The best fishing techniques enable recreational anglers to catch fish with more ease. However, when choosing among fishing methods, fishing enthusiasts must evaluate their skill level, knowledge of habitats and target species. For example, traditional fishing methods may suffice to catch bluegill. Conversely, marlin may pose more of a challenge to anglers.

Therefore, when learning how to fish, anglers must be mindful that each technique is designed for different results. Moreover, fishermen must be aware of illegal fishing methods such as bottom trawling. Learn about the various types of fishing techniques and evaluate which one is best suited for your needs by reading the sections below.

What are the different types of fishing techniques?

Fishing methods come in many forms and serve different purposes. These techniques can yield different results depending on each habitat, target species and fisherman. Overall, the following are considered the most common types of fishing techniques:

  • Hand-gathering – Several hand gathering fishing methods have been developed over the years for fishermen to catch fish by hand.
  • SpearfishingSpearfishing techniques involving pike poles, tridents and other spears. This method presents an effective way to catch fish while using minimal equipment.
  • Net techniques – Most types of net fishing methods are suitable for catching large schools of fish. However, these techniques may also be used for catching large game fish, such as sharks.
  • Angling – Angling is one of the most popular techniques for recreational anglers. In general, this method is best suited for inexperienced fishing enthusiasts to learn how to fish.
  • Trapping – Fish traps are useful tools for fishermen to catch seafood species such as lobster and crabs.
  • Fishing with animals – Recreational anglers can engage in fishing with animals by training dogs, birds or even dolphins to assist them.

What are the hand gathering fishing techniques?

Hand gathering techniques involve catching fish by hand. In general, this is a relatively inexpensive method. However, hand-gathering techniques require extensive training and advanced skills. The following are the most common hand gathering fishing techniques:

  • Trout ticklingTrout tickling is optimal for rocky areas that surround freshwater habitats, such as rivers and streams. However, the trout tickling technique may also be used to catch catfish or salmon.
  • Pearl divingPearl diving may be conducted in saltwater or freshwater habitats. However, diving in saltwater environments may require the use of a breathing apparatus such as a scuba or snorkel.
  • Flounder tramping – The flounder tramping technique involves tramping or plodding freshwater habitats to catch flounders buried in a riverbed’s muddy floor. Flounder tramping may also be utilized to hand-gather other types of flatfish.
  • NoodlingNoodling is designed specifically for catching catfish by hand. Because injuries are common with this method, it is not recommended for inexperienced fishing enthusiasts.

What are the spearfishing techniques?

Spearfishing is a technique that is generally associated with diving. Therefore, this is often considered a more advanced fishing method. Among the most common spearfishing techniques, consider the following:

  • Pike pole fishing – Fishing with a pike pole may take place in frozen or liquid bodies of water. This technique involves sticking one or several poles into the water and pulling the poles out as fish hit them.
  • Trident fishing – This technique involves using a fork-tipped spear, called a trident, to pierce through fish and catch them. Trident fishing has been a common method of fishing throughout history, dating back thousands of years.
  • Bowfishing – Fishing enthusiasts can catch fish by shooting them with a bow and arrow. Bowfishing, like bowhunting, is a technique most commonly employed by individuals who are skilled in archery.
  • GiggingGigging is similar to fishing with a trident, but it is meant to catch fish that inhabit shallow waters.
  • Hawaiian sling fishing – Similar to fishing with a pike pole, Hawaiian sling fishing involves piercing through fish with the assistance of a pole. What makes this sling different from a standard pole is that a rubber grip is added to the pole’s shaft.
  • Modern speargun fishing – Modern speargun fishing involves the catching of fish by piercing through them with a speargun. However, fishermen must be mindful that this practice may be prohibited in certain regions.

What are the net fishing techniques?

Net fishing is one of the most common techniques for fishermen to catch large schools of fish at once. For a full list of all net fishing techniques, click here. The following are the most common methods of net fishing:

  • Trawl net fishing – This technique involves the dragging of a cone-shaped net through water in order to catch various fish at once. Overall, trawl net fishing is one of the most popular net techniques for fishing around the world.
  • Gillnet fishingGillnet fishing is a method that uses differently sized nets to catch various types of fish. Moreover, this technique may be referred to as drift net fishing when done in deeper waters. In addition, long gillnets may take the form of tangle nets, which are less harmful to fish.
  • Cast net fishing – A cast net fishing technique involves the throwing of a net into the water that is weighed down to catch fish and then quickly retrieved.
  • Seine net fishing – This method consists of catching fish by encircling them with a very large net. For a school of fish to be properly encircled, two or more individuals are typically required.
  • Hand net fishing – Hand net fishing is one of the most commonly recognized methods of fishing with a net. This type of net is held by a hoop, which is attached to a handle. Thus, fishing enthusiasts are able to scoop up fish by hand.

Ghost net fishing is the practice of abandoning or failing to retrieve nets that were cast on water. Unfortunately, this method causes fish to be accidentally entangled and harmed. Therefore, this is considered a destructive fishing practice that is deemed illegal by several regulatory bodies.

What are the angling techniques?

Angling is one of the preferred methods for all fishermen to practice recreational fishing. To view a full list of angling techniques, click here. The most common techniques utilized by anglers include:

  • Ice fishing – This method involves cutting a hole in the ice above a body of water and catching fish through it. It has been historically used by anglers in cold regions.
  • Kayak fishing – Fishing and kayaking are combined in this technique, which lets an angler engage in two recreational activities at once. Generally, fishing from a kayak allows anglers to catch fish that are further away from shores.
  • Bottom fishing – Bottom fishing involves dropping a line with bait at the bottom of a body of water. Thus, this method targets bottom-dwelling species.
  • Casting – This is an optimal technique for anglers who intend to fish from the shore. It involves the casting of a line from land, thus requiring little skill level and equipment.
  • Fly fishing – Anglers may use artificial flies as lures in order to attract fish with a weightless bait. Fly fishing is a very popular technique used in freshwater habitats, but it may also be employed in saltwater environments.
  • Lining – This method involves setting up an underwater line that can lure and catch various fish. This can be achieved through the use of a longline, trotline, hand line or floating dropline.
  • Kite fishing – With the assistance of a kite, anglers are able to extend their fishing radius. This allows them to catch larger fish that dwell farther out in the ocean.
  • Trolling – The trolling technique involves casting multiple baited lines from a boat. Additionally, the vessel may be piloted through varying speeds in order to control the depth of the lines.

What are the trapping fishing techniques?

Setting fish traps may be challenging for inexperienced fishing enthusiasts. However, this technique is practical for fishermen who cannot be actively involved during the entire process. These are the most popular trapping fishing techniques:

  • Fishing weir trapping – A fishing weir trap is essentially a barrier from which fish cannot escape. Thus, fish can swim in, but not out. Overall, this trap may be set up in freshwater or saltwater
  • Lobster trappingLobster trapping involves setting up an underwater trap with bait and waiting for lobsters to enter it.
  • Fish wheels trapping – A fish wheel trap resembles a large floating platform that contains a windmill-shaped top and large paddles underwater. The water current forces the paddles to turn and scoop fish inside, which traps them.

What are the techniques of fishing with animals?

Fishing with animals is an ideal method for fishermen who would like to fish with an animal companion. The following techniques of fishing with animals are commonly seen around the world:

  • Cormorant fishing – This is a technique that uses trained cormorant birds to catch fish. Historically, cormorant fishing has been often employed in Japan, China and
  • Fishing with a Portuguese water dog or Labrador retriever. Fishing with Labrador retrievers or Portuguese water dogs is a technique that relies on the assistance of trained canine companions.
  • Remora fishing – Using remoras for fishing baits is a particularly common technique due to their ability to entice big game fish.
  • Frigatebird fishing – The frigatebird fishing method uses trained frigatebirds to catch fish. This technique was developed by the people of the Micronesian island of Nauru.
  • Cooperative human-dolphin fishingDolphin assisted fishing is a technique in which dolphins signal to anglers when other fish are nearby. This method is particularly useful in freshwater habitats where there is limited visibility underwater.

What are the additional fishing techniques?

Certain fishing techniques cannot be classified within any major category, but are commonly used amongst certain communities. These are some of the most popular alternative fishing methods:

  • Electrofishing – Despite being an illegal technique for recreational anglers, electrofishing is commonly utilized by the scientific community.
  • Fishing with fish aggregating devices (FAD) – An FAD is an equipment capable of luring various fish to a spot where they can be caught.
  • Dredging – Scraping or penetrating dredges are popular fishing tools for catching large schools of marine species at once.
  • Fishing with a fish finder – A fish finder uses technology to locate fish. Specifically, these devices use underwater sonic waves to locate fish.
  • Shrimp baiting – Recreational fishermen may employ shrimp baiting techniques by casting a long net between two poles in a shallow water habitat.
  • Fishing with a light attractor – Certain species of fish are attracted by a specialized light if placed underwater. Moreover, fishing with light attractor devices has become increasingly popular in recent times.

What are the best fishing techniques for beginners?

Fishing for beginners and children must involve techniques that require little equipment and skill. Therefore, these methods can serve as entry points for inexperienced fishermen to learn and practice. For that reason, fishing methods such as hand-gathering and spearfishing may not be the optimal choices for beginners. While these techniques require little to no equipment, they require extensive training and strength. With that in mind, novice anglers must learn these types of fishing techniques first:

  • Angling – Angling from land is generally the easiest fishing technique for a beginner to learn. Moreover, children can use shorter fishing rods that are appropriate to their stature.
  • Net techniques – Certain net fishing techniques, such as casting a net, are simple enough for beginners and children to grasp with ease.

What are the easiest fishing techniques?

There are certain types of fishing techniques that are considered too advanced for recreational fishermen to learn quickly. Therefore, traditional fishing methods and easy-to-catch species of fish are preferred. In general, angling techniques such as casting from land or boat are among the easiest methods for novice anglers. Additionally, types of net fishing methods like casting a net can be fairly easy for inexperienced fishermen to grasp. In general, bass, catfish, crappie and sunfish are among the easiest species of fish to be caught.

What are the most advanced fishing techniques?

Advanced fishing techniques typically require physical strength, particular knowledge and a significant skill level. Thus, these methods are generally recommended to more experienced anglers. Moreover, bonefish, blue marlins, muskellunge and pikes are some of the hardest types of fish to catch. The types of fishing below are often considered advanced techniques.

  • Hand-gathering – Hand gathering fishing generally requires a significant amount of strength and skill from an individual. Therefore, these techniques are better suited for experienced fishermen.
  • Spearfishing – Piercing through fish with a spear requires precision. For that reason, fishing enthusiasts must properly train for spearfishing over time. Additionally, this method is often associated with diving, thus requiring fishermen to be skilled divers as well.

What are the most popular fishing techniques?

Certain types of fishing techniques are more popular than others due to their effectiveness and/or entertainment value. In general, angling techniques are considered the most popular, such as:

Advanced fishing methods may also be considered very popular among expert fishermen who want to venture outside of angling. These techniques include:

  • Bowfishing
  • Fishing with animals
  • Kite fishing
  • Noodling
  • Pearl hunting
  • Trident fishing
  • Trolling
  • Trout tickling

What are the least and most expensive fishing techniques?

Inexpensive fishing techniques generally require little or no equipment for fish to be caught. For instance, angling can cost very little if done from land. Conversely, any fishing activity that takes place on a boat typically requires a bigger budget. Common examples of inexpensive fishing methods include:

  • Bowfishing
  • Flounder Tramping
  • Hawaiian sling fishing
  • Modern speargun fishing
  • Noodling
  • Pearl diving
  • Pike pole fishing
  • Trout tickling

On the other hand, expensive types of fishing techniques often require fishing technology devices and/or boats. Generally, these are products that are notable for having high rental or retail prices. Moreover, certain fishing nets are made of very resistant materials and are sold or rented for a high price tag. Examples of expensive methods for fishing include:

  • Fish wheels trapping
  • Fishing with fish aggregating devices
  • Longlining
  • Fishing with fish finder
  • Trolling
  • Fishing with light attractor

What are the best saltwater fishing techniques?

Several fishing methods are effective in both saltwater and freshwater environments. However, saltwater fishing techniques are best suited for open oceans, shallow seas, ocean depths, seashores, estuaries and coral reefs. These methods for saltwater habitats include:

  • Flounder tramping
  • Kite fishing
  • Lobster trapping
  • Modern speargun fishing
  • Spearfishing by the way of diving
  • Surfcasting
  • Trolling

To learn more about saltwater fish and the most effective fishing methods for these habitats, click here.

What are the best freshwater fishing techniques?

Freshwater fishing techniques are methods deemed more suitable for habitats such as rivers, lakes, streams and ponds. In general, these bodies of water represent two percent of all the water on Earth. When fishing in freshwater, consider these types of fishing techniques:

  • Bank fishing
  • Cooperative human-dolphin fishing
  • Fishing weir trapping
  • Ice fishing
  • Noodling
  • Pitch fishing
  • Spearfishing on a riverbank
  • Trout tickling

To learn more about freshwater species of fish and the most effective techniques for these environments, click here.

What are destructive fishing techniques?

Destructive and illegal fishing methods take place in many parts of the world. These practices contribute to the endangerment of fish and contamination of natural environments. Moreover, they threaten other anglers and swimmers who visit these bodies of water. These are some of the most common destructive fishing techniques around the world:

  • Bottom trawling
  • Ghost fishing
  • Overfishing
  • Poison and explosives

Additionally, anglers must understand the consequences related to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. These practices may yield criminal charges, depending on the scope of each infraction. To learn more about destructive fishing techniques and the differences between illegal vs legal types of fishing, click here.

Are certain fishing techniques better for the conservation of natural habitats?

Fishing techniques that do not harm natural environments are considered good for the conservation of freshwater and saltwater habitats. For instance, fishing nets such as tangle nets and hand nets are considered safer than trawl nets. Conversely, trawl nets may destroy coral reefs or accidentally harm endangered wildlife if not utilized properly. In general, most spearfishing, hand-gathering and angling techniques are deemed safe for the environment.

Fishing with animals may be considered safe for the environment as long as the animal is properly trained. Animals must catch the appropriate types of fish, avoiding species that are already considered endangered or threatened. Additionally, fish traps may be sustainable fishing practices as long as they do not harm underwater ecosystems as a consequence.