My kids love fishing. Every year at the State Fair, they want to fish in the DNR pond. When they see the fishing game at carnivals, they’re all in. They tried their hand with a fishing pole at Indiana University’s Bug Fest a few years ago and last year, we took them “real fishing” for the first time.
Eagle Creek Kid’s Fishing Derby
The free event at Eagle Creek’s Lilly Lake is designed to get kids ages 4-14 interested in going fishing and teach families how to fish together. For one day, the Indiana DNR lifts the requirements to have a fishing license and lets everyone go fishing at Eagle Creek. The date for the Fishing Derby is September 25, 2022, from 9am-2pm.
The volunteers that put this event on provide fishing poles (there are a limited number available on a first come, first served basis), bait and instruction. But there’s more – they also cook up a free lunch for everyone and feed you AND give all of the kids a goody bag!
Fishing Derby Need to Know
You’ll want to bring chairs to sit in, sunblock and bug spray. A lot of participants catch fish, but not everyone does. When you catch one, a volunteer will come over and help you identify and release it.
There’s usually a gate entrance fee at Eagle Creek, but Fishing Derby participants will have their fee waived!
Parking may get a little sparse, so plan on hiking in or getting dropped off near the pond if the lot is full.
Pre-registration is required and only the first 250 participants will be accepted.
If you have your own fishing poles, bring them along – there are a limited number of loaner poles available. Plus, it’s a great time to get familiar with your own fishing equipment.
The Eagle Creek Kid’s Fishing Derby will take place rain or shine, but in the event of severe weather, it will be rescheduled the following Sunday.
If you’re looking for places to go fishing with kids, here are a few ideas.