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Get 'Hooked' on Fishing! How to Get Started

Looking to try something new with your kids? Catch the fishing fever this Fall! Getting young anglers interested in this popular outdoor sport early on is both fun and rewarding, so here are a few tips and tricks to get you and your family off to a ‘fly’-ing start!

Equipment - One of the most important starting points to fishing is knowing what equipment to use. There are hundreds of different types of rods, lures, lines, bait and bobbers, making it tricky to know where to begin.

Here are some suggestions for the smoothest entry to the sport:

Spincast reels: This type of reel makes a big difference to anglers that are new to the sport. They have a plastic covering over the spool of line to make sure that tangles and tears are kept to a minimum. Spincast reels are often fitted with a convenient button that’s perfect for little thumbs to operate. Plus, they’re inexpensive to rent or buy, so trying them out doesn’t need to break the bank.

Lures: We find the best type of lure to use when learning to cast is a metal spinner. These lures come pre-weighted and are usually only able to cast short to medium distances. Many fish are attracted to metal spinners, even if there’s no bait on the hook, which is important if you’re fishing somewhere that’s catch-and-release.

Knots: Using the correct knot to attach your lure to the line is important to make sure your whopper doesn’t get away. The improved clinch knot is a good place to start and is used by everyone from beginners all the way up to expert anglers. Practice tying together - it’s a useful knot to know (not just for fishing!).

Licences: The best part! Kids up to the age of 16 don’t need a fishing licence. If you plan on helping your young one cast or reel in, make sure you check the Alberta Sportfishing Regulations to see if you need a licence. Some fishing clinics allow you to fish for the day without a licence, so if you want to trial the sport without committing consider registering for a clinic.

Location - Location, location, location… There are a number of stocked community and provincial water bodies throughout Calgary. These are ideal and unintimidating places to learn. For information on ponds stocked by Alberta Environment and Parks, visit

If you really want to get your family hooked on fishing but want a little bit more guidance, consider registering in a fishing clinic and have an expert show you the ropes (or lines).

Educational fun! Fishing is a relaxing, enjoyable sport that can span many generations. Not only does it allow you to spend time outdoors with your children, you can also learn about local wildlife, ecosystems, and a great opportunity to start learning fish identification.

So get out there, have fun, and check the Alberta Sportfishing Regulations before you go!

Bow Habitat Station is an Alberta Environment and Parks facility located in the heart of Calgary. Investigate, explore, and discover Alberta’s fish, wildlife, water and aquatic ecosystems through hands-on exhibits in the Discovery Centre, meet Alberta’s native fish in the aquariums, catch a whopper in the Trout Pond, or spot urban wildlife while strolling through the Interpretive Wetland. For more information, visit

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