Beginner Fishing - Fishing Tips
Truth be told, there are really only three things (other than fish and water) absolutely needed to go fishing. First item needed is a rod (a complete set can be purchased for as little as $20). Second necessity is bait of some kind and third, a fishing license.
However, for those who want the most out of their initial fishing experience, there are other items that can help make that first time so much better. So, to help prepare, they are listed below.
Rod and Reel
As mentioned before, a basic rod and reel set can be purchased for less than $20. A starter combo includes the rod and reel pre-spooled with line. These are strong enough to catch catfish, striper, and other game fish.
Bait: Worms, Leeches and Others
While a Norman Rockwell picture of bait gathering would give warm fuzzies, in reality, trying to gather big enough worms for fishing is time consuming and not really worth it when worms can be picked up from a bait dealer for just a few dollars per dozen.
Crayfish, minnows and leeches are other common forms of bait for fresh water fishing. The biggest drawback from all four of these types of bait is that they are still alive when put on the hook and should be “hooked” in such a way as to keep them alive and struggling for as long as possible in order to attract fish.
If the novice fisher thinks that this might cause squeamishness, it’s a good time to consider using some kind of lure instead of fresh bait. Lures cost a bit more money initially, but can be used over and over.
Lures Instead of Bait
There are four main categories of lures for freshwater fishing: plugs, spinners and spoons, jigs and finally soft plastics. For the beginner fisherman, the soft plastics will do well. They are made to imitate fish and other aquatic types of bait. The lures are drawn through the water in an attempt to emulate the natural movement of the creature the soft plastic imitates, such as a prawn, baitfish or crawdad.
The Fishing License
Be sure to pick up a fishing license for the state in which you intend to fish. These can be obtained at most sporting goods stores, gun shops, department stores, discount stores, bait and tackle shops, grocery stores, and many other types of stores, as well as online. A license can cost around $30 per year and $10 for a single day. The small fee is much better than being fined $100 or so for fishing without a license.
All it takes is dropping a weight, hook or bobber in the water once or twice to learn that some type of carrying case is a necessity. Since hooks can rust, keeping them dry is important, another reason for a tackle box of some kind. It’s also the best place to keep the fishing license since it’ll go where the fishing is happening if it’s kept in the box.
Different fish like different kinds of bait and purchasing worms gets expensive after a while, so it’s safe to assume that a few varieties of lures will be purchased pretty early on. Keeping them separated will make the fishing experienced much more pleasant.
Know a Few Knots
As with everything, there’s a right way to do knots and a wrong way. The wrong way could result in lost hooks, or even worse, fish. The clinch knot is the common fishing knot and the best way to tie swivels and hooks to line.
Protection From the Sun
Two factors make it doubly important to wear a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen while fishing. The first is the water, which reflects sunlight in all directions and can magnify the sun’s affects, and sunburn. The second is the amount of time that tends to slip away while sitting in a boat on a beautiful lake. It can be very easy to let hours go by, and even on cloudy days, harmful rays are getting through can causing sun damage and causing eye strain.
A bobber can mean the difference between spending the day in the boat and catching fish for the novice. Since it’s important to get the fish to “take the hook,” it’s essential to know when they’re nibbling. Having a bobber, and keeping an eye on it, is the best way to learn how to feel the nibble and when to give a small tug on the lin. The best place for the bobber is located around two feet from the hook.
When using worms or some other lightweight bait, added weight is needed on the line or it will just float on the top of the water. Sinkers come in a variety of weights and materials. A metal sinker is easiest to put on the line since all that’s needed is a gentle squeeze. Trial and error will help find what weights work best and how many are needed.
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