School’s out for the summer! Fishing is a fun and family-friendly way to get your kids unglued from their electronics and get them outside. Children under 16 don’t require a fishing license, but Georgia DNR is now offering an optional youth sportman’s license. This $15 license gives your child sportsman’s license privileges through their 17th birthday, a free bass or deer durable hardcard, and is a $70 value!
Mansfield | Jasper/Newton County
This magical place is a great way to get your kid hands on with the outside world. With 20 different ponds to fish, there’s no shortage of angling or bankside exploration opportunities. Dove Pond is a must for youngsters and is open only to anglers under age 16 between June and August. When the fishing fun wears off, visit the Wildlife Center and or take a shot at the Clybel Shooting Range.
Any of Georgia’s Public Fishing Areas are an excellent way for your minnow to get their feet wet in the sport of fishing. Many of these areas host Kid’s Fishing Events throughout the year where staff is on hand to give pointers on casting and catching. Find a Kid’s Fishing Event near you by visiting the Go Outdoors Georgia Events webpage.
Dawsonville | Dawson County
If you’re looking for a family friendly fishing getaway, beautiful Amicalola Falls State Park and Lodge is your home away from home. Trout fishing streams and concrete pond banks invite your kiddo to get hooked on different types of fishing. The park has onsite accommodations, so plan to stay the weekend. For a $5 parking fee, there’s no shortage of outdoor adventure here.
Clarkesville | Rabun County
Summer field trip planning? Head on down to Burton Trout Hatchery. The family catfish pond offers easy fishing for small fry with no experience. Small tackle with almost any bait will guarantee a bite. Make sure you print out a “My First Fishing Certificate” when you get back home to remember the memories you made. Kids ages 12 and under with a little more experience can try trout fishing at the well-stocked Moccasin Creek. Visitors are all welcome to take a FREE self-guided tour of Lake Burton Fish Hatchery from 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m. every day of the year.
Perry | Houston County
The Go Fish Education Center is the perfect place for your child to catch the fishing bug. There is a small admission fee (Adults: $7, Children 3–12: $5, and Children 2 and under: Free) and annual passes are available to enjoy the fun year round. The casting pond is stocked with bluegill, channel catfish, and hybrid striped bass. Feel free to bring your own fishing gear if you like, but bait and tackle are provided as part of your admission fee. Go Fish also has over 200,000 of freshwater aquariums allowing kids to get up close and personal with fish they’ll see in Georgia waters. Get out of the sun and into the exhibits to experience interactive fishing simulators, learn “reel” fishing tips, and more! The Go Fish Education Center is open on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays 9 a.m.–5 p.m. and Sundays 1 p.m.–5 p.m. until August 31.
Before packing the kids in the car, be sure to check out these resources:
- Fishing with Kids webpage complete with more suggestions of where to fish and fishing tips: https://georgiawildlife.com/KidsFishing
- 10 Family Friendly Fishing Places in Your Backyard blog to find 10 more backyard angling opportunities in Georgia!