There’s some things in life a kid just has to do. Like roasting marshmallows over a fire or building a ramp to ride bikes over. One of those under-the-radar childhood “musts” is going fishing with family and friends.
Here are 12 top stops to go fishing with kids without the hassle (besides untangling lines of course)!
Winton Woods: Winton Woods is home to a gorgeous lake with bank fishing or rent a boat, canoe or kayak to explore the lake. There’s plenty of blue gill and catfish hanging around the boathouse for kids to snag a fish or two. The boathouse is loaded with everything a kid could need: tackle, bait and snacks. Free fishing with motor vehicle pass.
Lake Isabella: The 76 acre park located in Loveland is a hidden gem among Great Parks. The lake gets stocked each spring but a fishing ticket is required for each angler. Purchase yours in the boathouse where you’ll find everything you need for a successful day on the lake.
Sharon Woods: *Lake is closed through 2024 for renovations* Bank fishing at Sharon Woods is a blast while the boathouse is closed for lake dredging. Kids will love burning some energy at the playground with water features nearby to splash in. Free fishing with motor vehicle pass.
Miami Whitewater Forest: The lake at Miami Whitewater Forest is huge and home to a bobcat! No worries, the bob cat goes fishing on its own. Miami Whitewater is a gem for its children’s events and a harbor with resident wildlife inside. Bank fishing is allowed nearby the harbor or rent a vessel to take out on the lake. Free fishing with motor vehicle pass.
Ohio State Parks
Stonelick Lake: Stonelick is a quiet lake that does not allow large motors, allowing for calm waters year-round. Although fishing has been said to be tough at Stonelick, the lake is stocked well and the fish like to hang in the coves of the lake. Rent a kayak or canoe from the campground to get into those tight spots or stay by the beach while the kids splash around between bites. Stonelick is a dream for those looking for a rural lake. Free
East Fork Lake: Known for great fishing at the dam, East Fork Lake is a hot spot for eastsiders. On the drive in, bait shops start to pop up or find a gas station nearby, most have worms for sale! Free
Caesar’s Creek: For some of the best crappie fishing in the state, anglers like to take their families to Caesar’s Creek. The lake is huge and fun for big boaters. Free
Local Parks and Rivers
Little Miami River: The LMR makes its way through Southwest Ohio with several spots to hang out with the kids. We recommend a visit to Old Milford where you can walk to the rocky beach, wade in the shallow water and fish off of Elm and Cash Street. Or, stop in Loveland at Nisbet Park to play on the playground before walking down to the river access to fish. Terrace Park, Avoca Park Trailhead is a bit of a walk with gear in hand (for the adventurer), so parents with little kids might want to skip this one. But, the beach access is fun to fish off the sides of the bank! Free
Parks: Miami Meadows Park in Milford is a great stop for families who love to catch catfish. Bring your hot dogs and catch fish all day at the pond in the back of the park. A great spot for kids, the trail is paved around the lake and has benches/a pavilion for shade and a restroom! Stop in at Miami Market for lunch and bait on the way. Landen Deerfield Park is getting some attention as a fun place to play at their new ninja course! Nearby the lake, kids will love the several play structures and walk across the bridge to the lake’s other side. Bring your bait along, there’s no harbor here but lots of huge carp! Free
Visit these top spots to skip rocks while you’re looking for the ultimate fishing-hole!
Tips for fishing with kids
- Bring an activity for when they’re bored. Let’s be honest, kids like to fish for about 30 minutes. Bring along some Hot Wheels or an art pad so mom and dad can fish a little longer.
- Sunscreen! Reapply often!
- Folding chairs or a blanket, some places have rocky beaches.
- Snacks, never forget the snacks.
- Purchase a tangle(headache)-free pole for young kids here!
- Buy fun lures and bait for kids like our favorite pink sparkle crappie PowerBait.
- Bring along casting fish so kids can practice on the shore (or at home!).