Fishing can be full of anticipation and excitement or a time of patience and solitude. It’s a multigenerational tradition in many families. From stories of fishing with family members and pals to fishing alone, here are our favorite fishing books for kids of all ages.
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1. The Only Fish in the Sea by Philip C. Stead (PreK–2)
A rescue mission to save a shunned pet goldfish from a lonely life in the open ocean isn’t your average fishing trip. Sadie and Sherman take on the challenge in this zany tale.
2. Lana’s World: Let’s Go Fishing by Erica Silverman (PreK–2)
When her family is too busy to go fishing with her, Lana comes up with her own solution, showing that all you really need to fish is a little ingenuity.
3. Hooked by Tommy Greenwald (PreK–3)
Joe loves fishing, and his father doesn’t—at least not at first. This book will spark a conversation about whether students like fishing and their reasons why or why not.
4. Jangles: A Big Fish Story by David Shannon (K–3)
Every angler yearns for a big fish story to tell. This tale will keep kids guessing until the very end: Is Jangles just a local legend, or is he real?
5. Skyfishing by Gideon Sterer (K–3)
Grandpa misses his favorite fishing spots after he moves in with his family in the city. When he and his granddaughter unleash their imaginations, though, they discover the unique of possibilities “skyfishing” together off the fire escape.
6. The Secret of Black Rock by Joe Todd-Stanton (K–3)
When Erin stows away on her mom’s fishing boat in hopes of getting a glimpse of the legendary and mysterious Black Rock, she has no idea of the adventure that awaits. Students will love the lively illustrations and environmentalist message.
7. Fishing with Grandma by Susan Avingaq and Maren Vsetula (K–3)
Two children head to the lake with their grandmother to ice fish for Arctic char. The descriptions of how they use jigging rods, a traditional Inuit technique, will have students asking lots of questions.
8. Hand over Hand by Alma Fullerton (K–3)
Everyone in her fishing village tells Nina that girls can’t fish, but her grandfather agrees to give her a chance to join him on his boat. After an unsuccessful day, Nina starts to wonder if the villagers were right—until, hand over hand, she pulls in a big fish all by herself.
9. Down by the River: A Family Fly Fishing Story by Andrew Weiner (K–3)
There’s nothing Art and his mom and grandpa like more than hopping in their car (with its FI5H ON license plate) and heading to the river to go fly-fishing. Filled with family stories and big fish dreams, this story will make kids want to step into their waders and make their first cast.
10. Freshwater Fishing by Allan Morey (K–3)
This informational text shares fish basics, fishing equipment and procedures, and safety tips. We appreciate the gender-neutral language and culturally diverse photos, inviting all kids to enjoy fishing.
11. We’re Going Freshwater Fishing by Andrea Palmer (K–3)
An engaging tone and a variety of sections filled with facts and advice make this nonfiction title another solid intro to fishing.
12. H is for Hook by Judy Young (K–3)
This alphabet book from the popular series covers fishing terms and tips, from A to Z.
13. Me and You and the Red Canoe by Jean E. Pendziwol (1–4)
In this tender, peaceful narrative, two siblings slip away from their campsite for some early morning fishing. Bookmark this title as a writing mentor text.
14. A Different Pond by Bao Phi (1–5)
When a boy and his father rise before dawn to fish for dinner, the father spends the time reminiscing about fishing as a child in Vietnam. This is another gorgeous narrative for comprehension strategy instruction that is also a great writing mentor text.
15. Gone Fishing: A Novel in Verse by Tamera Will Wissinger (2–5)
A variety of poetic forms chronicle Sam’s much-anticipated fishing trip with his dad—and little sister, Lucy, who has insisted on participating in her way. Back matter includes the informative poet’s “tackle box.”
16. Incredible—and True—Fishing Stories by Shaun Morey (6–8)
As the title claims, these stories are fantastical bites of fishing—great for hooking a reluctant reader who loves fishing.
17. Father Water, Mother Woods: Essays on Fishing and Hunting in the North Woods by Gary Paulsen (7–9)
With his artful descriptions and engaging storytelling, Paulsen shows how outdoor adventures can lead to some of life’s most important lessons—and fun, of course.
18. Swim That Rock by John Rocco (7–9)
With his father missing after a fishing boat accident, teenage Jake must step up to support his family. The characters in this novel about growing up in a New England fishing town will draw students in.
19. Between Two Skies by Joanne O’Sullivan (7–9)
Evangeline can’t imagine anything better than heading out on the bayou in her skiff. When Hurricane Katrina ravages her small fishing town, though, it changes everything in this unforgettable story.
What are your favorite fishing books for kids? Cast your vote in our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.
Plus, check out our favorite camping and summer-themed books for kids.