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Planning Your Family’s First Fishing Excursion

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There's nothing many parents enjoy more than passing on traditions or hobbies to their kids, and a family fishing trip is an ideal format for many who enjoy fishing as a pastime. Kids can begin fishing safely at a very young age, often as early as kindergarten or even preschool -- but if this is your first time planning out a fishing trip for your entire family, there may be a few concepts you haven't considered or need a reminder on.

At Pybus Point Lodge, we're here to help. All our all-inclusive Alaskan vacation packages are available to entire families, from our fishing trips through wildlife adventures and more. What are some general recommendations or reminders we often send to anyone planning their very first major fishing excursion? Here are several to consider.

Fishing License Requirements

If you've been fishing for a while, it's likely you already have your own fishing license arranged -- but if this is your spouse or kids' first time on such an outing, you may want to consider making a trip to your nearest fishing and hunting store before the family outing. It will only cost a few dollars or less, and in some states is free of charge for residents under a certain age limit.

In Alaska, licenses are required for anyone over the age of 16 at all times. For children younger than this, parental supervision will be required for all fishing activities.

Kid-Friendly Fishing Equipment

Just like any other area where they're inexperienced and may lack an adult's strength or coordination, it's important to outfit your children appropriately for fishing before you head out on your family's first major outing. No, they don't need to wear a full wetsuit and flippers, but it never hurts to make some suggestions as they gear up for the day.

In general, children who haven't been exposed much to fishing have trouble using heavier rods, reels and lures. Lighter line, baits and lures are far more accessible to kids of different ages, whether they're ten or fifteen years old.

In addition, be sure that flotation devices and other safety equipment are simple to use and comfortable for your children to be in. You should know, for example, that many inflatable flotation devices are only approved for use by adults up to a certain weight limit -- so don't rely on these. Also make sure all of their fishing equipment is easy to put on or take off without assistance, allowing them to take breaks as needed.

Water Safety

For many kids or other family members on their first big fishing trip, water safety will also be an area they haven't been exposed to much in the past. It's vital to pay close attention to any weather alerts, and it's also a good idea to let your children have a say in where on land or water they'd feel most comfortable.

When you're fishing with kids, it's important not to push them out of their comfort zone -- especially if there are more experienced individuals in the group who would rather go elsewhere. When it comes to water safety, let your kids take the lead and direct the family fishing trip as they see fit. Also be sure to supervise your children closely in and around water, even for activities such as swimming.

Be Patient

If this trip represents the first time fishing for anyone in your family, whether children or otherwise, it's important to maintain patience and understanding throughout the entire trip -- and even beforehand. By the same token, if you or your spouse has been fishing for decades, this is not to say that they know everything about the sport. Be patient and work with the entire family to ensure everyone has a good time, and that this first outing will be memorable for all the right reasons.

It's important to realize that almost anyone can go on a family fishing trip and learn how to do so properly with just a little preparation. The more patience and understanding everyone maintains, the more fun your family will have. Don't get frustrated at anyone taking a while to pick up some of the finer points; you didn't learn how to fish in one day, after all, and you can't expect anyone else to!

Keep Expectations Realistic

Tied directly into our theme of patience above is this one: Be realistic in your expectations. A brand new fisher in your group is not going to become an expert overnight; if you come in expecting this, you'll be disappointed.

You also shouldn't think that this is going to be a complete waste of time if your little one isn't reeling in trophy-sized fish as soon as they step into their first boat. It may take time and effort before anyone might catch anything worth keeping and eating, and that's OK -- it's part of the experience.

One specific theme we advise families to avoid when planning a fishing trip is any kind of fish-catching quota. Many people like to set a goal for how many fish they're going to catch and keep, whether it's two per person or some other number. This is the surest way imaginable of ruining your own fishing trip, as well as your family's first big outing -- you can't always guarantee any number of fish will be caught, and setting arbitrary benchmarks will only leave you and others disappointed if you don't meet them.

For more on how to plan your family's first major fishing trip, or to learn about any of our fishing packages in Alaska, speak to the staff at Pybus Point Lodge today.

Alaska Packing List PDF


Download, share, or print out our PDF Packaging list to make sure you bring all the gear you need for your Alaska vacation!


Chartered Floatplane Service

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Wide Selection of Fish Species

Alaska is one of the top dream destinations for anglers around the world, and it’s no surprise why! Our waters are home to a wide variety of fish species that are good to eat and a blast to catch.




Discover why people like you can’t stop talking about Pybus Point Lodge. More than 30 years ago, the lodge opened as a simple fishing camp, drawing a devoted following in spite of basic accommodations. With new owners and experienced captains and crew, our corner of Alaska has become an unbeatable fishing and eco-tourism resort.

Andrea Tate

Incredible Experience!

Pybus Point Lodge has some of the most stunning scenery I’ve ever seen. I mean absolutely breathtaking! In addition to the amazing fishing, I hiked to a beautiful secluded lake, soaked in some hot pots, saw several waterfalls, went whale watching, saw bears and all kinds of wildlife and marine life. As a photographer, photographing a wedding under a waterfall will remain a highlight of my life.

Shirley Johnson

Pybus Point Lodge - WOW!

We had the best time! This was our first visit to Pybus, but it definitely will not be our last. The stunning scenery, amazing fishing experience, and the joy of meeting new friends – all outstanding! We did not want to leave!!! If you are thinking about this trip – don’t think any more, just book it. You will not regret it!!!

Sharon Hedding

Trip of a Lifetime!

We had such an amazing time the staff was so wonderful and the lodge was fantastic! capt Joe was so helpful and always doing what ever he could do to make each day special. a special thank you to both Scott and Jody for taking the time to make us feel like family. can't wait to go back next year

Jason Nielsen

Wonderful and Magical Place

We had an amazing business retreat to Pybus Point Lodge.  Everything was top notch... the fishing, the staff, the boat captains, the food, the accommodations, and especially the scenery. I really liked that Pybus took care of everything from start to finish. Chef John is an amazing cook. We had delicious hot meals the entire trip.  The cabins were amazing and very comfortable.  The fishing was awesome and that’s coming from a guy that doesn’t fish that much.

Brandon Foote

We brought home 100lbs of fish!

My wife and I spent a week at Pybus Point this Summer. We had a beautiful, private room overlooking the bay and our own new, ensuite, private bathroom. What an amazing place for couples to get away together. We set our own breakfast time, met our boat captain after, fished the day along, and returned to clean up and enjoy a nice dinner at the restaurant. Next time Alaska is on the trip list, Sherrie and I will go together, and it will be to Pybus Point!

Kent Danjanovich

Fun in Alaska

This was my first trip to Pybus Point. I stayed in one of their new cabins. The accommodations were incredible, the view onto the bay in the mornings was stunning. I loved the staff and the food was really very good. All of this and they have new boats to take you out onto fairly calm waters to fish. The fishing guides were great. Overall a great experience. Definitely going back.


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