GO FISH! Just because you live in the city with your kids, doesn’t mean they have to miss out on some of those fun, classic activities that are what childhood is all about. Luckily for Seattle families, there are a multitude of awesome fishing spots that are only a short drive away from the city. Many of these fishing spots cater specifically to kids, so you don’t need to worry about kids getting bored waiting for a bite. Many are open during normal daytime hours as well, because let’s face it–getting up at the crack of dawn to sit out on a freezing lake doesn’t exactly sound like an ideal way to spend a morning. So pack up your rods and reels and hit the docks for a fun day of fishing.
Find it: In the Laurelhurst neighborhood at 3659 42nd Avenue NE – this small grassy spot may be hard to spot. Keep your eye out for it squeezed between two houses.
Go fish: There is a small dock on Lake Union, perfect for little fishers. We love taking kids to fish here because the boat launch is only accessible to boats that can be hand carried, making it less chaotic. Bonus points for Belvoir Place being pesticide free!
Find It: Located off SE 28th Street, take I-90 and get off at WA-900 W/17th Ave NW. Follow along Lake Sammamish State Park, make a left on E Lake Sammamish Pkwy SE and follow 212th Way SE towards the lake. 21824 Southeast 28th Street, Sammamish.
Go fish: Fishing for an Experience runs their guided program out of Pine Lake, servicing kids in the Seattle, Bellevue, Issaquah, Sammamish, and Redmond areas. They provide you with all the gear and knowledge your little fishers need to have a successful day on the water. They almost guarantee that you’ll go home with a fish–their catch rate is 99%
Elliott Bay Pier
Find it: At the bottom of the Magnolia neighborhood at Pier 86. Access it by taking the Magnolia Bridge on-ramp from 15th Avenue West. Stay left (instead of right to go up the Magnolia Bridge) and you’ll be dropped directly to the parking lot.
Go fish: One of Seattle’s best kept fishing secrets is this amazing 400 foot fishing pier that even comes equipped with covered cleaning stations and a little bait shop that serves espresso drinks! When you’re done fishing, head up into the Magnolia Village for lunch and more exploring.
Green Lake Park
Find it: There are a few spots to drop a line in the water at Green Lake – where NE 65th Street meets East Green Lake Way North, on the south side of the Bathhouse Theater and on the east side of the Green Lake Small Craft Center.
Go fish: If you’re willing to brave the crowds at Green Lake, it’s a fun spot to catch some fish! We prefer the Fishing Pier, next to the Small Craft Center. You can fish all year-round at Green Lake, although they typically fill the lake with trout in early March with the official season opening in late April. Keep an eye on the My Green Lake neighborhood blog, which generally posts details each year.
Whatcom Falls Park
Find it: Travel east on Lakeway Drive past Bayview Cemetary. Turn left into the park from the stoplight at Lakeway and Silver Beach Road. Another entrance is on Electric Avenue to access the sports fields and playground.
Go fish: Check out the dedicated fishing pond for children under 12 years of age. Parent supervision is required. Additionally, every trout season brings with it a childrens’ fishing derby, which offers a great option for getting kids into sport and leisure fishing.
Find it: South of Seattle in Auburn at 600 Oravetz Road – detailed driving directions are available on the City of Auburn website, but keep an eye out for Auburn Riverside High School – it’s just across the street.
Go fish: For fishing on the south side of Seattle, check out family-friendly Mill Pond. You’ll be fishing from the edge of the pond here, rather than from a dock or pier, so be prepared to keep little ones from splashing into the water. There is also an annual youth fishing derby at Mill Pond – see below for details.
Old Fishing Hole Pond
Find it: Located in Kent, just south of Seattle. From Seattle, take I-5 southbound to exit 149 towards Kent-Des Moines. Stay left at the fork onto Highway 516 East/South. Go just over a mile and turn left on West Meeker Street where you’ll reach the pond at Frager Road.
Go fish: One of the area’s most beloved fishing holes, Old Fishing Hole Pond is family-friendly and super fun. The City of Kent has spent a lot of time making this spot nice – they stock the pond every year with 1500 trout and host a youth fishing experience every May. FYI — Old Fishing Hold Pond operates on the honor system – six fish per child.
Redondo Beach Fishing Pier
Find it: Located in Des Moines, about 30-minutes southeast of Seattle. From I-5, take exit 147 and head west on 272nd Street. Wind all the way down to the water and the fishing pier will be on your right.
Go fish: The fishing pier at Redondo Beach is a nice spot to take little ones fishing in salt water – there is a great bait shop at the top of the pier and even complimentary children’s life jackets for them to use while they fish. When you’re done fishing, do some more exploring around Redondo Beach!
Reverend Murphy Fishing Pier
Find it: Near the entrance to Seward Park at Lake Washington Boulevard South and South Juneau Street.
Go Fish: We love this fishing pier! Not only is the view of Mount Rainier fantastic, you can enjoy a picnic lunch at Seward Park next door when you’re done fishing! Don’t forget to bring an extra layer – it can be a little windy here.
Some notes about fishing in Washington State with kids – Washington State requires that kids, ages 15 and older, carry a recreational fishing permit. For fisher-kids under the age of 15, they only need a Catch and Release Card to record what they catch to the state. You can register for one online or call the Fish Program Customer Service line at 360-902-2700 for more information. Don’t forget to bring it with you when you fish! Please note that crabbing requires a special endorsement, also available online.
Don’t miss these fun youth fishing events all over the State of Washington, some of which will even loan you fishing equipment to get started!
We’d love to hear your tips and favorite spots to fish with kids in or outside of Seattle! Leave us a comment below.
— Katie Kavulla