Official State of Iowa Website Here is how you know
Four young boys with fishing poles walking to the lake with a man carrying a tackle box.

Who Needs a Fishing License?

All anglers 16 years and older must have a fishing license to fish Iowa waters. Anglers under the age of 16 may fish Iowa waters without a fishing license and may fish for and keep their own limit of fish, except when fishing for trout they must share their limit with a licensed adult or buy their own trout fee to keep their own limit of trout.

Yearly, seven-day, or 24-hour fishing licenses are available. Licenses are sold at several locations or online

Fishing Regulations
There are limits on the size and/or number of fish you can catch at one time for some species. Find out more about Iowa Fishing Regulations.

Safety Tips

  • Bring a basic first aid kit with sterile bandages, tape, antiseptic, band aids, aspirin, scissors, wire cutters, tweezers, analgesic cream, sunscreen, and insect repellant.
  • A wide brim hat and sunglasses will keep the sun out of your child’s eyes and off his forehead. Avoid fishing in the middle of the day.
  • Life jackets are strongly recommended for children fishing around deep or fast-moving water. Make sure the life jacket fits your child snugly and won’t ride up around their face.

Give your kids a lifetime of BIG moments!

A child’s first fishing trip is exciting for both parent and child. A fun experience can lead to future years of fishing enjoyment. Here are some simple tips for taking kids fishing.

bobber pack plenty of snacks and cold drinks
bobber pick a fishing pole that fits your child’s hands
bobber choose a spot close to home
bobber morning trips are best – the fish bite better and kids have more energy
bobber make sure there are restrooms near
bobber pick a sunny day with moderate temperatures
bobber keep the trip short – a couple hours at most
bobber leave your fishing rod at home
bobber remember you are taking the kids — they aren’t taking you
bobber take plenty of breaks from fishing
bobber take pictures
bobber plan alternate activities to do if the weather turns bad or your child gets bored
bobber have fun!
bobber emphasize that fishing is fun, catching is a bonus

Fishing Trip Checklist

A fun, and successful, fishing trip starts with:

Child and father fishing
  • bobbers
  • camera
  • cooler/ice
  • drinks
  • fishing license
  • fishing rods, youth
  • first aid kit
  • insect repellent
  • life jackets
  • snacks
  • sunglasses
  • sunscreen
  • wet wipes
  • worms

First Fish Program

First Fish Certificate
Catch a memory when your favorite young angler hooks their first fish!
Tell me more! - First Fish Program