Fishing Programs For The Family

Okay, a disclaimer: I am NOT a fishing expert. But I secretly always wanted to learn. In fact my former boss was an avid fly-fisherman and I never worked up the courage to ask him if I could tag along.

Some of my best memories growing up though were the occasional fishing dates with my grandpa {marshmallows as bait? Well it worked for us.}. Perhaps it’s the warming weather, but I’ve noticed a lot of fishing programs popping up. So if your family is made up of outdoor enthusiasts or budding anglers, here are some options for easy + instructional learning in the Indianapolis area:

{As with all events we publish, we recommend contacting the venue to confirm final details. Events appear in chronological order.}

Make fishing a family affair at Krannert Park.

This 3-hour “Family Learn To Fish” workshop – provided by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division Of Fish & Wildlife’s Go FishIN Program – is specifically designed to help families fish together. After getting instructed in basic skills, families then practice at the park pond. No experience needed and all equipment will be provided. Children must be 6 years and older. Pre-registration required. FREE.

Date/Time: Saturday, May 16. 9am-12pm
Location: Krannert Park, 605 S. High School Rd., Indianapolis, IN
More info: or (317) 234-8440

ALSO NOTE: This program shifts north for a second date in June:
Date/Time: Saturday, June 6. 9am-12pm
Location: Monon Community Center, 1235 Central Park Dr. E., Carmel, IN OR Fort Harrison State Park, 6000 N. Post Road, Indianapolis

Visit the 14th annual Kids Fishing Derby at Eagle Creek Park.

The Eagle Creek Park Foundation invites visitors {ages 4-14} to fish with some assistance at this annual event. The Derby includes goody bags, food, drinks, demonstrations, and the opportunity to win door prizes. Families may bring their own equipment {although poles may be reserved if needed} blankets and folding chairs. Bait is provided by the Park. Pre-registration opens May 1 and is required as space is limited. FREE.

Date/Time: Saturday, June 6. 8am-12pm
Location: Eagle Creek Park – Coffer Dam, 7840 W 56th St, Indianapolis, IN 46278
More info: or (317) 327-7110

Learn the basics of fly-fishing.

A perfect class for the rookie fly-fisherman in your family: Flymasters has partnered with Hendricks County Parks to teach fly-fishing and basic fly-tying. Participants will have a chance to practice casting on the lawn before heading to Big Walnut Creek to cast in the water. Cost: $10/pp. Recommended for ages 10+. Registration required.
Date/Time: Saturday, June 13. 2-4pm
Location: McCloud Nature Park, 8518 Hughes Rd, North Salem
More info: Hendricks County Parks website or (317) 327-7110

Plan a trip to the Indiana State Fair Fishing Pond.

While enjoying the activity of the State Fair, head to the DNR Building at the north end of the fairgrounds for some free fishing fun. Parents will signup kids at the registration table, listen to a short talk about fishing safety, then watch children cast into the Fishing Pond during a 15-minute session with local experts. All equipment is provided. Recommended for ages 5-17. Fair admission prices apply but fishing is FREE.

Dates/Times: August 7-23. Various times.
More info: or (317) 234-8440.

Enjoy FishIN right in the city.

For families with a little experience under their belts, the Indiana Department Of Natural Resources “Go FishIN In The City” program regularly stocks fish at easy-to-access ponds and lakes around the Indianapolis area. Anglers age 18 and older are required to have a fishing license {which can be purchased on the DNR website} and stocking weeks take place at various times from now-October. Possible park entry fees may apply, otherwise FREE.


  • Fort Harrison State Park – Delaware Lake, 6000 N. Post Road, Indianapolis
  • Krannert Park, 6055 High School Rd., Indianapolis, IN
  • Meadowlark Park, 450 Meadow Lane, Carmel
  • Riverside Park, 2420 Riverside Drive, Indianapolis
  • Washington Township Park Pond #2, 115 S. County Road 575 E, Avon

More info:


Know of other family-friendly fishing activities we missed? Tweet us at @indyschild and @themomista. {Out enjoying them as a family? Tag us in your Instagram photos at @indyschild and @themomista1 and you might be featured in an upcoming post or article!}


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