The start of spring is the start of fishing season—a truly exciting time of year! And in Lancaster County, we have numerous FREE Kids Fishing Derby’s to participate in with our children, many with some amazing prizes and awards. Most of these events are held annually by local sportsman’s associations.
When you go fishing with your children, keep these tips in mind. Remember to make it about the kids—help them catch the big one (because even if its small, it will be huge to them!) Don’t make it too complicated for them. They will love putting simple worms on their hooks. And of course, remember to have fun!
Here are 10 Annual FREE Kids Fishing Derby’s in Lancaster County, listed chronologically.
Held the first day of trout season April 2nd, 2017 from 8am to 1 pm at 772 and clay road.
Held on Saturday April 8, 2017 from noon to 3:00pm. The event is open to children and grandchildren, age 15 and younger, of members in good standing and under their supervision during the event. The pond is stocked with plenty of trout, snacks and drinks are provided, as well as numerous prizes.
Held at the reflecting pond on the grounds of Donegal Presbyterian Church, 1891 Donegal Springs Road, Mount Joy, on Saturday, April 9. Youths age 11 and under may fish from 8 to 11 a.m. Also welcome are all handicapped anglers who possess a current Pennsylvania fishing license. All participants must register with the DFCA on the day of the event.
Coinciding with the fishing derby will be a pancake breakfast at the church. The public is invited. The breakfast will consist of pancakes, sausages and juice for a suggested donation. Separate donations have been set for adults and for children age 9 and under. Coffee will also be available for a nominal cost. Breakfast will be served from 7 to 11 a.m. in the fellowship hall downstairs. The proceeds will benefit the church’s annual Mission Tour to upstate New York.
Held on Saturday, April 29, 2017 at Historic Poole Forge in Churchtown. Registration from 8 am to 9am. Fishing from 9am to 12noon. Rain or shine. This is a FREE event for ages 4-8 and 9-12. Prizes will be awarded in both age categories. *Children must be accompanied by an adult.
Beartown’s own fishing derby is scheduled for May 6 from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. Children under the age of 16 are allowed to fish with guardian supervision.
Held on Saturday, May 13, 7am – 12pm at the Mill Creek Sportsmen’s Association Inc, 1877 Windy Hill Rd, Lancaster, PA 17602. This is free and open to the public. Ages 4 to 14 may test their fishing skills to catch the BIG ONE! Prizes and Fun! All are welcome – lunch provided to kids for FREE and by donation for adults.
Memorial Day Sunday each year is celebrated with a Fish Derby at the Manheim Memorial Park in the Chiques stream. Open to the public. Prizes are awarded in different age brackets. Large trout are stocked by the Manheim Sportsmen’s Assoc. along with two other local organizations just for the kids fishing derby. For further info contact Gerald Graybill at 717-664-3671.
The contest is FREE and open to all children ages 5 to 15, and prizes will be awarded in two age brackets. All Pennsylvania fishing rules will apply. Preregistration is not necessary, and participants should bring their own fishing equipment. No treble hooks or spinners will be allowed. Hot dogs and sodas will be sold.
Held the third Saturday in May from 7am to 1pm on Londonland Run along Quarry Road (between Black Horse and Belmont Road, Paradise Township). For kids 12 & under. No cost.
Held on May 28th 2017 at the Lititz Run Stream, along Route 772 and Clay Road. By the Lititz Sportsmen’s Association.
Held on June 3rd, 2017 at Riparian Park along Route 772 and Clay Road. Folks can fish from 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. in Warwick Township Riparian Park.
Held in early June. This event is FREE but pre-registration is required. Parents/guardians must accompany their children. Limited to 60 kids, ages 5-12. Event to be held at Valley Lea Riding Club 1685 Furniss Rd, Drumore, PA 17518 in Drumore Twp from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Call 717-786-1970 to pre-register.
The 2017 John Strawser Memorial Kid’s Fishing Derby has been canceled.
Also there is a National Hunting & Fishing Day @ Middlecreek Wildlife Center in September of every year, so keep your eye out for that. You can find more information at the Lititz Sportsmen Association website.
Other great places to take kids fishing in Lancaster County are the Conewago Creek and Speedwell Forge Lake.
Want to learn more fun, free things to do in Lancaster?