Lure your kids outside and GO FISH! Just because you live in the city with your kids, doesn’t mean they have to miss out on a fun classic summertime activity like fishing. Luckily for Des Moines families, there are several fishing spots located right here in the metro. So pack up your rods and reels and hit the docks for a fun day of fishing.
Some notes about fishing in the state of Iowa with kids – Iowa residents and nonresidents 16 years and older are required to have a valid fishing license on their person while fishing. You can purchase a fishing license on-line or from a licensed vendor.
Acorn Valley Pond
Johnston, IA 50131
Acorn Valley Pond is located within Acorn Valley Campground on the west side of Saylorville Reservoir. It is a small pond, perfect for little fishers. It’s a good place to take kids shoreline fishing, because it is much less hectic than fishing at Saylorville. The pond is stocked with bass, bluegill and catfish.
Blue Heron Lake
2500 Grand Ave, West Des Moines, IA 50265
You’ll love the fishing pier at Blue Heron Lake! The 225 foot long pier provides excellent access for fishing enthusiasts of all ages and abilities. Not only is the fishing fantastic, you can enjoy a picnic lunch at Raccoon River Park next door when you’re done fishing!
2101 Fleur Drive, Des Moines, IA 50315
If you’re willing to brave the crowds at Gray’s Lake, it’s a fun spot to catch some fish! Popular fish species in Grays Lake include bass, bluegill, carp, catfish, crappie, Gizzard shad and River carpsucker. Boat rentals are available in summer. There are also picnic areas and a kid’s play area.
Hooper Area Pond
5.5 miles S of Indianola on Hwy 65/69, 1 mile W on Pershing Street
Located in the Hooper Pond Wildlife Management Area near Ahquabi, Hooper Pond is a fun spot to catch some fish! There is boat access with a hard surface boat ramp available. There is also excellent shore fishing for crappie, bass and catfish to name a few.
2222 SW 36th Street, Ankeny, IA 50023
For a fishing spot in Ankeny, check out the family-friendly pond in Sawgrass Park. You’ll be fishing from the edge of the pond here, rather than from a dock, so be prepared to keep the kiddos from splashing into the water. And if the fish aren’t biting, there’s always the playground equipment nearby.
Thomas Mitchell Lake
4250 NE 108 Street, Mitchellville, IA 50169
Thomas Mitchellville Lake is a newly renovated lake with a developing fishery that makes for an excellent location to take young and new anglers. The lake has a fishing pier, as well as, good bank access, and a picnic area. There are even camping spots available and lots of wildlife to view.
9000 Douglas Ave, Urbandale, IA 50322
The fishing dock in Walker-Johnston Park is a nice spot to take kids fishing – the pond was renovated in 2013 and restocked in 2014 by the DNR. Abundant bass and bluegill should be available. When you’re done fishing, you can go on the story walk that snakes around the pond.
We’d love to hear your favorite spots to fish with kids in Des Moines! Leave us a comment below.