Skip to main content

5 Tips for a Family Float Trip

5 Tips for a Family Float Trip
(Shutterstock photo)

Summer is the perfect time to float a river with the family. The weather is warm, and water levels are consistent and generally favorable for navigating. Best of all, fish species like bass, catfish and panfish are active and easy to locate this time of year, providing action for every family member. Just like any family adventure, a float trip will be more enjoyable if you put some time into planning. Here are five things to consider in order to make the most of your float.


Tip 1: Focus on Safety

Safety on the water should be your primary consideration. Choose a familiar section of river so you can accurately plan for time and match conditions with your family members’ skill levels. If you wish to explore new water, first gather up-to-date, local info on river level, current and potential hazards (submerged trees and rapids) to avoid.

Ensure each family member wears an appropriately sized personal flotation device. Apply sunscreen before you launch, and regularly reapply throughout the float. Fill a cooler with plenty of drinks, and pack a first-aid kit. Provide a friend who is not joining you with a trip plan, and check in with your contact periodically during the trip.


Tip 2: Keep Bugs at Bay

Much like sunscreen, insect repellent is essential to both the safety and the comfort of float-trippers. Keep bugs from ruining the trip by applying OFF!® Sportsmen with Picaridin Insect Repellent. The formula used in OFF!® Sportsmen with Picaridin Insect Repellent is a DEET alternative that provides hours of protection from mosquitoes.

The entire family will appreciate its non-greasy formula, which is great for float trips, fishing and camping because it won’t damage gear. OFF!® Sportsmen with Picaridin Insect Repellent comes in a 5-ounce aerosol can, making it quick and convenient to reapply throughout the trip for the utmost protection.

Tip 3: Consider Comfort

A canoe or raft is a relatively small space to spend hours at a time. Don’t crowd it. Take two (or more) watercrafts, each with an experienced adult operator, to allow enough space for people and gear.

Make sure each seat has a cushion and, ideally, a back. Where land access isn’t an issue, pull onto the bank at regular intervals to give everyone the opportunity to stretch.

boy-holding-fish
(Shutterstock photo)

Tip 4: Allow Plenty of Time

Allow enough time for your family to enjoy the fishing. Err on the side of too much time. It’s far better to end a float trip earlier than expected than to rush to make your take-out point by a designated time—or by dark.

Don’t expect your family members to be expert or strong paddlers. Plan for a slow, relaxed pace. One to two miles of river per hour is a good pace when floating with a family.


Tip 5: Pack Extra Gear

Plan for minor mishaps like a broken paddle or hopelessly tangled reel with extras that can quickly replace any damaged gear. Take dry clothing for wearing after swimming or wading. An extra set of sunglasses, especially for the kids, is a good idea, too.

Above all, plan on having fun. The beauty of a float trip is, once you launch your boat or canoe in the river, most of the work is done. Let the current move you along while you and the family enjoy the fishing. If you follow these tips, your family will have a float trip they’ll long remember—and want to do again next summer.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Thomas and Thomas Contact II Fly Rod

Thomas and Thomas Contact II Fly Rod

Joe Goodspeed, rod designer at Thomas & Thomas, tells Fly Fisherman editor Ross Purnell about the six new models of Contact II fly rods, including a 10-foot 2-weight and a 10-foot 3-weight. Constructed from five types of premium carbon and fiberglass fibers bonded by a proprietary aerospace resin, these rods are stronger and yet capable of making, short, delicate casts.

New G. Loomis IMX Pro Rod Series

New G. Loomis IMX Pro Rod Series

David Brinkerhoff of G. Loomis shares his knowledge of the new IMX Pro rod series. The IMX Pro rod series comes in 10 new models and will cover five technique-specific categories. Available Fall 2020. MSRP $345-355.

RIO Slickcast Fly Lines

RIO Slickcast Fly Lines

Chris Walker, with RIO Products, talks with Editor/Publisher Ross Purnell of Fly Fisherman magazine about the new SlickCast lineup of fly lines for 2020.

Bubba Blade: Multi-Flex Interchangeable Blade Set

Bubba Blade: Multi-Flex Interchangeable Blade Set

Four blades in versatile knife system to fit your needs; ICAST Fishing Gear Guide.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Field Skills: Want to be a better shooter? The first step is perfecting your release.6 Steps to the Perfect Trigger Pull on Your Compound Bow Hunting How-To

6 Steps to the Perfect Trigger Pull on Your Compound Bow

Jace Bauserman - August 27, 2020

Field Skills: Want to be a better shooter? The first step is perfecting your release.

If you haven't looked at the smaller urban lakes in your area, you are missing out on some great bass pond fishing.Bass Pond Fishing: Catch Lunkers at Small Lakes Near You Bass

Bass Pond Fishing: Catch Lunkers at Small Lakes Near You

Dan Anderson

If you haven't looked at the smaller urban lakes in your area, you are missing out on some...

Here's how to get your rig ready for archery deer season.19 Ways to Get Your Crossbow, Compound Ready for Opening Day Bows

19 Ways to Get Your Crossbow, Compound Ready for Opening Day

Bob Robb - August 21, 2020

Here's how to get your rig ready for archery deer season.

The colder waters of early spring are prime times to use these proven bait rigs for stripers.3 Proven Bait Rigs for Stripers Striper & Hybrid

3 Proven Bait Rigs for Stripers

J.B. Kasper

The colder waters of early spring are prime times to use these proven bait rigs for stripers.

See More Trending Articles

More Fishing How-To

West Fishing Playbook: When, what and how to fish this popular salmon run.Trolling Tactics for Fall Chinook Playbook

Trolling Tactics for Fall Chinook

Scott Haugen - August 14, 2020

West Fishing Playbook: When, what and how to fish this popular salmon run.

Mountain lakes offer exceptional trout fishing in late summer, early fall. Here's where to go, some tackle recommendations and what to offer them at the end of your line.Best Trout Fishing Out West: Where, When and How Fishing

Best Trout Fishing Out West: Where, When and How

Gary Lewis - September 15, 2020

Mountain lakes offer exceptional trout fishing in late summer, early fall. Here's where to go,...

This overlooked saltwater species is hard-fighting, plentiful and delicious. What's not to love?In Praise of Sheepshead Fishing Saltwater

In Praise of Sheepshead Fishing

John N. Felsher - August 07, 2020

This overlooked saltwater species is hard-fighting, plentiful and delicious. What's not to...

Here's everything you need to know to load a stringer with slabs under the lights.Work the Night Shift for After-Dark Crappies Panfish

Work the Night Shift for After-Dark Crappies

Terry Madewell - August 18, 2020

Here's everything you need to know to load a stringer with slabs under the lights.

See More Fishing How-To

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Game & Fish subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now