Grandfather, father and little boy are fishing at the river
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3 Ways to Mix Fishing into Your Summer Family Vacation

Share the joy and score quality time together.

If the trifecta of a perfect summer getaway is family, fresh air, and fishing but you're not sure how to combine those three things seamlessly, we've got you. After all, everyone at Wide Open Spaces has been tricking their family into fishing on holiday for years (just kidding, they beg to go).

While some families may be more interested in fishing than others, there are many ways to incorporate fishing into a family vacation without sneaking off and missing out on valuable family time. Get creative and think outside the box in approach and execution. Most importantly, make it fun for every level.

The key here is to adjust your expectations and remember it is about including the family, not hard core fishing (unless that's your family's thing).

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1. Beach Fishing

The beach is another incredibly popular vacation destination, and this gives you a lot of fishing opportunities with the family. One great place to go is Orange Beach, Alabama. The kids can enjoy the fun of sandy white beaches and tasty Red Snapper, plus the hundreds of artificial reefs close to the shore. Another potential location is San Diego, California. The family can take in the majesty of the hazy sunrise off Coronado Beach while fishing for California Sheephead, White Seabass, and Halibut.

Another option is to plan your beach time near a popular fishing pier. While the family enjoys the surf and sand, you get in some of the best fishing you can get from the dock. One good option is Ocean City Pier, Maryland, or its next door neighbor, Oceanic Pier. If you make it there, be sure to try the "Thrashers," the pier's famous vinegar fries. Do some prior research to narrow down a great location that offers both a great beach and a hotspot fishing pier.

2. The Dinner Challenge

Many camping options have the added bonus of being near a water source and fishery.

It could be a log cabin in the Maine woods or a tent near Yellowstone, this is the perfect opportunity to introduce a fun fishing game to the family. The challenge is to be the first person to catch something that could be cooked up for dinner. Or it could be who catches the most. Sweeten the deal with some type of incentive, such as the winner is exempt from washing dishes!

Catching your own food makes for a unique experience and a learning opportunity, plus dinner table bragging rights. It is also the perfect opportunity to demonstrate to children how to clean and prepare fish.

3. Book a Charter


Booking a charter might be the easiest way to get the whole family out on the water in an organized way for some fishing. It'll cost some money, but guides provide the gear and guidance and the family gets to learn something new and make memories. Fishing is a great way to learn valuable skills like patience, problem solving, and reading the environment.

There are lots of different options for fishing charters depending on the location of your family vacation. Any place around the Great Lakes is likely to have lots of options for fishing charters to target species such as lake trout, walleye, or salmon. Many places along the Ocean coast will have options for deep sea fishing charters that might target a variety of species, including tuna, marlin, sailfish, and more.

READ MORE: The 5 Best Fishing Rods for Kids