holding the pole or having a line in) then they need a license. Licenses can be purchased over the phone, online, or in person. Get license information.

You can find a place to fish and some great activities and advice for kids right here or visit one of the state maintained fishing ponds open only to children 14 and under.

Decoursey Pond (Pierce County) Open the last Saturday in April through November

Not currently open to fishing because of water quality issues (duck and geese kind….eww..) but kids can fish year round at nearby Bradley Lake.

Wapato Lake (Pierce County) Open year round Just got off the phone with Marina from Metro Parks, and she confirmed that Wapato is still closed to fishing because of water quality issues. She did add that they are hopeful Wapato may open this summer. Thanks very much to Neti for this tip. Another option for Tacoma area fishing is to head to the marina at Pt.Defiance. Super fish guy Art has free regulation books that list all the area spots, and of course you can try to get yourself a salmon dinner! There is also a free fishing weekend coming up at the marina in June, which includes half off boat rental.

Long’s Pond (Lacey/ Thurston County) Open year round to kids under 14

Old Fishing Hole Pond (King County) in Kent  Every year in May, the pond is stocked with close to 1,500 fish by Trout Unlimited. There is a limit of six fish per child and it operates on the honor system.

These ponds are only for children and are stocked with fish-so the chances are the fish will be biting!

There are three inexpensive kids’s fishing events coming up in the South Sound.

April 16th Lacey Family Fish In Fishing will take place at the Woodland Creek Community Park at Long’s Pond. Preregister for 5.00 with the city of Lacey parks department. Each child who participates will receive a rod and reel to keep, and volunteers will be on hand to assist.  Call 360-491-0857 for more information. Hurry! The registration deadline is April 8th or when full. You can get the registration form here. This event is for kids 5-14. Just talked to LeeAnne from the parks department, and she told me kids will also get to go to different educational stations to learn skill such as hook baiting. If you know your kids would love this, but you are a little squeamish about doing it yourself, this is the event for you!

Saturday, May 21st City of Lakewood Youth Fishing Event at American Lake Children will be able to fish in the lake, which will be stocked for the event. Each child may catch and keep up to two fish, which will be cleaned and put on ice to take home and enjoy. All children will receive a t-shirt and a fishing log. The cot is 10.00 per child. There are different time slots through out the day. Sign up for a time by May 6th. 253 983 7758. Limited to the first 300 children to register.

Saturday, June 4th City of Puyallup kids’ fishing derby The city hosts the fishing derby at Bradley Lake Park from 7AM-9AM. Register on the day of the event, beginning at 6:30AM. Open to children 12 and under. 3.00 cash only

A word to the wise: Have the camera ready! You are going to want to catch the great smile you see for your little angler’s first catch. Or, the handful of worms is awfully cute, too!

Nicole provides travel advice, tips for camping in the Northwest, and campground reviews at The Northwest Camper.  She loves to stay at public campgrounds in Washington, Oregon and Idaho with her family of pampered campers: a fun husband that cooks, a yellow Labrador retriever, and two preschool-aged girly girls that like dress-up and digging in the dirt equally well (sometime simultaneously).

Thanks to readers who’ve helped out with this post. If you know

a great fishing spot, feel free to leave a comment!


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