The 26th Annual Kids Fishing Dat at Laurel Pond is June 1, 2024.

Some of my favorite early childhood memories are of fishing. My dad was a long-haul trucker when I was growing up, so most of my fishing adventures were with my grandfather or uncle, who were avid fishermen.

Nowadays, I don't get to spend as much time on the water as I'd like, but the thrill of hooking a fish hasn't subsided. Fishing is a rewarding activity, with a relatively low cost of entry.

Credit Michael Foth, TSM
Credit Michael Foth, TSM


Yes, the sky is the limit with high-end gear and accessories, but fishing can be as simple as a cheap rod and reel combo and some worms. Children can fish for FREE this weekend at Laurel Pond, with no gear necessary.

Courtesy Montana Pike Masters Billings, used with permission
Courtesy Montana Pike Masters Billings, used with permission

Tackle, bait, and advice are free.

The Montana Pike Masters Billings Club is hosting its 26th annual Kids Fishing Day on Saturday, June 1 from 9 AM to 3 PM. Laurel Pond is located on the southwest corner of town at Lions Family Park, South 8th Avenue & East Railroad Street.

The pond contains rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, and largemouth bass, according to MT FW&P. You may spot a few goldfish swimming around the pond too. Confession: When I get skunked on the Yellowstone at Sportsman's or Duck Creek, sometimes I'll stop at the pond in Laurel on my way home to catch a redemption fish.

Credit Michael Foth
Laurel Pond. Credit Michael Foth

The pond is well-stocked for the event.

The pond was restocked in April with 4,000 hungry little trout. Kids will likely catch some fish on June 1. I've found that younger kids get bored quickly if they never get a bite. Thankfully, the action is usually decent at Laurel Pond.

This event is an excellent opportunity for non-fishing adults to let their kids experience the fun of fishing. Free rental poles and other basic gear are available on-site for those without tackle, and Pryor Creek Bait Company has generously donated the worms. Kids under 12 do not require a fishing license.

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There is a free BBQ for kiddos (adults and older youth can eat too, with a donation appreciated), prizes, and other fun. Volunteers frequently circle the pond, checking in on kids who might need help baiting hooks or releasing a fish. Find more details at Montana Pike Masters Billings Chapter.

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