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Fishing is an age-old activity that even confers many health benefits. However, fishing can seem complicated to first-time anglers. Don’t let your lack of experience discourage you!
The basics are pretty straightforward. Get a fishing license, know the places where to fish, and observe proper etiquette. For the places where to fish, it’s best to talk to someone experienced who’ll have info about local water.
Once you’ve done or learned these, you’re all set up–but you’re only getting started.
Here are the 12 best fishing tips for beginners. Read on, so you don’t have to spend years to discover them on your own.
1. Know the Differences between Saltwater and Freshwater
The differences between saltwater fishing and freshwater fishing can be pretty obvious. Still, there are scientific points to consider.
Freshwater fishing refers to fishing bodies of water with less than 0.05% salinity. These include lakes, rivers, or ponds. The species of fish will be completely different.
Saltwater fishing tends to have more action because you’ll have to grapple with the fish. Fishing in freshwater is more laid back and relaxed. Lakes will also have creel limits—the number and/or size of fish you’re allowed to take per day.
2. Use the Right Fishing Gear
This is one of the basic beginner fishing tips. There are several types on the market, and most choose between a spinning or a baitcasting rod. For beginners, a spinning rod would be best to ease the learning curve in freshwater fishing.
The spinning rod and reel is recommendable because casting is easier. This is an important skill in both freshwater and saltwater fishing.
Baitcasting can be more difficult. This may cause the “backlash” effect, which results in tangled lines. Check out these fishing tools to improve your game.
3. Match the Size of Your Gear With the Fish You’re Pursuing
Besides choosing the right gear for you, make sure you’re using the right size for the fish you intend to catch. Don’t get rods and reels that are one-size-fits-all.
A 12-pound-class casting reel would be great for bass. However, it can be too heavy for tossing the small jigs and spinners black crappie tend to hit. It’s good fishing advice to match your gear with your skill as well as the fish you’ll pursue.
4. Choose Your Lure
Be wise when choosing your lure or bait. This means using the right lure colors as well as the right shapes and sizes.
You can’t know what exact color lures the fish on a given day. If you’re not catching, then change the color. A general rule of thumb is to start by matching your lure color with the color of the water.
As for the lure shapes and sizes, match them with what the fish are feeding on. If a predator you intend to catch is preying on small, thin fish, a small, thin spoon of similar shape will do.
5. Make Your Lures “Swim” When Trolling
Trolling refers to towing lures behind the boat while motoring along. Making your lures swim in a life-like manner is one of the good fishing tips.
Hold your lures next to the boat before deploying the lines. Watch it to see if they’re swimming is right. Speed up a bit if they look lethargic or slow down if they seem too spastic.
6. Fish at Dawn or Dusk
Many species of fish bite best in ambient sunlight. This means the best time of day for fishing would be either at dawn or dusk.
In the mid-day hours, cloud cover can be ideal. When there’s direct sunlight, find shaded areas. When it’s hot and sunny, fish often find shade and become active in the cooler hours of the day.
7. Know That Water Temperature and Weather Patterns Are Crucial
One of the best fishing tips for beginners is to research the environment of the fish they intend to catch. Weather is a key factor fish react to.
Weather changes affect water temperature and pressure. This determines the behavior of the fish.
For example, fish become more active as a cold front nears and pressure drops. If it gets too cold, they become uninterested and lazy.
8. Be Mindful of the Tides and Currents
Besides the weather and the time of day, tides and currents also affect fish behavior. For instance, how, when, and where saltwater fish feed depends on the tides’ ebb and flow.
9. Choose the Right Fishing Line
Choosing from the various types and brands of fishing line is important. It’s crucial to remember the high sensitivity and hook-setting power of braid lines.
This makes them ideal for fishing with lures. Meanwhile, monofilament is better for fish that nibble on baits due. Monofilament is less likely to stress and come with lesser sensitivity.
10. Sharpen Old Hooks or Always Use New Ones
It’s good practice always to use new hooks or at least sharpen old hooks. You’ll catch more fish with sharper hooks.
11. Use a Scale for Setting Your Reel’s Drag
Most people tend to wing it by tugging on the line until it feels right. The drag allows fish to take line instead of breaking it due to pulling. Thus, knowing the right way to set it is critical.
Good beginner fishing tips would recommend tying your line to a hand scale. Set the drag to 1/3 of the line’s breaking strength rate.
12. Wear the Right Clothing
Wear lightweight shirts with breathable fabrics and light colors. You can get fishing shirts with a mesh lining on the inside and flaps you can open for better cooling. A cheaper option is a short or long-sleeved white cotton shirt.
Layer your shirt with a flannel button up on top for cold weather. You can also use a quick-drying button-up shirt for moderate weather. Also, try to get clothing with SPF protection to protect you from sun damage.
Follow These Best Fishing Tips for Beginners!
Fishing is a great hobby with many benefits. Although it can seem complex, don’t get intimidated! Follow these best fishing tips for beginners, and you’ll be set.
Looking to go fishing soon? Check out our other fishing guides for more great tips for a successful trip!