Advice on Planning A Family Fishing Trip

Advice on Planning A Family Fishing Trip

Matthew Davies image of a fish next to three fishing rods on a boat

With spring just a few short weeks away, many fishermen like myself, Matthew Davies, can’t wait to get back out on the water. As a rule, my family and I plan at least one family fishing trip per season. Family fishing trips can be a great way to get the family together in one location. This seems to be an increasingly rare thing. As it stands, most families have both parents working, several kids in any number of school activities, and the countless chores that have to be done in a week. This leaves very little time for the family to come together as one and enjoy each other’s company. My goal in this blog is to share with you some of my tried and tested ways of planning the perfect family fishing trip.


Whether you are planning a day trip or a weeklong vacation, you need to decide on where you are going. It may seem rather obvious, but you would be surprised at how many people choose to go on a fishing trip with no destination picked out. They gather the family in the car and drive around until they find a place to fish. This is all well and fine for a day trip, but much more than that, you are going to need to make plans.

Something I have tried in the past is planning a road trip that revolves around fishing. I designed a two-week vacation where the family and I fished in six different states along the western United States coast. We took an RV, so we didn’t need to plan for where we were going to sleep. However, if you don’t intend to use an RV, then you will need to make plans for a hotel or campsite. Likewise, you are going to have to make some plans for eating arrangements. When I took my trip, we planned to have homecooked meals half the time and the other times we would eat out. We brought enough food to make sure we had something to eat if we didn’t catch any fish. When we would catch enough fish, we would use that instead of the food we brought. Just make sure you have all of these things planned before you set out on the road. It is no fun to have a family of tired individuals trying to figure out where you are going to get food or sleep for the night.


Since you will be going on a fishing trip, you are going to need to also decide on what kind of fish you are going to target. The type of fish will depend on where you are going to be fishing. If you are fishing off the pier in Santa Monica, you will be fishing for saltwater fish. If you are fishing New Hogan Lake, you will be catching freshwater fish.

Freshwater and saltwater fish require different equipment. Depending on what you are going to be fishing for, you need to plan on taking that with you on your trip. Some of the gear that you need to consider before setting out to the water is the following.

  • Cooler
  • Fishing rods and reels
  • Net
  • Fishing line
  • Gloves
  • Hooks
  • Tacklebox
  • Bait
  • Weights
  • Bobbers
  • Lures

If you don’t know what you will be targeting, then take a little of everything with you. That way, no matter what situation you find yourself in, you will have the right equipment to catch you some monster fish.


Considering this is a family outing, you might want to make sure that everyone is on board with your plans. You may have some members of your family that might not be to keen on setting out for a two-week fishing expedition. Everyone wants to enjoy their vacation. It would not be too fun if you have one or two members of your family that are complaining the entire time.

Should you find that some members of your family are not into the fishing trip, you can consider shortening the trip or splitting it up. By splitting it up, I mean do other things. If the vacation is set for two weeks, consider finding fishing locations that are near places that other members of your family are wanting to see. For example, if you find yourself in Yosemite National Park fishing Mono Lake, take a break the next day and head over to the Yosemite Valley Loop Trail and hike for the day. Perhaps you are in Southern California; you can break up a day of fishing with a trip to Disneyland or Knott’s Berry Farm. The point of the family trip is to make sure everyone is having fun.


I would be doing you a great disservice if I didn’t mention the money involved in a fishing excursion. Make sure that a fishing trip (or any other activities you have planned) have a proper budget. A vacation can be fun, but it can also get costly if you haven’t planned properly. Assuming that you will be fishing in several locations during a full two-week fishing trip, you need to remember that you will need to have permits to fish at different locations. Just because you have a fishing license for California does not mean you will be able to use it in Nevada. Be sure to set aside time and money to fish legally. You don’t want to come home from vacation with a couple of fish and a hefty fine.


The only thing left to do is get out there and plan your family fishing trip. Fishing can be an excellent way for the family to spend some time together. I, Matthew Davies, know that every time the family gets together for a fishing trip, we cannot wait until the next time we get to spend time together. Speaking of which, all this talk of a family fishing trip has put me in the mood to plan my next one. I think I will do that now. Best of luck fishing, my friends.

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