First time fishing
Buzz Baby is a column about life with little ones. Writer Annie McQueen is a mother of four children under the age of 8.
Houston is an urban city with lots of fun and family-friendly outdoor activities at our fingertips, including great beginner fishing spots around town.
This month, in honor of Father’s Day and celebrating all the great dads and father figures out there, we thought we would explore the world of taking a young child fishing in our very own backyard.
Fishing is a great way to learn patience, bond with your child, and gain an appreciation for the outdoors. We created a guide to Houston fishing spots, and some tips to remember, too.
It is vital to bring the right gear such as a youth fishing pole, which can be found at Bass Pro Shop or on Amazon. They are smaller and easier for a small child to hold. Be sure to pack sunscreen, bug spray, water, a hat, and an extra change of clothes. A youth-sized life jacket is important to remember for added safety.
Dad-of-two Jared Taylor has risen early on weekend mornings to take his two daughters fishing around Houston from when they were toddlers (they are now 6 and 8). He says he prefers before sunrise when the city is still quiet. “It’s a great little escape into nature yet only 20 minutes away,” said Jared.
Jared says he brings options for the girls to use for their fishing bait. “I usually rotate through a handful of options trying to see where the fish are biting,” he said. His go-to is a Texas-rigged 5” watermelon Senko.
“If I see some decent topwater hits, I will go with a small rooster tail and keep it close to the surface,” he said. “I set the girls up with a weighted grub and crappie bait and a bobber so they can watch for bites,” said Jared.
This technique allows the girls to avoid casting their fishing lines over and over, explained Jared. “It is pretty fun to see their excitement when the bobber dips below the surface,” said Jared. They use a catch-and-release method.
A preferred spot on their list is Brazos Bend State Park. Visitors tend to go to search for alligator sightings, but Jared says he enjoys taking the girls to fish for Largemouth Bass. “It is a great outing for the whole family and also good to support the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department,” said Jared.
Jared says catching the fish is a memorable moment for the kids, but it is more about the experience that counts. “Where you go is not as important as how often,” said Jared. “I used to fish all the time with my dad. It is special getting to share that with my girls.”
Some other great Houston fishing spots include:
Tom Bass Regional Park Section III
15108 Cullen Blvd.
Tom Bass Park has two fishing lakes, Tom Bass I and Tom Bass II, stocked with catfish, bass, and other species. There are several fishing piers and a boat ramp, making it easy for kids to fish from the shore or a boat. Additionally, the park has picnic areas, a playground, and walking trails.
Sheldon Lake State Park and Environmental Learning Center
14140 Garrett Rd.
Sheldon Lake State Park has a 120-acre lake that's perfect for fishing for kids of any age, starting young. The lake is stocked with different kinds of fish, and there are several fishing piers and a boat ramp. The park also has a nature center, hiking trails, picnic spots, and an area to paddle boat.
Mary Jo Peckham Park
5597 Gardenia Ln.
Mary Jo Peckham Park is in Katy, about 30 minutes west of downtown. This park has it all for kids of all ages – including a lake stocked with catfish, bass, and perch, several fishing piers, and a boat ramp for small boats. The park also has a great playground, splash pad, picnic areas, and a Recreation Center with restrooms.
Herman Brown Park
400 Mercury Dr.
Herman Brown Park sits in north Houston and has a lake that is stocked with different varieties of fish. The park also has a softball field, a picnic area, walking trails, and a playground.
Lake Houston Wilderness Park
25840 FM 1485
Lake Houston Wilderness Park is a lush, 5,000-acre park that offers plenty of space for hours of outdoor activities. The lake is stocked with fish. There are also 20 miles of trails, and spots for activities outside of fishing including kayaking, birding, mountain biking, and more.
Brazos Bend State Park
21901 Farm to Market Rd. 762
This expansive park has more to it than just fishing, with 37 miles of trails, some of which are wheelchair friendly. Visitors can shorefish or fish off the pier. The park has three lakes for fishing – Hale, Forty Acre, and New Horseshoe Lake.
Buffalo Run Park
1122 Buffalo Run
This park is an easy drive and a great beginner park to take young children to fish. It has four large ponds with plenty of shoreline to fish from. It has a boat ramp, an observation tower, a sand volleyball area, and walking trails.
Bane Park Lane
9600 West Little York Rd.
This park is located just inside the Beltway near Jersey Village. It has a playground, a covered picnic table area, a small pier, and easy parking. It also has a lake that is stocked with Rainbow Trout. Catch and release is recommended.
1700 Hermann Drive
Fishers under the age of 12 and seniors 65 and older are allowed to fish in the lake near Hermann Park (off Bob’s Fishing Pier). It is located on the west side of the lake.
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