Just minutes from Seattle and a stone’s throw from Woodinville’s wine country, you’ll find the perfect spot to go fishing with kids: Gold Creek Trout Farm. The family-owned local hatchery makes for an easy, straight-to-the-point opportunity to help your little fisher-kids try their hand at angling. And since it’s on private property (literally in owners Pam and Cecil Thomas’ front yard), you won’t need a fishing license. Gold Creek provides all the gear, including simple cane fishing poles, bait, buckets, and nets. And when it comes to baiting the hook, you won’t find night crawlers here; they use putty-like fish food to attract the rainbow trout.
Fishing with kids: ready, set, bait!
Choose between two shallow fishing ponds; one that’s stocked with smaller fish and one with larger-sized trout. Younger kiddos might love catching the smaller fish, but the larger pond is also very doable with a little help. Bait your hook, toss it in and wait for the fish to bite!
*Bring a few quarters to buy containers of fish food and head to a separate pond near the back and treat growing trout to a snack of their own.
Gold Creek Trout Farm is a U-Fish venue, so be ready to be hands-on. Once your kids get a bite, they can hold the pole steady while mom or dad use the net to scoop the trout out of the water. (Using a net to bring the fish out of the water is a must: it’s important not to pull the fish out by just the line). No excessive jerking of the line. Pulling too hard can cut the lip of the fish and cause it to swim sideways, eventually dying at the bottom of the tank.
Gold Creek also has a very strict “no catch and release” policy to avoid sending injured fish back into the water, so keep in mind that all fish caught will be going home with you.
That’s a Wrap
When you’re ready to toss in the towel, Pam and Cecil will clean and bag your catch for $0.50 per fish. (There’s also a cleaning station if you’d like to do it yourself). Consider bringing a cooler filled with ice to keep things cool on the ride home. And since Gold Creek Trout Farm is a state certified food supplier, you can bake or fry your fish with confidence. Their ponds are continuously fed by protected spring water so the fish are perfectly safe to eat.
Fishing license not required. This is truly a do-it-yourself fishing experience. Pam and Cecil will give you pointers, but they won’t bait your hook for you, or help with unhooking the fish. So be ready to be hands on!
Location: 15844 148th Ave NE, Woodinville, WA 98072 / (425) 483-1415
Price: Trout from the small pond (10-16 inches) are under $10; trout from the large pond (10-36 inches) prices ranged by length of the fish.
Published June 2021; updated June 2022
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