Fishing can be a very enjoyable sport to enjoy for many years. For those of you who are just beginning I have compiled a list of tips to help you get started. If you are thinking about trying or getting better at fishing here are a few tips to remember.
1. Do some research.
There are many fishing books out there to help get you started. Shoot down to your local library or book store and pick up a few books on fishing. The internet is also full of good info to help you gain some knowledge. There is a section in my blog dedicated to Baits and Tactics which provides anglers with valuable information on how to catch different species and what methods to use.
2. Practice the basics.
Other than a few vary rare cases, nobody woke up one day and said “I think I’ll take up fishing” and went out and caught a limit of fish. It took much practice learning to cast, trying different baits and getting to know the local lakes and rivers before becoming proficient at the sport.
3. Choose the right equipment.
This is a big one. Having the right equipment can mean the difference between bringing home a monster and regretting the one that got away. Once again this will take some research by either scouring the internet or going to your local bookstore. You can check my section on Gear and Tackle to help you get started.
4. Match the hatch.
This is a common saying among fly fisherman. It means you need to present the flies or baits that are prevalent in the area at the time. No sense using a mosquito fly if the main source of food for the fish in that area is mayflies. This also applies to live and cut bait. Try to find out what the fish are feeding on and use that. You can talk to other fisherman or ask your bait shop. Each type of fish has a favorite bait and you will be better off if you know what that is.
5. Know the hot spots.
Every fisherman has their secret fishing hole that they hold dear to their heart. Maybe they caught a huge fish there one day, or maybe the fish bite frequently. Either way, you need to find out where the fish are. No sense soaking bait all day if there are no fish in the area.
6. Bring food.
Any angler worth his salt will tell you, don’t forget to bring food and drinks. There is nothing worse than being out on the water and dying of thirst. Same goes for the food. Nobody wants to be sitting there waiting for a fish with the only thought on their minds being their grumbling stomach. It certainly cuts down on the ability to be patient.
7. Be patient!!
This should probably be the number one tip for fishing. Patience won’t guarantee you a fish but it is extremely important if you want to have a good day fishing. There is a saying that a bad day fishing is better than a good day working. One thing you need to remember is you could be sitting behind a desk staring at a computer screen. Just enjoy the outdoors, watch the birds, breathe the fresh air. Fishing is all about enjoying the outdoors and getting away from the hectic schedule of life. There is a reason it is called fishing and not catching. Many times in my life I have sat hours on end with nothing biting only to catch a fish as I was getting ready to pack up and head home. Fishing is a tricky thing, almost like golf. It tests your mental ability and can drive you nuts sometimes.
8. Bring bug spray.
Bugs like water and prefer the evenings. These are two big parts of fishing. Be prepared to be swatting at mosquitoes or bring some bug spray and sit comfortably next to the water.
9. Wear the proper clothing.
Make sure you always have the right clothes for the weather. There have been too many times when I had to cut a trip short because I didn’t bring a warm enough jacket, or I was miserable wearing long pants in the summer heat. If you want to be comfortable make sure to bring extra clothes so you can change if need be. Nothing like trying to be patient when you are absolutely miserable.
10. Bring your kids.
You may think that bringing kids along will make the trip more difficult. Believe me it will. However, taking a kid fishing might be one of the best things you can do for them. Not only are you spending time with them which they will appreciate for the rest of their lives. You are introducing them to a sport that can keep them busy and give them years of enjoyment. Just think, maybe one day they will bring your grandchildren fishing and you can all enjoy the sport together.
Fishing is one of my favorite activities and I hope that I have encouraged others to get out there and give it a shot. Use these tips and any other information you find and have a great time. Good luck.