Family fishing lakeside
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9 Ways to Entertain Your Non-Fishing Family on a Fishing Trip

Fishing isn't for everyone. Even if you're a hardcore angler, your family members may never even pick up a rod. But being with family on a fun-filled fishing trip is a great way to keep them included and maybe even get them to consider fishing in the future. While you work on getting them interested in trying their hand at angling, here's how to ensure they still have a great time on an outdoor adventure.

1. Help Them Cast a Line

Father and son fishing on shore

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If you can talk them into at least trying to fish for one morning, make sure your family is set up for success. Save your best spot for them, make sure you have the proper gear setup for them, walk them through all the steps, and celebrate their success.

2. Designate Them The Fish Photographer

family sport fishing. one of them, in foreground, is taking a picture with a camera

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If one of your family members has an eye for photography, ask them to film or photograph your catch. They'll feel important and included, and you'll have a great reminder of the fun memories for years to come.

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3. Bring Them Aboard the Boat

2 generations of brothers salmon fishing, lighthouse in background.

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If you are boarding a boat or canoe for fishing, take your loved one with you. Floating is fun, even if you kick back and relax while others work.

4. Go When the Weather Is Right

Grandfather is teaching his young grandson how to catch fish.

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It can be tough to plan an outdoor adventure according to the ever-changing weather conditions. Do your best to schedule your trip for a time of year when it's less likely to be stormy, sweltering, or overly buggy while still accounting for prime fishing dates. You don't want your family to be trapped inside a tent or RV the entire time you're away, and rain can put a damper on other outdoor activities. Follow your local National Weather Service to stay updated.

5. Load Up on Food and Drink

Happy little family enjoying snack while fishing. Sitting in the river on fishing chairs with fishing rods in water

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Nothing can spoil the fun of any adventure like a lack of food — or libations. Especially when you're fishing with family. Take tons of shelf-stable snacks so your family has something to nibble on while on the water or the trail. Pack all the fixings for s'mores, other fun campfire treats, and hearty, delicious meals.

Don't forget lots of water to keep everyone hydrated, coffee to keep everyone caffeinated, and any adult beverages to keep the grown-ups in good spirits.

6. Bring the Family Pets

Sisters fishing by river with family dog

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So many people are hesitant to go away even overnight if it means leaving their beloved fur children behind. When picking your fishing destination, look for spots that allow dogs, offer walking trails, and even feature docks the dog can jump off. Your dog-loving family won't be as reluctant to extend the stay if the whole crew is there. And another point for RVs on this one — even with a thick coat, your pup can stay cool inside the RV!

7. Make it a Fish Fry

A meal of fish and sides frying on a cast iron pan on a campfire.

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Your family might warm up to the idea of fishing fast if you give them a great feast with the day's catch. Clean your fish immediately and cook it over the campfire or in your RV kitchen. Customize the meal to your family's tastes so they'll be hungry for more and eager for the next fishing outing. If you need some new, creative recipes, try one of these fish dishes:

8. Upgrade Your Campsite

rv and picnic table under foliage near a florida lake

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If your friends and family don't enjoy fishing or other outdoorsy experiences, they probably won't want to spend several nights sleeping under the stars. Instead of a tent, take an RV! With configurations for virtually any vehicle, small group, and budget, RVs are great for keeping your non-fishing loved ones comfortable and complaint-free. Locate campgrounds where you can affordably set up for the week, get access to running water and electricity, and be within walking distance of a prime fishing spot. They'll have a nice cool escape when it gets too hot or too buggy outside. They can also stay well-fed with a kitchen setup, so no hangry episodes. If the fishing stinks, it will be much easier to roll out and find a new hole too!

9. Line up Other Outdoor Activities

Close-up of a four year old boy having fun in his kayak on the lake. The boy is wearing sunglasses and a life jacket and is using a black paddle. His kayak is orange and yellow. In this image he is looking up towards dad.

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Just because your family members don't want to fish doesn't mean they wouldn't love to do other fun activities on or near the water. Pick a place where they can kayak, jump on a SUP, lay on a nearby beach, watch wildlife, or post up in a hammock. If they love hiking and exploring, you could also find a fishing spot within a National Park, National Forest, or State Park so they can hit the trails by foot or bike while you're reeling in dinner. And if the fish aren't biting or conditions aren't prime for fishing one day, take the time to enjoy one of these other activities with your family.