Top 10 Family and Kid-Friendly Fishing Charters and Trips

By Joshua Davis •  Updated: 07/30/22 •  12 min read

One of my fondest memories as a father is teaching my sons to fish. Don’t get me wrong: I’m no pro angler. We’re a family of casual fishing folk, participating in the sport more for the quality time spent in each other’s company than anything else.

Still, a family fishing trip is much more thrilling when your kids are reeling something in, be it tiny bluegill or a fat largemouth bass (or both simultaneously as my older son, Luke, once managed to do … )

Sorry, no proof of that fishing story. The line broke shortly after the bass swallowed the bluegill he had just hooked!

Of course, it did …

For all the fun we amateurs have at the local fishing spot on our own, there are times when the guidance of a professional with better gear and advanced knowledge of the sport is needed to take the experience to new heights!

Thankfully, there are plenty of family and kids fishing charter companies available all across the country.

Whether you’re looking to go saltwater fishing in the Gulf of Mexico or freshwater fishing in the Great Lakes, there’s sure to be a charter or trip that’s perfect for your family.

Here are just a few of our favorite fishing private charters that provide a fun and safe environment for families with children of all ages.

Family-Friendly Fishing Charters

With 37,000 miles of coastline, numerous rivers, and countless lakes, the United States is a veritable paradise for anglers of all ages and skill levels.

Whether you’re looking to spruce up your fly fishing finesse in the rivers of North Carolina or catch something huge while bottom fishing in the deep sea off Key West, there’s a charter for everyone!

And while there are plenty of great spots to fish without the help of a guide, chartering a boat with a captain who knows the waters can be a great way to maximize your time—and increase your chances of landing that big catch.

Fishing charters are also great in that all of your gear, tackle, and bait are included in the package (unless you prefer your own) which means all you need to bring is food, drinks, and sunscreen.

The duration of your fishing trip can range from a few hours to a whole day depending on what suits your family best and what packages are offered.

Most importantly, charter captains are experienced in catering to groups of all ages, even young children and those with special needs, and will often go above and beyond to make sure everyone on board has a great time—even the littlest anglers.

If you’re looking for a family-friendly fishing charter, here are a few of our favorites. Be sure to follow the links to the actual charter website for specific and up-to-date information and prices.

1. No Slack! Sportfishing Charters, Portland, ME

Captain Carle of Portland Maine and his fishing vessel, the Northern Spy, are available for charter fishing trips daily. His sonar and radar-equipped boat, as well as his status as a Registered Master Maine Tidewater Guide, ensure that you’ll have a great day out on the water.

The Northern Spy can accommodate up to six people, so it’s perfect for a family outing or group trip. All of the necessary fishing gear, bait, chum, and licenses are included in the charter price, so you can just show up and enjoy your day.

Departing from Sunset Marina in South Portland or the Portland Water Taxi Dock in the Old Port area of Portland, Captain Carle will take you to some of the best spots in the area to fish for striped bass, bluefish, mackerel, and more.

Their Family Mackerel Fishing Trip and Inshore Deep Fishing Trips are specifically catered to families with children of all ages.

If you’re looking for a fun and affordable way for the whole family to enjoy a day of fishing in the Portland area, Captain Carle and the No Slack! Sportfishing Charters is a perfect choice.

2. Chesapeake Bay Sportfishing, Stevensville, MD

Located within minutes of Baltimore and Washington, D.C., the 6-vessel fleet of the Chesapeake Bay Sportfishing company fishes for a variety of fish in the Chesapeake Bay, including striped bass, bluefish, tuna, shark, cod, and more.

The company’s head boat fishes daily from April to December out of the Chesapeake Beach Marina in Chesapeake Beach, MD.

Custom pickup and drop-off points can be arranged anywhere on the Chesapeake Bay or its tributaries for fishing.

Fishing aboard one of the Chesapeake Bay Sportfishing’s charter boats includes all rods, reels, bait, tackle, and fishing licenses.

The company also offers food and beverage packages, as well as fish cleaning services–everything needed for family fun fishing trips!

3. Boo-Ya Fishing Charters, Key West, FL

Boo-Ya Captains Tony, Jake, and Lane of Key West, at the western tip of the Florida Keys offer fun and exciting offshore, inshore, and reef fishing trips for anglers of all ages and levels of experience.

Their largest vessel, the 32-foot Seavee can accommodate up to 6 people while their smaller 28-foot Conch can hold up to 4. Trip durations range from 4 to 6 and 8 hours.

Launching daily from Garrison Bight, they are one of Key West’s longest-standing fishing charters.

What kind of fish will you catch on your trip?

Offshore Trip: Snapper, Tuna, Wahoo, Grouper, Mahi-Mahi, & Tarpon

Inshore Trip: Redfish, Trout, Snook, & Permit

Reef & Wreck Trip: Yellowtail Snapper, Grouper, Amberjack, Barracuda, & Sharks

Just LOTS of fish! BIG fish, too!

Customize your trip how you like!

4. Fish Finder Charters, Biloxi, MS

With 30 years of charter guiding experience, Captain Mike Foto is one of the most sought-after guides on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

The 38′ Topaz Biloxi Charter Fishing Boat, “Fish Finder,” accommodates up to 6 people and is outfitted with the most up-to-date electronics for navigation, safety, and fish location. The boat also features a private restroom, air conditioning, and TV.

Not that you’re heading out to sea to watch the tube …

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced fisherman, Captain Mike will provide you with an opportunity to catch many different types of fish, including but not limited to sharks, red drum, mackerel, trout, cobia, red snapper, and jack cravelle.

And you’ll be doing it in style aboard a vessel that is powered by twin Caterpillar diesel engines.

When you’re not hauling in the big one, you’ll be viewing a stunning sunrise, dolphins, seabirds, sea turtles, and other marvels that come with taking a charter from Captain Mike.

5. Off the Hook Fishing Charters, Hilton Head Island, SC

Born and raised in Hilton Head, Captain Brian Vaughn has over 25 years of experience guiding fishing charters in the Lowcountry and spends 300 days of the year on the water.

He’ll take you on his 18′ Hells Bay Professional or his 25′ Hells Bay Estero to fish for redfish, tarpon, cobia, jack crevalle, trout, mackerel, sharks, and more.

Captain Brian is very experienced and will make sure your trip is safe, productive, and memorable.

Off the Hook Fishing Charters offers half-day, full-day, and night fishing trips. They also offer fly fishing charters, light tackle charters, and kids fishing trips.

There’s something for everyone at Off the Hook Fishing Charters!

If you’re looking for a fun, family-friendly activity during your vacation to Hilton Head, SC, book a fishing trip with Off the Hook Fishing Charters. You’ll have a great time!

6. Headwaters Outfitters, Rosman, NC

Much more than just a fishing adventure company, Headwaters Outfitters in North Carolina’s French Broad River valley also offers tubing, canoeing, and kayaking trips, as well as fly fishing instruction and lessons in the art of tying flies.

Whether you’re an experienced outdoors person looking for a new river to fish or someone who’s never held a rod before, they can customize a trip that’s perfect for you.

Their guides are all experienced fishermen who know the river and its many secret fishing spots like the back of their hand.

Headwaters Outfitters also offers a variety of family-friendly trips, including tubing and canoeing trips down the French Broad River.

These trips are a great way to enjoy the outdoors with your young anglers and create lasting memories.

If you’re looking for a memorable fishing trip in the beautiful French Broad River valley, look no further than Headwaters Outfitters.

They’ll help you create an unforgettable experience that you and your family will cherish for years to come.

7. Fontana Guides, Bryson City, NC

Hanging with the motley crew of Fontana’s fishing guides will make anyone aspire to become a great angler. They will also have you laughing hysterically the whole time. That’s just how these guys roll. (Which is great for younger kids with short attention spans!)

Plus, they’re professional, patient, and ridiculously knowledgeable. We’re talking resumes that include Harvard, U.S. Coast Guard, degrees in environmental science, wildlife and forestry, horticulture … and decades upon decades of collective fishing experience.

See what all the fuss is about by taking one of their guided fishing trips! They offer a variety of trip types to suit any angler, from the novice to the experienced.

Their most popular trip type is our half-day trip, which is great for those who want to get a taste of what fly fishing is all about.

They also offer full-day trips, as well as multi-day trips for those who really want to get away from it all and immerse themselves in the world of fly fishing.

No matter what trip type you choose, you can be sure that their accomplished, professional guides will provide you with an unforgettable experience.

8. SeaCrete Charters, Lake Michigan, MI

A U.S. Coast Guard licensed captain, Captain Chris Rose knows Lake Michigan like the back of his hand.

Captain Rose is a third-generation charter captain and has been fishing the Great Lakes since he was old enough to hold a rod.

I mean, the man was known for taking a fishing rod to his high school classes instead of his books!

He fishes over 200 days a year, and his vast knowledge of the lakes, combined with his sense of humor, make him the perfect guide for your next charter fishing trip.

And his smooth-riding Tiara is sure to spoil the entire family on the water.

Whether you’re an experienced angler or new to the sport, Captain Rose will make sure you have a great time on the water.

Whether you’re looking to catch a trophy fish, or just want to enjoy a day on the water, SeaCreate Charters can provide you with the perfect charter fishing experience.

So, what are you waiting for? Give Captain Rose a call today, and let him show you what a great time charter fishing on Lake Michigan can be!

9. Humdinger Sportfishing, Kailua-Kona, HI

If a tropical island deep sea fishing trip is what your family is looking for, the father-and-son captain and crew of the Humdinger in Hawaii may be what you’re looking for!

Captain Jeff Fay and his son/co-captain Brett Fay have over 50 years of experience between them chartering in the calm, deep waters off the Kona Coast of Hawaii’s Big Island.

The custom 37-foot Rybovich Sportfisherman is docked just minutes from the best fishing grounds, meaning you spend less time running to and from the action and more time with your line in the water.

The Humdinger can accommodate up to six passengers per trip, and kids of all ages are welcome. The Fay’s specialize in teaching young kids the ropes, so they can experience the excitement of reeling in a big one!

Whether you’re an experienced angler or a first-time fisherman, the Fay’s welcome you aboard the Humdinger for an unforgettable charter experience.

Target species include Blue Marlin, Striped Marlin, Yellowfin Tuna, Mahi Mahi, Shortbilled Spearfish, Wahoo … a wide array of marine life.

10. Fishing Galveston Texas, Galveston, Tx

Whether you’re in the mood for bay fishing, flounder gigging, or deep sea fishing, the 4 captains of Fishing Galveston Tx have a trip for you.

Recognized as Galveston’s finest fishing adventure charter, their boats are docked at the Galveston Yacht Basin and they fish in the Gulf of Mexico.

Four different types of trips are offered: bay fishing, deep sea fishing, flounder gigging, and excursion trips.

Bay fishing is a great trip for families with kids. They’ll take you to the bayous to fish for black bass and catfish in the calm waters.

The kids might even catch sight of an occasional alligator! You’ll then make your way out to the saltwater marsh and bays to fish for redfish, trout, and flounder.

Deep sea fishing is perfect for anglers looking to catch a big one. On their offshore fishing trips, you can target Mahi Mahi, Sharks, Red Snapper, King Mackerel, Amberjack, Wahoo, Sailfish, Grouper, and Tarpon.

Offered on their charter, Flounder gigging is a long-standing Texas custom. On the night waters, you’ll get to experience the roll of the hunter/fisherman on this Galveston charter.

Their excursion trips are perfect for those days when you just want to relax on the water. They’ll take you to your favorite waterfront restaurant for lunch and then cruise around the bay.

No matter what type of fishing trip you’re looking for, the captains of Fishing Galveston Tx will make sure you have a great time.

Time to Reel It In!

No matter what your skill level or fishing goals, there’s a charter fishing trip out there for you and your family.

We hope that this short article has helped you narrow down the options so you can get on with your planning.

Remember that these charters can fill up fast; so, the sooner you reserve your spot, the better!

Oh, and don’t forget the camera. You don’t want to miss your kids reeling in their first fish!

Now, get out there!

Joshua Davis

Being outdoors is freedom! Being outdoors with my wife and two boys is LIVING! Whether in my backyard or getting lost in a National Park, there’s nothing I’d rather do than explore, discover, and experience the paradise that surrounds us. Give me my family, a backpack, and a trail and my life is full!