Top Spots to Take the Kids Fishing this May Long Weekend

With the May long weekend upon us, many campers in B.C. are getting ready for their first trip of the season. Longer days, warmer weather, and ice off have anglers eager to get their lines in the water. Whether you are staying at home or escaping with your family, here are our seven top spots to fish with kids. And since the goal of going fishing is to actually catch some fish, target the rainbow trout in all of these lakes by casting and retrieving a spoon or a spinner, or use bait suspended beneath a fishing float.

Durrance Lake (near Victoria)
Durrance Lake is a great spot for a daytrip, with picnic areas, an easy hike that circles the lake, and a dock to fish for stocked catchable-sized rainbow trout.

Colliery Dams (Nanaimo)
At the three Colliery Dams lakes, there is great shore fishing for rainbow trout which the Society stocks in the spring and fall. If you have a stroller or mobility issues, parking in the lot off Sixth and Wakesiah streets is the best. Here you will find washroom facilities, a park, and plenty of picnic sites.

Mike Lake (near Maple Ridge)
Located in Golden Ears Provincial Park, Mike Lake has a new fishing dock, as well as an easy walking trail that takes you around the lake. Camping is not allowed at Mike Lake, but in the park you can reserve three large campsites using the Discover Camping website. The Society stocks Mike Lake with catchable-sized rainbow trout each spring and autumn.

Lac Le Jeune (near Kamloops)
With its well-maintained boat launch and large fishing dock in the day-use area, Lac Le Jeune is extremely accessible for every type of angler. Don’t have fishing gear, but want to give fishing a try? During the May long weekend, Society staff will be delivering a free Learn to Fish Program at Lac Le Jeune Provincial Park. Lac Le Jeune is renowned for its excellent rainbow trout fishing, and it’s not uncommon to catch 1.5-kilogram specimens.  

Shannon Lake (West Kelowna)
Shannon Lake Regional Park lies in the heart of West Kelowna. The lake is accessible for both boat and shore anglers. On weekends during the spring, staff from Regional District of Central Okanagan, Peachland Sportsmen's Association, and the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC host a Go Fish BC Rod Loan Program. Youth under the age of 16 can come and give fishing a try at the new fishing dock – for free. All gear and tackle is provided, and a side of the lake is sectioned off and stocked with catchable-sized rainbow trout for the kids.
Wasa Lake (near Cranbrook)
Since over 35 of the camping spots at Wasa Lake Provincial Park are first-come, first-served, be sure to get there early on the May long weekend. On the eastern side of the lake, there is a large concrete boat launch, but anglers can shore fish from here as well. During the holiday weekend, there will be a free two-hour Learn to Fish Program for youth under the age of 16. This lake has an abundance of invasive species like bass and perch that are easily caught by jigging a worm under a weight.

Ten Mile Lake (Quesnel)
Ten Mile Lake offers easily accessible campsites that you can reserve using the Discover Camping website. For day-trippers, the lake also provides a picnic shelter, 10 kilometres of hiking trails, and a large fishing dock.

Ten Mile Lake is stocked with both rainbow trout and kokanee. Kokanee like deeper, cooler water. If you don’t have a fishfinder, try suspending bait off the bottom for a few minutes. If you don’t feel a bite, try moving your bait up a couple of feet at a time in the water column until you find fish. Luckily, kokanee tend to travel in schools, and once you have dialled in the depth where they are schooling, you are sure to land a few.

As always, before you head out for the weekend, make sure you have a freshwater fishing licence and that you have checked out the fishing regulations for your chosen lake.

Author: Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC Staff
Photo Credit: Steve Olson, Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC & Justine Russo Photography