Jun 27, 2023



Summertime in Tampa Bay offers a perfect opportunity for parents to bond with their children through the exciting activity of fishing. Not only does fishing provide quality time spent together, but it also allows kids to connect with nature and learn essential life skills.

Raised in Tampa, lifelong Tampa angler, Parker Rabow, founded Florida Fantasy Fishing Camp, a specialized fishing camp created for kids to experience a fun and educational setting where young anglers can catch memorable fish while learning important sporting values on the water.

We caught up with Parker, as he is known by all in the fishing and boating community to get some of his expert advice on how to have a successful fishing trip in and around Tampa Bay with your kids. Here is what he told us.


What do you need to keep in mind with fishing with your kids? Safety Tips? 

Parker “Fishing with kids can be an incredibly rewarding experience with tons of benefits for both you and your young anglers. But it can also be stressful and challenging with regards to fishing tactics, and most importantly, boating safety. Here are some important tips to keep in mind”:

  •      Stay aware and understand current weather conditions (wind, rain, waves etc). Even if the weather looks good, wind and waves can make for an uncomfortable day on the water for young children.
  •      Ensure everyone wears properly fitted life jackets while the boat is underway. Children six or younger according to the Florida Fish and wildlife conservation commission must wear a life jacket at all times.
  •      Teach your kids about the importance of sun protection, including sunscreen and hats.
  •      Supervise your children closely to prevent accidents or injuries.
  •      Teach them how to handle hooks and fishing equipment safely.


What can your kids expect when fishing in Tampa Bay?

Parker “Fishing in Tampa Bay offers a diverse and exciting experience for kids. Setting expectations is a huge part of any fishing trip. For first timers, instead of swinging for a home run with big, hard fighting game fish, sometimes a more successful plan involves smaller, more plentiful species that are easier to catch. Quantity over quality is always a good practice for new young anglers! Don’t forget to point out the beauty of marine life, including dolphins, manatees, and various seabirds.”


What are some safety tips when fishing with your kids?

Parker “In addition to the general safety tips mentioned earlier, here are a few more to consider when fishing with kids

  • Teach your children about the potential dangers of sharp hooks and how to handle them carefully.
  • A good casting lesson before your trip will make a huge difference for your young angler.
  • Ensure they are aware of their surroundings and potential hazards, such as slippery surfaces or uneven terrain.
  • Setting the boat up with the wind at your back will allow for easy casting in one direction. We also recommend handling all caught fish to avoid pinpricks and mishandling fish.
  • Keep a first-aid kit readily available to tend to minor cuts, scrapes, or hook-related injuries


What is the best age for kids to start fishing?

Parker “Any age! As long as your expectations match their skill level, everyone will have a great time. Even if they end up playing more in the bait well instead of actually fishing, they are gaining valuable experience being on a boat and on the water.”


When is the best time of day and year to take your kids fishing?

Parker “Fishing in Tampa Bay is enjoyable year-round, but certain times offer better chances of success. In Tampa Bay the weather and fishing can be very good in the fall and spring, but really anytime everyone has the availability is a good time to be on the water! Early morning and late afternoon are generally the most productive times to fish, as the water is cooler and fish tend to be more active. When fishing in the winter be prepared with warm layers, and when fishing in the summer, hydration is a must to avoid dehydration”.


What type of equipment or gear should you have with you?

Parker “Based on the age and height of your child, smaller sizes and lighter weights may be needed, but most children are fine with an adult sized 7 foot rod. Other fishing equipment that would be helpful would be:

  • A tackle box stocked with a variety of hooks, sinkers, bobbers, and artificial lures.
  • Plastic fish grips to help when handling and photographing fish.
  • Sunscreen, hats, sunglasses and neck guard are all extremely important.
  • Fresh bait options such as live shrimp, pinfish, or mullet, depending on the type of fish you’re trying to catch.
  • Snacks, water, and a cooler to keep drinks and any caught fish fresh.”


Fishing in Tampa Bay with your kids this summer can be an incredible experience that combines adventure, education, and quality family time. By following some safety tips, preparing the necessary gear, and knowing what to expect, you can ensure a successful and enjoyable fishing trip for everyone involved. Grab your fishing gear, pack some snacks, and get ready for unforgettable memories on the shores of Tampa Bay!


For more information about how Tampa Yacht Sales can help you find the boat of your dreams contact Shane Faunce at (727) 513-7615 for more information or view our current listings.


More about Parker Rabow and Florida Fantasy Fishing Camp 

Florida Fantasy Fishing Camp is the perfect summer fishing camp for kids. They have hand picked the best professional fishing guides in the area who are perfect for teaching and fishing with kids. Camps are filled with target casting clinics, knot tying lessons, boating safety classes, fishing seminars, casting tournaments, cast net throwing lessons and, of course, fishing! Slide show recaps of the day’s catch close out each camp day. All fishing and lessons are given by our professional fishing guides. This unique camp is one you’ll never forget! Visit for more information.


Parker Rabow was born and raised in Tampa. After attending Jesuit High School, he studied small business management and entrepreneurship at Florida State University. He followed his undergraduate degrees with an MBA and a Masters in Entrepreneurship from the University of South Florida.


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