Fishing Derbies Abound for Kids in California


Fishing Events

CALIFORNIA - Free Fishing Days twice each year

On Free Fishing days, Californians can fish any freshwater lakes without a fishing license. All other regulations apply.

Kids fishing events - here are postings with specific dates

Los Angeles / Orange County
*Subject to change

  • Lincoln Park Lake
    April 30, 2016 Saturday (8:00 - Noon)
    3501 Valley Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA
  • Alondra Park Lake*
    May 7, 2016 Saturday (7:00 a.m. - 1 p.m.)
    38850 W. Manhattan Beach Blvd., Lawndale, CA
  • MacArthur Park
    May 14, 2016 Saturday (8:00 a.m. - Noon)
    2230 W. 6th Street, Los Angeles, CA
  • Cerritos Regional Park Lake
    June 4, 2016 Saturday (7:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.)
    19700 S. Bloomfield Avenue, Cerritos, CA
  • Chollas Park Lake*
    June 25, 2016 Saturday (7:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.)
    6350 College Grove Drive, San Diego, CA
  • Annual Kids Fishing Festival (Mammoth)
    July 30, 2016 Saturday (7:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.)
    Mammoth Lakes, CA
  • Belmont Pier Kids Fishing Rodeo
    August 5, 2016 Friday (8:00 a.m. - Noon)
    35 39th Place, Long Beach, CA
  • Huck Finn Fishing Derby and Costume Contest
    Huntington Beach Pier
    August 13, 2016 Saturday (8:00 a.m. - Noon)
    Huntington Beach, CA
  • Seal Beach Pier
    August 20, 2016 Saturday (8:00 a.m. - Noon)
    900 Ocean Avenue, Seal Beach, CA
  • Belvedere Regional Park*
    September 3, 2016 Saturday (8:00 a.m. - Noon)
    4800 3rd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90022
  • Chollas Park Lake*
    October 22, 2016 Saturday (7:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.)
    6350 College Grove Drive, San Diego, CA
  • Bell Gardens Family Fishing Derby*
    John Anson Ford Park Lake
    November 5, 2016 Saturday (7:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.)
    8000 Park Lane, Bell Gardens, CA
  • El Dorado Park Youth Fishing Event*
    November 19, 2016 Saturday (7:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.)
    7550 E. Spring Street, Long Beach, CA 90815
  • Fishing with Santa, Youth Fishing Event*
    December 10, 2016 Saturday (8:00 a.m. - Noon)
    823 Lexington-Gallatin Road, S. El Monte, CA 91733
  • Legg Lake*
    TBD, Saturday (8:00 a.m. - Noon)
    823 Lexington-Gallatin Road, S. El Monte, CA
  • Knabe Katch*
    La Mirada Park Lake
    TBD, Saturday, (7:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.)
    13701 Aldelfa Avenue, La Mirada, CA

Bay Area / South Bay

  • Beginner level learn to fish clinic Saturday, April 9 Lake Chabot, Vallejo 8:00 – 10:00 (fishing till 11:00) For Information Children 5 – 15. Adults may not fish.
  • Beginner learn-to-fish Program Saturday, April 16 Lake Elizabeth, Fremont 8 AM to 10 AM and 10 AM to noon To register Ages 5-15
  • Youth Fishing Clinic Saturday, April 23 Lakeshore Park, Newark 8:00 – 11:00 AM Information or to volunteer Ages 5-15. Adults may not fish
  • Get Hooked On Fishing” Saturday, April 23 Waterdog Park, Belmont 8 AM to 10 AM For information or (650) 637-2927 $15 residents of Belmont $20 non-residents Advance registration is required Ages 8 to 15
  • Beginner Learn-to-Fish Clinic Sunday April 24 Lake Cunningham 8:00 – 10:00 (fishing till 11:30) To volunteer Information No pre-registration Parking fee 5-15, Adults may not fish
  • Youth Fishing Clinic Saturday, April 30 Scottsdale Pond, Novato 8:00 – 10:00 (fishing till 11:00) For information or to volunteer Ages 5-15. Adults may fish with a valid fishing license
  • Beginner Learn-to-Fish Clinic Saturday, May 14 Lake Cunningham, San Jose 8:00 – 10:00 (fishing till 11:30) To volunteer Information No pre-registration Parking fee 5-15, Adults may not fish

April 30 - May 1, 2016 Eastern Sierra Trout Season Opener Bishop and Mammoth

May 28, 2016 (Tentative) Monterey Bay Youth Outdoor Day Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds, Watsonville Monterey Bay Youth Outdoor Day is a totally free event open to the public. The focus is to get kids interested and involved in the many outdoor activities available right in our own back yards. 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds.

May 28, 2016 (tentative) Hooked on Fishing, Not on Drugs Bidwell Park, ChicoAbout Kids Fishing Derbies

They have them Oakland, Los Angeles, Long Beach and San Diego. All up and down the coast (and inland lakes, too) there are fishing derbies that lure parents and children to experience the exciting "tap, tap" of the line, a notice that you've caught something and it may be time to reel it in. The big surprise is finding out what you've caught.

Fishing is as old as the hills and isn't just entertainment, it's the lifeblood of many peoples and cultures where the see, rivers and lakes have sustained hungry hunters and anglers for thousands of years. But in modern society, fishing is primarily entertainment for youth first introduced to the sport around the age of six and up. Derbies provide mentoring and instruction from adults, and if the kids like it, the events create life-long passions for a sport that brings appreciation, entertainment, and food!

Annual Fishing Derbies

  • FEBRUARY: Lake Poway Kids Derby
  • MARCH: Santa Rosa - Kids Fishing Derby
  • MARCH Fountain Valley Mile Square Fishing Derby
  • APRIL: VALLEJO ( GVRD's Annual Fishing Derby is for youth ages 5-15 and must be accompanied by an adult.
  • APRIL Murry Park Pond For kids 2-15 Bring your pole and bait to the stocked Murry Park Pond.
  • MAY: Bass Lake Fishing Derby
  • JUNE Annual Pardee Lake Kids Fishing Derby,
    LAKE GREGORY: There's an annual Free Youth Fishing Derby every June for kids under sixteen
  • JUNE Fishing Derby For Kids, Stockton Young anglers fish for free while competing for prizes. 209.953.8800
  • JUNE Marina del Rey

Kern River Valley - Wofford Heights, California Kid's Fishing Derby

Kid's Fishing Derby is a free event with many prizes for winners in various categories. Sponsored by Fish & Game Habitat Club of Kern River Valley.

Bradley - Ron "The Bear" McKibben Memorial 17th Annual Oak Shores Kids Fishing Derby

Open to kids age 3 to 17, the fishing event is sponsored by: Oak Shores Community, and charges a fee

Friant Trout Fest

Free event at San Joaquin Hatchery, 17372 Brook Trout Dr., Friant, CA, and Moccasin Creek Hatchery ~

Gridley Kids Fishing Derby

The annual kids fishing derby, co-sponsored by the Gridley Recreation Department, Butte County Fish and Game Commission, Gray Lodge Wildlife Area, and the Chico Bass Club at Gray Lodge is free at fishing pond off Parking Lot #4, located off of Pennington Rd. behind the Gray Lodge office.

Julian Kids Fishing Derby
15027 Hwy 79
Lake Cuyamaca
Julian, CA
Kid's Fishing Derby will take place on beautiful Lake Cuyamaca, located at 4600 feet, near Julian CA. The lake will be stocked with fish prior to the event. The event is free for all under 15 years old. Children will have a chance to win prizes, such as rods, reels, and fishing trips in the free drawing. Kids can also enjoy face painting by clowns. A free lunch prepared by the San Diego Anglers. The free trout derby was started back in 1998 to help introduce more children to the sport of fishing.

Mammoth Lakes Kids Fishing Derby
Mammoth Lakes Kid's Fishing Festival - Annual Kid's Fishing Festival at the Snowcreek Ponds. Kids 13 and under can catch an Alpers Trout! Event T-shirts available and lots of prizes. Free! Donations accepted. Mono Council for the Arts Sponsors

Riverside Family Fishing Derby
6-10 a.m. at Fairmount Park, Riverside, CA. Register through Riverside Parks & Recreation department

Long Beach - Annual Daniel Hernandez Youth Foundation Fishing Swap Meet
251 North Marina Drive
Long Beach, CA

Capitola - Begonia Festival Fishing Derby
Capitola Wharf,
Open to all ages. Final Tally begins at 11 a.m. Sponsored by Capitola Self Storage. Free Shuttle runs

BASS LAKE - Bass Lake Derby in May

ISABELLA LAKE - Isabella Lake Fishing Derby in March

MARINA DEL REY - Marina del Rey Halibut Derby in May

BIG BEAR LAKE - Big Bear Lake's Fishin' for $50K Trout Derby in June

SANTA CRUZ - Santa Cruz Sandcrab Classic Perch Derby in March

LAKE ELSINORE - Just 4 Kids Fishing Derby. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Prizes is awarded to top fish catchers.

LOS ANGELES - Kids Fishing Derby in MacArthur Park.

OAKLAND - Lake Chabot Reservoir the 315-acre Lake Chabot is stocked with trout and catfish. There are also bass, crappie, and other fish. A popular event is the annual spring fishing derby. There are several fishing piers in the

STOCKTON - San Joaquin County Parks and Recreation and the Delta Fly Fishers Annual Catfish Derby. Kids age 15 years and younger fish FREE at Oak Grove's 10-acre lake during the event.

SANTA BARBARA - Neal Taylor Fish Derby at Cachuma Lake

POWAY - Lake Poway Kids' Fishing Derby

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