April 26, 2023

Top Spots to Take the Kids Fishing this Spring

Longer days and warmer weather have anglers eager to escape with their families and get lines in the water. Here are ten 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 using bait suspended beneath a fishing float. 

Prospect Lake (near Victoria)

Directions: Google maps
Within a 25-minute drive from Victoria is a perfect spot to take the kids fishing. Prospect Lake is stocked with 1,000 - 5,000 rainbow trout each year, and there is a dock to catch them from in Whitehead Park, one of the best access spots surrounding the lake. There is also a playground, green space, trails, and restrooms, so pack a picnic and make a day out of it!

Kids fishing from the dock at Prospect Lake. Image: Virginia Chant.

Colliery Dams (Nanaimo)

Directions: Google Maps link
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, the best parking lot is located off Sixth and Wakesiah streets where you will find washroom facilities, a park, and plenty of picnic sites.

Mike Lake (near Maple Ridge)

Directions: Google Maps link
Located in Golden Ears Provincial Park, Mike Lake has a 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 a site at one of three large campgrounds using the BC Parks website. The Society stocks Mike Lake with catchable-sized rainbow trout each spring and autumn.

Lac Le Jeune (near Kamloops)

Directions: Google Maps link
With its well-maintained boat launch and large, wheelchair-accessible fishing dock in the day-use area, every type of angler will find Lac Le Jeune extremely accessible. This lake is renowned for its excellent Pennask rainbow trout fishing, and it’s not uncommon to catch specimens weighing 1.5 kilograms. It is stocked each year with 15,000 Pennask strain rainbow trout. 

Kentucky-Alleyne Potholes

Directions: Google map
Kentucky-Alleyne Provincial Park is a fishing hotspot, and its location on the 97C Highway makes it a great spot for a weekend getaway from the Coast or Okanagan. The two ponds between Kentucky and Alleyne lakes are designated youth-only fishing areas, and are stocked with rainbow trout. There are 79 vehicle-accessible campsites at the provincial park, reserveable through BC Parks. 

Kentucky Lake. Image: Brad Marriott.

Shannon Lake (West Kelowna)

Directions: Google maps
Shannon Lake Regional Park lies in the heart of West Kelowna. The lake is accessible for both boat and shore anglers. From May 1st - June 15  each year, the netted off portion on the southern end of the lake is set aside in the Freshwater Fishing Regulations as a Youth/ Disabled Accompanied Water. These are areas where only children under 16 or disabled residents can go fishing (and they can be accompanied by up two companion anglers). This makes it a perfect family-friendly spot where kids can catch a stocked rainbow trout. 

Learn to Fish program underway on the Shannon Lake dock. Image: Maddie Macey. 

Wilgress Lake (near Grand Forks)

Directions: Google Maps link
Located right on the the Crowsnest Highway between Greenwood and Grand Forks, Wilgress Lake is easy to get to, and is a beautiful spot to spend a few hours. Drop a line off the fishing dock, which has plenty of room for multiple families. The lake is stocked with rainbow trout each spring and fall. There is a boat launch and restrooms, too. 

Wilgress Lake dock. Image: Jess Yarwood.

Wasa Lake (near Cranbrook)

Directions: Google Maps link
Wasa Lake has an abundance of invasive species like bass and perch that are easily caught by jigging a worm under a weight. On the eastern side of the lake, there is a large concrete boat launch, but anglers can shore fish from here as well. You can make campsite reservations at Wasa Lake Provincial Park through the BC Parks website, and there are also first-come, first-served sites available.    

Ten Mile Lake (Quesnel)

Directions: Google Maps link
For day-trippers, Ten Mile Lake provides a picnic shelter, 10 kilometres of hiking trails, and a large fishing dock. Those looking to stay awhile can find  easily accessible campsites reserved using the BC Parks website. 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, move your bait up through the water column a couple of feet at a time until you find fish. Luckily, kokanee tend to travel in schools: once you have dialled in the depth where they are schooling, you are sure to land a few.

Ten Mile Lake fishing dock.

Rice Lake (near Vancouver)

Directions: Google Maps link

Rice Lake is a designated Fishing in the City lake, meaning it is heavily stocked with catchable-size rainbow trout which average 220 grams and are ready to catch right away. Cast a line from the wheelchair-accessible fishing dock, or wander around the lake to find a secluded spot of shoreline to yourself. 

As always, before you head out for the weekend, make sure you have checked out the fishing regulations for your chosen lake. Anglers 16 years of age and older require a basic fishing licence - there are annual, eight-day or one-day options available for purchase online or in-person through select vendor partners. B.C. resident children under 16 do not need to be accompanied by an adult (16+) licence-holder, however non-resident children do need an adult with a B.C. fishing licence accompanying them. And remember, your fishing licence fees go to the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC and Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, who work to enhance and conserve B.C. fisheries. 

Author: Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC Staff
Banner image: Steve Olson