I was lucky enough as a young kid to have two very awesome grandpas who fished religiously. One of them was a lake fisherman and the other was a river fisherman. Grandpa Leo was the lake guy. He used to take his old blue boat out on Mayfield Lake in Washington and troll around for trout and chub fish (A type of sucker fish). He used to bring the chub fish home and feed all the neighborhood cats. It was crazy because they knew when his boat was pulling up from fishing. He was an awesome man that took me out whenever I wanted to go. The other grandpa (Grandpa Junior) was mostly a river guy. The very first fish I ever caught was a species of fish called a sturgeon. Sturgeon gets rather large in the Columbia River. He used to go down and catch a couple and then bring them back to his home made pond in his backyard and release them in there for us grandkids to fish them out, even though part of the time we had to net them back out.Being exposed to this at a very young age started my love for the sport of fishing. When children are young it’s important to have a somewhat easy reward of catching a fish at first. Catching fish easily is all dependent on species of fish and time of year. Alaska is amazing for almost instant gratification when fishing. Here are a few options to take kids to catch fish easily.
Pink Salmon in the fall in Alaska return to the rivers in abundance. They will hit pretty much anything you cast at them so it makes it easy for kids to hook up and catch their first fish to start their passion for fishing.
About now is the time of the year that they are plentiful in a lot of the Kenai Peninsula streams. If you are looking for a short drive from Anchorage then you should head down the Turnagain Arm to either Bird Creek or Ingram Creek. Both these streams get a visual abundance of Pink Salmon in them in the fall. Fishing spinners and pixies is an easy way for them to cast and hook up. There is easy bank access to both of these places as well. Both streams have a small run of Coho Salmon which will hit the same type of lures. A couple of other options for easy bank access to these species is either Whittier or Seward off the beaches. The easiest way to find the fish in this scenario is to find streams dumping into the salt water. Most salmon will be staging to run up these streams to spawn. The parking and beach access in both of these places is very easy for children to navigate although I would at least make sure they have some waders or some sort of waterproof rubber boots.
Locally stocked lakes
Another option for kids is a lot of the Anchorage locally stocked lakes. ADF&G stocks most lakes in Alaska in the summer with rainbow trout on a regular basis, which leads to some other pretty easy fishing. The biggest part about fishing these lakes is also the access to them. There is usually some sort of comfortable grass shoreline or beach to be able to fish. You also have a few options for bait and lures as well for this type of fishing. I have found that the easiest is to use enough weight to cast out and it will sink with a short leader line of about 2 feet to a hook with some sort of bait on it. Powerbait, worms, salmon eggs and shrimp are some easy options for this type of fishing. You can run a bobber about two feet about the bait as well so they will have a visual presentation of a fish striking the hook. Small spinners and smaller lures is also effective catching these stocked trout.
Probably the biggest thing you need to consider in taking your kids fishing and wanting them to get into the sport is to just be patient. Take your time with your kids and explain to them actually how to fish and don’t just do it for them. This is one of the biggest problems I see. If they are not hands-on with it and don’t actually catch the fish themselves, then they usually don’t become enthused by the thrill of fishing. The explanation of the rights and the wrongs of fishing and how to follow the rules set is one of the major keys to having fish available to the future generations. Our children will become the stewards of sportfishing by teaching them how to respect our environment and to only take what we need the correct way.