If you’re just getting in to the world of fishing, or if you’re thinking about trying it, the best way to learn is by doing. But there are also some fishing essentials for beginners that can help make sure you’re prepared before your first trip.
Preparation is key if you’re new to fishing. You need to know the type of fishing you want to do and research the kit required, as well as the water where you intend to fish. Fishing involves a lot of skill, and once you master the basics you can very quickly learn more advanced techniques.
Fishing can seem a little overwhelming to a beginner. There is a lot to consider in terms of buying the right equipment, as well as understanding how different waters and species of fish require different fishing methods. Let’s go through the beginner essentials in more detail.
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Preparation Is Key
This is probably the most crucial element for beginners. Taking some time to learn the basics about the equipment and kit used in fishing will help save you time and money. You will need to consider where you are going to fish and the type of fish you are looking to catch.
Fishing requires either a rod or a pole. Beginners tend to find a spinning reel and rod combination the easiest to learn. Ultimately, the type of rod or pole you use will depend on the water you will be fishing, as well as the type of fish you’re hoping to catch.
Learn From Others
Nothing beats talking to experienced anglers, whether this is someone you know or the shop owner when stocking up at a specialist tackle store. Tapping in to this knowledge will help you buy only the equipment you require and help you catch fish faster. You do not have to spend a fortune on kit as a beginner, as you can add and fine tune your requirements as you gain more experience.
Fishing is a process of continual learning, which is part of the pleasure of the sport. Even the best anglers in the world continue to learn new methods and techniques. Anglers are passionate about their sport and will be more than happy to offer tips to a beginner. Don’t be afraid to ask basic questions, as every angler started as a beginner looking for tips to help better themselves.
Two Main Knots For Fishing Beginners
Fishing will soon become a frustrating affair if you’re not tying the hook to your fishing line in an effective way. There is a plethora of knots which can be used to cover the various types of fishing. However, an experienced angler will tell a beginner to keep knot tying simple at the start.
The Palomar knot is an excellent knot for beginners. It is a strong knot, quite easy to tie, and particularly good when using braided fishing line. You can get a tighter knot by getting the line slightly damp.
Braided line is viewed as a good fishing line for beginners to start out with, as it can be less fiddly and easier to see when tying knots. It is also less expensive, making it a better option when practicing tying knots.
The second knot a beginner should use is the Clinch knot. This is one of the most common knots used in fishing, and any regular angler will be able to show you how it’s done. Similarly to the Palomar knot, the Clinch knot is both simple and strong, ideal for beginners. As a beginner you want a reliable knot, allowing you to focus on the task at hand, rather than fearing it might come undone.
Match The Hatch
Match the Hatch is a phrase you will hear fairly often in the world of fishing, particularly from anglers hunting trout or bass. In a nutshell it means you want to match the bait or lure you are using to whatever the fish are naturally feeding on in the water. Fish can be selective in what they eat, so imitating the food sources they eat naturally can make your life easier.
Therefore, learning what different fish eat will place you in good stead going forward. For example, anglers will often take a sample of the water to determine what the fish are feeding on and adjust their bait and lures to replicate these samples.
To do this you could examine the insects on a small rock in the shallows or use a fishing net, providing the holes are small enough to ensure you capture the smaller prey.
Tips For Bass
Another example is using shredded worms when fishing for bass. As a predator, a bass loves nothing more than to find wounded prey, and therefore shredded worms are used to imitate such weakened prey. Some anglers also swear by using red lures for bass, the red being a sign of blood and therefore more wounded prey for the fish to feed upon.
Know Your Water
Any expert angler will tell you that being able to read the water is an integral part of fishing. You can have all the kit you want, but only by knowing the water in front of you can you truly make use of that kit. There are some areas where fish are more likely to be found, making reading the water key if you want to be successful.
Fish like weeds and this can be a productive place to cast. The weeds offer protection, but they can also be a hot spot for the insects the fish eat. Objects such as submerged tree trunks, rocks and docked boats can also be prime spots since they offer protection to fish while they wait for their prey.
Look For Margins
Fish also love to hang out in margins, for example between an area of fast-moving water and an area of slow-moving water. The fish will park themselves in the slow water and allow the faster water to deliver their food right to them. The merging currents also handily slow the food down as it arrives.
Fish also prefer slower water as it requires less energy to battle against the current. As the current at the bottom of a river channel is slower, this is where you will often find the most fish. Faster water is found on the outer bend of a river and can also be a good area to cast for fish that are searching for food.
The digital world makes it far easier to prepare and learn about the body of water you intend to fish. You can find and download online topographical maps to help you locate the areas where the fish are more likely to be found. Google Earth allows you to zoom in to a lake or river section from the comfort of your living room, letting you familiarize yourself with the water and surrounding margins.
Set Your Hook
There are many techniques you will learn and master as you fish more often. How you bait, which lures you use and casting with consistent accuracy will all come with practice and experience. However, when you hook a fish early in your angling career you want to be aware of the best way to avoid losing it.
As a beginner it’s understandable if the adrenaline kicks in when you first feel a fish tug on your line. Your instinctive reaction will be to pull up the rod, setting the hook immediately in the fish. However, you want to feel the full weight of the fish first, otherwise you risk seeing it swim off in to the distance. Ideally you want to feel the fish tugging on the line before you react.
Before you finally set the hook you should reel in any slack line, ensuring it remains tight. At this point you can sharply lift up the rod tip to set the hook and begin to reel the fish in. As with most things in fishing this is a generalized tip which is useful for beginners, although different fish may require faster setting of the hook. Practice and experience will help you perfect your skill.
The range of equipment and methods used in fishing can seem quite overwhelming to a beginner. However, once you have just a basic understanding of the kit you need and the fish you intend to catch you can have a successful fishing trip. Preparation is key for an angler of any level of experience.
Research the basics on equipment, practice how to tie a reliable knot, read the water, observe what the fish naturally eat and learn how to set the hook. Keep your fishing simple to begin with, as you will learn more of the secrets of the sport with practice and experience!