Are you looking to spend some quality time with friends or just trying out a new hobby? Fishing may be just the thing you need in your life to enjoy some time outdoors.
To start, do some research and make a plan for your trip. Then, gather your gear, from rods to reels, lines, swimbaits, or hooks, and select your perfect fishing spot. Go there when fish are most active and cast your line to see what luck you have.
Keep reading to find out more about the gear you need to be able to fish and how to do it best.
Select your fishing spot
The first step in being ready to fish is to find a fishing spot. Try looking for a lake, river, or pond near you, to keep things simple. Research for it online, in newspapers or apps where you can also find what kind of fish is common near to where you want to go fishing.
Of course, you can ask in an angling shop, in a marina, or a camping supply store. There’s a high chance you’ll go to one when buying supplies, anyway. Because you’ll find a lot of answers, you may feel overwhelmed at first. But all you have to do is pick a type of fish to focus on, preferably a common one, that’s easier to find. Bass, catfish, crappies, or sunfish are a few varieties you can try to reel in as a beginner.
Keep in mind to pick a place you’d like to stay at for a few good hours. A little research will show you that there are all sorts of fish in public ponds, lakes, and rivers. So you’ll find something to catch anywhere.
Here’s a hint: fish go to deeper water in the summer, so you’ll need a boat from the shore, whereas in autumn and spring you find them closer to the shore.
Ponds, lakes, and rivers are options close to cities. All you have to do is make sure you’re not crossing on private property or fishing somewhere where you’re not permitted to.
If you live closer to the ocean, you can go fishing there. Keep in mind that you may need an ocean fishing license and rods or bait for specific fish. Here at happyhookersportfishing.com, you can apply for a CA fishing license and schedule trips online.
When you want to catch specific fish, you’re looking for trophies or food fish. Fanatics for Fishing suggests that you take some time to read about the types of fish you want to catch or the bait you need for them. Fish types and populations change from one area to another and from saltwater to freshwater. Sometimes you have to plan your fishing session to a T if you want it to be successful.
You’ll find more fish in deeper water or near moving currents. Plus, schools of fish are more numerous at dawn and dusk. Even if waking up at 3 or 4 AM isn’t ideal, it’s worth it when you see the fish biting.
Choose your fishing equipment
Usually, when you go fishing, you’ll look into fishing gear. But first, you apply for a fishing license from your state department. You can apply online by writing your personal information in a form and paying a fee. You’ll quickly receive your license which you take with you on your trip.
Then you purchase the gear. That includes a fishing rod and reel. For your first rod, stick with a 7 ft. medium strength piece. If you’re unsure of your choice, ask for help from a shop representative. A tip to follow is to choose a rod as long as your height. Test it by holding it to see if you’re comfortable manipulating it with your throwing arm.
Then choose your monofilament line suitable for your rod and for the type of fish you want to catch. The next step is choosing the hook. You’ll put your bait on it to attract the fish. You can start with a 6-10 hook that’s great for catching all sorts of fish. Consider that fish will go after hooks as large as the bait on top. But they’ll feel intimidated by hooks larger than their bait.
If you’re unsure what gear to get, discuss it with a person working in your local tackle shop. Once you become an avid fisher, you’ll start to learn all the specifics yourself.
Choose the bait appropriate for your target fish. You’ll usually find shrimp, worms, minnows, or crickets. You can always choose between live bait and synthetic bait, which resembles actual bait good enough to fool fish.
Lastly, get a cage or cooler to store the fish you caught if you’re not practicing catch-and-release.
Catching fish with a rod
The most widespread option when fishing is with a rod. To do so, you have to prep your gear. That means lining your line and tying your hook to the line. Above the hook, you can tie weights or boobers to alert you when spotting.
The best way to catch a fish with rods and bobbers is to tie them 30 cm above the hook. When fishing in a stream, you’ll tie a sinker instead. It helps your hook reach fish.
The next step is to bait the hook and secure your bait. That means poking it at least two times, to make sure the fish won’t just run away with your bait.
Once you got to the fishing spot of your dreams and your rod is ready, throw it in the water. Casting the line is a simple process. You just have to pull back and simply throw the hook forward, holding the rod with your hand close to the reel. You use the reel to adjust the line length. Draw your arm back until the rod is in a vertical position and then throw it forward.
All you have to do now is wait for the fish to bite. As you’ll soon find out, if you’ve never experienced fishing, this sport is a waiting game. After casting the line, all you can do is wait in silence, not to scare fish. If you see you’re unlucky for a while, try moving the line.
Be careful not to be too loud. Fish can be startled by thrashing and noise. If you’re with someone, try to keep your voice down.
Keep or catch-and-release your fish
Pay attention to your line and bobber. Once something bites, you’ll see the line jerking ahead. If you’re spending more than 15 minutes in a spot with no success, try changing your spot a little. Finding a good place to fish can take some time.
Once you feel the tug on the line, jerk the rod back to embed the fish in the hook. You’ll immediately feel the fish fighting and pulling. If that’s not the case, that means the fish got away.
When you feel the fish pulling, your next step is to pull it in by lifting the rod at a 45-degree angle and slowly spinning the reel. Then lower your rod slowly and continue to spin the reel. Keep switching the rod up and down while spinning until you bring your catch to shore.
Once you get your hands on the catch, you decide to keep it or release it. Not before taking a picture, especially when it’s a big one! Hold the fish from behind its head and underneath, before the tail, holding it horizontally with both your hands, if it’s big.
Pull the hook out and decide whether you’re keeping it or throwing it back in the water as a measure to protect the ecosystem. If you’re practicing catch-and-release, keep the fish as close to the water as possible, because they can’t breathe when they’re not in the water.
If you’re allowed to keep the fish, measure it and document your catch. A park warden can search and fine you if you don’t follow state laws and rules.
Fishing without a rod
There are alternative ways to catch fish, which don’t require the use of a rod. Here are a few examples:
- Landline – you need a hook and a fishing line, with bait.
- Plastic bottle – cut the funnel-shaped top from a larger bottle and secure it with a line to make a trap.
- Spearfishing – you can do it with a fishing spear you buy or by crafting one from a branch.
- Net casting – you use a circular net for fishing.
Now it’s easier for you to try out fishing. With a little research, you’ll find the best fishing spot close to home and the right gear for your perfect fishing session. Then all you’ll need is some free time to relax and get the biggest catch of your life.