Fishing is a fantastic and affordable activity for family fun and NoVA’s lakes, rivers and streams offer a variety of fishing experiences for all ages. Here, find some of the area’s most family-friendly fishing spots.
Algonkian Regional Park
Bait your hook at Algonkian Regional Park and fish for bass and carp in the Potomac River. The scenic park is rich with wildlife that also includes bald eagles, hawks, turkeys and river otters. While at the park, visitors can also enjoy hiking, playgrounds, mini golf and the Volcano Island water park. Boaters should be aware of the fluctuating water levels and currents of the Potomac River. // 47001 Fairway Drive, Sterling
Burke Lake Park
Leading the local district rating for large bass, Burke Lake is also stocked annually with walleye, channel muskellunge and channel catfish. Bring your own boat to launch (non-gasoline only) or rent a canoe, rowboat or electric boat from the marina. The lake also contains four fishing bulkheads and a new fishing pier, both accessible to persons with disabilities. While at Burke Lake, take advantage of its other family-friendly ways to pass the time through hiking, exploring playgrounds, playing Frisbee and miniature golf, visiting an old-fashioned ice cream parlor or taking a ride on the popular Burke Lake train. // 7315 Ox Road, Fairfax Station
This park is a great place for beginner anglers. The catch and release pond is open from dawn to dusk and contains picturesque views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Call the park to find out about family and youth fishing classes. Additional facilities include a large playground, hiking and horseback riding trails, plus serene picnic areas. // 17501 Franklin Park Drive, Purcellville
Located in western Fairfax County, this 20-acre lake is stocked five times each year with 1,000 pounds of rainbow trout. Canoes and pedal boats can be rented at the marina, though guests are invited to bring their own as well. However, note that sailboats and motor-powered crafts are prohibited. If you prefer to stay on dry land, fetch a pole to fish from the shoreline or docks. Lake Fairfax Park is also home to the Water Mine water park, as well as hiking trails, picnic facilities, playgrounds and a restored antique carousel. // 1400 Lake Fairfax Drive, Reston
Pohick Bay Regional Park
At Pohick Bay Regional Park, visitors can fish year-round for species such as largemouth bass, catfish and carp. Sailboats, jon boats, paddleboats, canoes and kayaks are all available for rent seasonally. The impressive park has a great children’s playground, mini golf course, hiking trails, camping and the highly rated Pirate’s Cove water park. // 6501 Pohick Bay Drive, Lorton
Prince William Forest Park
Part of the national park system, Prince William Forest Park contains 18 miles of streams and two impoundments along the Quantico Creek Watershed that are open to the public for fishing. In addition to fishing, guests can walk along 37 miles of hiking trails, on- and off-road biking and campgrounds. There are frequent sightings of beavers and river otters there, too. // 18170 Park Entrance Road, Triangle
Cast your line right on the Potomac River, and if you don’t own a fishing rod, don’t worry, as equipment and boats can be rented onsite. Riverbend Park also offers hiking trails, a visitors’ center with live animal displays and cultural exhibits and other special events. Many guided fishing programs for families are scheduled throughout the year. // 8700 Potomac Hills St., Great Falls
Please note that fishing in all of these locations requires a valid Virginia fishing license. The easiest way to obtain a license is online at the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries’ website. Be sure to know the rules and regulations before you head out and best of luck luring in a big one.