Kids All American Fishing Derbies

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Kids All-American Fishing partners with community organizations to produce thousands of youth fishing events across the country where youngsters can experience first-hand the fun of fishing.

For many, it is the first time holding a fishing rod and reel. For nearly all, the derbies provide an unforgettable experience to enjoy with the family.

Designed generally for youngsters up to 15 years of age, Kids All-American Fishing is a program produced at the local level with the support of various organizations, scouting groups, and local communities.

Kids All-American Fishing is one of the most popular events in the United States. We, along with our partners and host organizations across the country, are committed to introducing and promoting to youth and their families America’s favorite pastime…fishing!

Organizing a Kids Fishing Derby

Organizations across the country can partner with Kids All-American Fishing by registering the event. To host a Kids All-American Fishingderby you must:

  • Submit an online application for your event; registration begins September 1st for the following calendar year’s events.
  • Conduct an on-water youth fishing event where the youngsters will actually get to fish. Clinics are great, but kids will only get truly excited about fishing if they get to try it first-hand.
  • Schedule your youth fishing event for the next calendar year, but no earlier than April 1. We encourage you to host your event in June in celebration of National Kids Fishing Month.

If your organization is hosting a youth fishing event, don’t miss the opportunity to make a great community event even better!

Derby Organizer FAQs

When should we have our event?

June is a great time to take kids fishing. We encourage you to strongly consider hosting your event sometime during this month. Saturdays work best as it provides an opportunity for parents to join in with their youngsters.

Ultimately, the date for your derby depends on your local calendar and needs. Keep in mind, we are unable to support events planned prior to April 1.

What time of day should we plan our event?

When dealing with small youngsters and their short attention spans, we highly recommend an event of no longer than half a day. Usually from 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. works well (including fishing time and eating time). But the times can be flexible to meet the needs of your local community.

How do we get the kids to attend?

Put the posters up in the schools, community centers, and your local stores. It is also a good idea to work with a local newspaper or radio station to help get the word out.

Kids, refreshments, and fishing all go together! Make sure you’re prepared to handle the hungry stomachs of the young anglers.

What do the children need to bring to the fishing derby?

The kids should prepare to bring their own rod, reel, hooks, etc. No need to buy any expensive fishing gear. Even one of the cheap spinning rods would suffice. They should also bring their own bait; and most importantly, a parent or guardian. This is a very important issue.

Our recommendation is that each child should be accompanied by at least one parent or guardian at an event. This not only keeps the children supervised, but it discourages parents from dropping the kids off and making you the babysitter.

Who can host a Kids All-American Fishing Derby?

Kids All-American Fishing derbies are typically planned and hosted by community organizations or agencies. Such organizations can provide not only manpower, but they can usually provide liability insurance, which is highly recommended.

Please note: Kids All-American Fishing Derbies should not be used as membership recruitment events nor should a fee be charged for youngsters to participate.

How to register a Kids All-American Fishing Derby?

Registration begins September 1st for the next calendar year. All applications for events must be submitted by February 28th. You must submit an online application during that time period.

What information will we need to submit the application?

You will need to determine the location, date, and time for your event. You will need to estimate the number of youngsters that will attend your event. This can be difficult, especially if this is your first year.

But it may help you to know that the national average is 185 kids per derby. You will then need to determine what type of event for which you would like to register.

You will have the opportunity to apply as a Public Event or Private Event. Following are descriptions for each type of approved on-water fishing event:

Public Event – Organizations are encouraged to host a derby that is open to the public and promoted within the community.

Private Event – This designation is meant for organizers who are conducting a kid’s fishing event for a select group that is not generally open to all youth in the area. Often this includes derbies for military bases or neighborhood associations.

Where should we hold our Kids All-American Fishing derby?

For a youth fishing event, we strongly recommend a small city park lake or pond, ocean pier, or an area where you can keep the youngsters easily in view.

Other areas to consider are a state park, a city water reservoir, etc. We recently organized a derby at Occoneechee State Park. If you need to stock the body of water with fish, we recommend you contact your local state game and fish department for their assistance.