Are you a new angler looking to learn the ropes? Maybe you want to enter a big fishing contest, or you want to start catching your own food. Maybe you just want to find a new relaxing activity that you can do alone or with your friends.Fishing is a fantastic hobby that everyone can enjoy. Get started with this ultimate beginner’s guide on how to catch a fish.
Whatever the reason, fishing is a great way to pass time and put dinner on the table as well. It’s more sustainable than buying fish from the grocery store and it’s fun.
If you’ve never learned how, though, it might be overwhelming! We want to help you learn how to catch a fish so you can get started.
Whether you’re going into the deep sea, rushing rivers, or a smooth lake, there are tips that can help you. Keel reading to learn more about our fishing tips.
Figure Out Where You’re Fishing
What bodies of water are you looking to fish in?
If you’re lucky enough to be near a large enough body of water for fish to live in, this is likely your first destination. Are you close to the ocean? What about a large lake or river?
Different locations are going to have different kinds of fish and different best practices for fishing. Always check your local laws to make sure that fishing in this space is even an option.
Some fishing laws exist due to over fishing. Certain species of fish are going extinct due to how many people are catching them. Many of these laws require that you don’t catch that fish at all (or that you throw it back).
Other laws focus on size. They want to make sure that you’re catching adult fish so that they’re able to breed. You don’t want small fish anyway!
Some laws disallow fishing overall in certain areas or without a license. Breaking any of these laws may land you with a hefty fine. Always check the laws in the area that you’re fishing.
What Fish Are You Looking For?
So what are you trying to catch?
Take a look at the fish that are abundant in the body of water that you’re fishing in. Oceans and bays will have saltwater fish while rivers, lakes, and ponds will have freshwater fish. Don’t expect to catch a marlin in the lake or a catfish in the ocean.
Some fish are more common in tropical areas while others prefer cooler waters.
Make a list of all of the fish you’d like to catch and do your research on the best practices for catching them. You’ll be surprised at the differences.
Pick the Right Bait
One of those differences is the types of bait and lures that you’ll need to catch each fish. You can find bait at tackle shops and lures in the sports section of many department stores.
Remember that your goal is to get the fish to attack the bait. Because of this, you want a lure that’s similar to the fish’s natural prey in size and color. Adding some kind of food to it (worms and small fish are popular) will help because the smell will attract the fish.
Pick the Right Reel
Picking the right equipment to catch and land the fish is crucial. Not all fishing rods are alike and the accessories that you choose for them matter.
There are three basic types of reels.
Spincast reels are affordable and great for beginners. They do well in nearly all fishing situations (though if you’re looking to land a large fish you may want to choose a different option once you’ve adapted). They’re easy to cast and they’re in no short supply at sports supply stores.
Spinning reels should be your next choice. They do well with fine fishing lines and light lures, but you need a bit of skill with your spincast reel before you make the change. If you’re not careful, you’ll end up with tangles.
Baitcast reels are great for pros. They’re easy to cast when you want to target a specific area once you’ve mastered the previous reels. They’re strong and sturdy but less readily available.
Use the Right Vehicle (Or No Vehicle)
Where are you going to fish from? You don’t need a massive fishing boat to get out on the water and catch a few fish.
Some areas don’t require you to have a boat at all. You can fish from land, a pier, or a bridge, and still have success.
If you’re deep-sea fishing you’re going to want a boat with a motor. You want it to be a decent size just in case you catch something huge, and there are plenty of giant fish out there waiting to be caught.
Fishing on lakes is different. Huge lakes, like the great lakes, also call for motorized boats. When you’re on a small lake, though, choosing a canoe or one of the best fishing kayaks might be a better option. You don’t want to disrupt the water too much.
Learn to Cast
Casting techniques vary depending on the reel that you’re using. We’ll explain the spincasting technique because that’s where you’re going to start.
Reel in your line so the lure is about a foot from the tip of the rod. You should grasp the handle in such a way that your thumb is right underneath the button on the top. Keep a firm grip.
Hold the button with your thumb, then move so the reel is vertical or pointed slightly behind you with your casting arm in front of your face.
Send the rod forward and release the button once the rod matches your eye level. This sends the line out. Hold the button again once your lure has gone where you want it to go.
Once you cast your line, you play the waiting game. If you’re new to this, you’ll hold onto the rod until you feel a small tug. If you have a large fishing boat, there might be spaces for you to place the rod so you can hang out.
Fishing is a slow activity, so make sure you have something to occupy your time.
Do You Know How to Catch a Fish?
Fishing is a lot of fun and it’s a great social or solitary activity! First, you need to know how to catch a fish. Use some of our helpful advice and get out on the water! You’ll have your first fish in no time.
For more articles on all of your favorite recreational activities, check out the rest of our site!