Where to Go Fishing Near Me | The 20 Best Fishing Spots in Indy

Where to Go Fishing Near Me | The 20 Best Fishing Spots in Indy

Fishing with kids is a great way to teach them patience and life skills while having them immersed in nature. With beginners, though, you’ll want the perfect spot where they have a good chance of catching something and where there are other things to do, like run to the playground, in case they lose interest. If you’re wondering “where to go fishing near me?” and not sure where to start, we’ve got you covered with a list of the 20 best fishing spots in and around Indianapolis.

Where to Go Fishing Near Me

The benefits of fishing are numerous, and many families enjoy the experience of spending time together in nature, exploring new places, and learning about different types of fish and their habitats. Fishing can also be a great way to relax and unwind, providing a sense of peace and tranquility that is hard to find in today’s busy world. For children, fishing can teach patience, perseverance, and the value of hard work, as well as provide an opportunity to learn about science and the natural world.

where to go fishing near me: a little boy and girl hold large fishing poles over a lake. they are faced away from the camera facing the lake. you can see cars, people, and playground equipment in the distance on the other side of the lake.

Fishing With Kids

Ready to begin your fishing adventure? You’ll need some fishing gear. If your kids have never tried fishing before, you probably don’t want to spend a lot of money, or any at all. Check out some of the Free Fishing Days sponsored by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR). They host several days each year where you don’t need to purchase a fishing license and in some cases, they’ll have kids’ fishing derby and learn to fish events where they provide the equipment for you!

If you’re interested in trying fishing on your own but don’t want to spend a lot of money, here are two fishing setups we’ve used from Amazon (affiliate links). This one is just a fishing pole and this one is a whole junior fishing kit.

Where to go fishing near me with kids: indianapolis. A man holds a little fish that has just been caught for a toddler boy to inspect. A girl is standing behind them holding a fishing pole. There is a pond behind them.

The 20 Best Fishing Spots in Indy

These 20 fishing spots across Central Indianapolis are public and feature great fishing for beginners through experts, some also offering amenities such as restrooms, playgrounds, splash pads, pools, and more! If you’re wondering “Where to go fishing near me?” you’ll also want to take into consideration the amenities, the likelihood of catching fish, what kinds of fish you can catch, and the difficulty of getting to the fishing spot from your car. We’ve gone ahead and gathered that information for you and listed the 20 best fishing spots in Indy below.

If you’re a total beginner, don’t forget to mark your calendar for the DNR’s Free Fishing Days in Indiana. On these days you do not need a fishing license to fish on DNR properties. Otherwise, anyone 18 or older needs a fishing license to fish in these public fishing spots.

Freedom Park Pond

850 W Stop 18 Road, Greenwood
On the south end of Freedom Park, past the bridge and along the walking trail, you’ll find the Freedom Park Pond. At a recent Virtual Fishing Derby hosted by the Greenwood Parks and Recreation Department, kids caught bluegill and largemouth bass. The grand prize was saved for the person who caught the elusive albino catfish, but no one was able to catch him at this event. When the kids tire of fishing, Freedom Park also offers tennis courts, basketball courts, disc golf, two playgrounds, a picnic shelter, and Freedom Springs Aquatic Park.

Central Park Pond

1235 Central Park Drive East, Carmel
There are plenty of fishing spots along the 5.2-acre Central Park Pond to catch largemouth bass, bluegill, and channel catfish. Fish off of the wooden boardwalk or under the bridge for some shade. This park also features 25,000 feet of playground space, a splash pad, picnic shelters, trails, and a skate park.

three children stand on a boardwalk with fishing nets cast into the lake on a sunny day. an adult male is watching over them.
Photo Courtesy of Clint Kowalik, Go Fishin with Clint

Eagle Creek Park Reservoir and Lilly Lake

7840 W 56th Street, Indianapolis
There are many fishing spots in Eagle Creek Park, but Lilly Lake is a favorite with kids. This 5-acre lake is annually stocked with channel catfish by DNR. You can also find largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish, and channel catfish. Eagle Creek Reservoir has bluegill, resear sunfish, common carp, channel catfish, crappie, hybrid striped bass, largemouth bass, and walleye. There is a Marina at Eagle Creek during the summer months where you can buy limited bait and tackle. Admission to the park is $6 – $7 per car.

Mark your calendar for Eagle Creek’s Fishing Derby! It’s a fun day of free fishing and instruction on how to fish for families. Other activities at Eagle Creek Park include hiking, swimming, boating, and ziplining. If you have time, be sure to check out the Go Ape zipline course, the Earth Discovery Center, and the Eagle Creek Ornithology Center.

Krannert Lake

605 S High School Road, Indianapolis
There are several piers along the pond at Krannert Park and it’s fully stocked by the DNR with catchable-sized channel catfish. Bluegill, redear sunfish, and largemouth bass are also present. Your kids will also love the trails, playground, indoor family center, and indoor swimming pool at this park.

Delaware Lake at Fort Harrison State Park

6000 N Post Road, Indianapolis
Fort Harrison State Park is a 1,700-acre park and has fishing access to Fall Creek, but the best fishing is on Delaware Lake. It is stocked with rainbow trout in the spring. You can also find largemouth bass, sunfish, and channel catfish. The entrance fee to the park is $7 per car for Indiana residents. There are also trails, picnic sites, a saddle barn, and a 20th Century Warfare exhibit to visit while you’re there.

delaware lake pond with clouds in the sky reflecting on the water. there are trees and a bridge in the background.
Photo Courtesy of Clint Kowalik, Go Fishin with Clint

Washington Township Park Ponds

115 S County Road 575, Avon
On the 160 acres of this park’s property, you’ll find two half-acre ponds. The lower pond, Park Pond #2, is stocked with catchable-sized channel catfish. Both ponds have sunfish. Kids can also visit the two playgrounds at Washington Township Park, the basketball and volleyball courts, or the splash pad.

Meadowlark Park Pond

450 Meadow Lane, Carmel
Fish from the pier or the shoreline at this nearly 2-acre pond at Meadowlark Park. This pond is stocked with catchable-sized channel catfish by the DNR, but you can also expect to find bluegill and largemouth bass. The park has some recent upgrades including a new fishing pier, playground, shelter, pickleball courts, and trails.

Virginia B. Fairbanks Art and Nature Park Lake

1850 W 38th Street, Indianapolis
Located just west of Newfields on 38th Street, the Virginia B. Fairbanks Art and Nature Park features a 35-acre lake. Fish for longer sunfish, bluegill, largemouth bass, redear sunfish, green sunfish, crappie, catfish, and carp from spots along the shoreline. Parking and admission are free. The art park also features art to play on as well as wildflowers and nesting platforms for birds of prey to observe. Note: Due to erosion, the path around the lake may be closed. Call Newfields for the latest information.

where to go fishing near me: two little boys fish off of a wooden pier. The younger boy in the forefront has a child's fishing pole. The older boy crouches down to watch his bobber.

Proctor Park Pond

499 Tracy Road, Whiteland
This 11-acre park in Whiteland features a “catch and release” pond where you can find largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie, catfish, and carp. You will also find playgrounds, shelters, and a trail that circles the pond. The monuments and memorials to veterans, those currently serving in the armed services, and hometown heroes make this park unique.

Dubarry Park Pond

3698 Dubarry Road, Indianapolis
Kids will love fishing from the shoreline of this pond stocked with catchable-sized catfish by the DNR. Besides fishing, the 27-acre park also features a playground, restrooms, basketball and tennis courts, football field and softball fields, and a picnic shelter.

West Park Pond

2700 W 116th Street, Carmel
This serene park on the west side of Carmel has it all! In addition to a fully stocked pond with a boardwalk and trails surrounding it (where you can find sunfish and catfish), West Park features a large playground, splash pad, sports fields, trails, a sledding hill, and a separate nature park with a zip line! There are often turtle and muskrat sightings in the water here as well.

where to go fishing near me: a little boy wearing an orange shirt and blue pants stands on a wooden pier at west Park. he is holding a fishing pole over the railing and looking out over the pond.

Flat Fork Creek Pond

16141 E 101st Street, Fishers
Adventurers love Flat Fork Creek Park. At this Fishers park, you’ll find treehouses, mountain biking trails, a sledding hill, walking trails, a creek to stomp in, and a fully stocked fishing pond where you can find sunfish and largemouth bass. The pond is a favorite spot for residents to come drop a line and enjoy a day of fishing out in nature.

Overleys Worman Park Pond

6040 Godelo Circle, Zionsville
The new Overleys Worman Park in Zionsville has great little piers to fish from on the pond. Park at the lot next to the playground and let the kids play while you unpack the fishing gear. Walk the path to the fishing pond and drop a line from the pier. Or, head to Eagle Creek along Starkey Park Trail 1 where kids can fish, skip rocks, or creek stomp.

Red Bridge Park at Morse Reservoir

697 W Jackson Street, Cicero
Located on the northwest side of Cicero along Morse Reservoir is Red Bridge Park. The park consists of walking paths, playground equipment, restrooms, a park shelter and picnic tables, a canoe and kayak launch, and a fishing pier. This is a perfect place for little ones to learn how to fish off a pier with restrooms and a park nearby.

an adult hand holds a fish out of the water and a child's hand is sticking his finger close to the mouth of the fish

Marott Woods Nature Preserve

7350 N College Avenue, Indianapolis
Marott Woods Nature Preserve is a 102-acre park including a nature preserve with hiking trails, bird watching, and spring wildflowers. If you enter the hiking trails on the northeast corner of the park and walk on the main trail, you’ll come upon a pretty creek in less than five minutes where you can catch smallmouth bass, small rock bass, and a variety of sunfish. If you follow the creek south, you’ll end up at the White River with deeper water where you can catch smallmouth bass, rock bass, crappie, sunfish, catfish, and carp.

Geist Reservoir and Park

10979 Florida Road, Fortville
Rent a pontoon from the Geist Marina on Fall Creek Road and fish for largemouth bass, crappie, catfish, and sunfish off the boat on Geist Reservoir. Try different spots around the reservoir if you don’t have any luck the first time. There are also many places to fish off the shore, like next to the bridge or at Geist Park. Geist Park includes nature trails, wetlands, and prairies to enjoy wildlife in the water and on land.

Coxhall Gardens Pond

11677 Towne Road, Carmel
Coxhall Gardens is a wonderful place to experience fishing with kids. The pond is very large so you will never feel crowded here. There is a bridge that you can fish for largemouth bass and bluegill under if you’re seeking shade. The breathtaking Coxhall Gardens features an amphitheater, a Children’s Garden play area with a giant sand pit, vast green spaces for flying a kite, and paved trails that take you through the beautiful park.

Where to go fishing near me: Indianapolis a boy holds up his fishing pole that has a fish hooked and hanging down. they are sitting in children's camping chairs on a wooden pier over a pond.


Cool Creek Park

2000 E 151st Street, Carmel
At this Hamilton County park, you’ll find miles of nature trails along Cool Creek. The creek is perfect for creek stomping in shallow areas and deeper areas are great for fishing. Park next to the wonderful nature center which has restrooms and is a nice respite from the heat in the summertime. You can walk down the hill from here to the creek or you can drive to the back of the park and park right next to the creek. We love Cool Creek for the creek stomping, crayfish catching, and easy fishing. There is ample shade in the park so it’s great for a hot summer day.

Potters Bridge Park

19401 N Allisonville Road, Noblesville
Potters Bridge is a historic covered bridge, one of the few remaining covered bridges in Hamilton County, and is surrounded by 66-acre Potters Bridge Park. The park contains the White River Greenway Trail which spans 3.25 miles along the White River through Forest Park. After exploring the bridge and the playground, enjoy fishing, kayaking, canoeing, or tubing on the White River here in the summer. Smallmouth bass and rock bass can be found in the water here.

Avon Town Hall Park

6570 E US Highway 36, Avon
Avon Town Hall Park is a large public park with a lake for fishing, two children’s play areas, a disc golf course, outdoor ping pong tables and a bocce ball court, walking trails, and a dirt race track for battery-powered RC (radio control) vehicles. There are three fishing areas within the park: the 9-acre Town Hall Park Lake, a small pond immediately to the East of the lake, and the 3-acre Sycamore Lake (off of Loretta Court).

a father takes a photo of his son with a fish they just caught. there is a blue bucket on the ground and a lake behind them.
Photo Courtesy of Clint Kowalik, Go Fishin with Clint

5 Tips for Fishing with Kids

from Clint Kowalik, owner of Go Fishin with Clint

  1. Make it a short trip by keeping fishing local or break up the fishing with playground fun, a picnic, or a short hike or green space runaround.
  2. Use simple fishing equipment like cane poles or spincast (closed-face) fishing combos.
  3. Hunt for worms in your compost or garden or in your yard after rain. Little pieces of hot dogs also work as bait in a pinch.
  4. Bring and use bug spray, sunscreen, snacks, water, and hand sanitizer or wipes. Pack a first aid kit, just in case.
  5. Make the fishing more about the experience with family outdoors than catching fish. Pay attention to clouds, birds, and dragonflies. It’s okay to talk and laugh. The fish won’t mind.

Clint Kowalik is the owner of Go Fishin with Clint. For 12 ½ years, Clint ran the DNR’s sport fishing education program. Now he shares his passion for fish, fishing, and the outdoors through his business with folks across central Indiana. He gives fishing lessons to individuals, families, libraries, camps, churches, and parks… he can even help you throw a fishing birthday party! Follow his adventures on his Facebook page.

Where to go fishing near me: Indianapolis. A school aged girl and a man fish at a pond. They are both holding their fishing poles looking out over the water.

Find more videos and information on fishing in Indiana on DNR’s website.

Get some fresh air with our guide to all the best places to play outdoors.

Learn about Indiana wildlife at a local nature center.

Where to Go Fishing Near Me

Where is your favorite fishing spot? Share your comments and fishing pictures with us below or tag us on social media using #PLAYindy. Follow Indy with Kids on FacebookInstagramTwitter, and Pinterest for all of the best ideas and things to do with kids in Indy!

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6 thoughts on “Where to Go Fishing Near Me | The 20 Best Fishing Spots in Indy”

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