How to Master Fishing

Mastering angling, fishing or other techniques for catching aquatic creatures is a life goal for many people who enjoy the sport of fishing. Whether you are interested in traditional fishing techniques or want to try your hand at a different fishing style, all it takes is practice and determination. There are many different types of fishing to master, but once you grasp the basics, anything is possible. 

Spearfishing, for example, is an exciting method that many experienced fishermen try when they want to expand their repertoire. Hand fishing, or catching fish only using your hands, is another advanced technique that provides a unique challenge. Below, learn more about popular and exhilarating techniques that any fisherman can use to take things to the next level. 

How to Advance your Angling Skills 

Many people think that angling is a term that can be used interchangeably for any kind of fishing, but it is in fact a specific technique for catching fish. To angle fish means to use a hook, which is an angle-shaped device, to take fish. Essentially any method of fishing that involves tying a hook to the end of a line meets this definition. Common methods of angling fish include the following: 

  • Bank fishing 
  • Casting 
  • Fly fishing 
  • Ice fishing
  • Jigging 
  • Kayak fishing
  • Deep sea fishing

The gear used for each of these methods varies greatly. For example, deep see rods to be long and made of extremely sturdy material that can stand up to large sportfish. Equipment for ice fishing, on the other hand, tends to be much more compact, with some rods measuring only two or three feet in length.

How to Ice Fish 

When it comes to angling, going out on the ice is one of the most popular ways to take your skills up a level. This method usually doesn’t require casting due to the fact that you simply drop your line in a hole drilled through the ice. As a result, this is a beginner-friendly method for catching fish. However, don’t be fooled into thinking that ice fishing is easy and requires no special skills or know-how. 

First of all, this sport can be extremely dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. For example, it is necessary to accurately gauge whether the ice is thick enough to walk or drive on before heading out on the lake. It’s equally important to dress appropriately for the weather. Frostbite, slipping and falling, hypothermia and even drowning are all things to be concerned about. Most people who undertake this sport will set up a shack or tent to stay in, but you should always be prepared for exposure to the environment.

When it comes to techniques and equipment for ice fishing, you may also be surprised at the variety of gear available. Even gaining access to the fish requires special techniques for drilling through the ice safely. Once you start fishing, there’s also the challenge of keeping your hole open and detecting a bite on the line. With all that in mind, it’s safe to say that ice fishing provides endless challenges that will help you master your skills.

Hand Fishing Techniques 

Hand-fishing, as you might guess, involves catching fish or seafood with nothing but your hands. This technique can be used to catch a wider variety of fish than you may imagine, such as: 

  • Crustaceans, including lobster, crayfish and crabs. 
  • Flathead species, such as catfish. 
  • Shellfish and clams. 
  • Trout and other fish species. 

This method can also be used for pearl-diving, which involves free diving into a body of water to take oysters, some of which may have pearls inside. However, it is perhaps best-known for its applications with noodling catfish or trout tickling. 

Noodling catfish involves finding a catfish hole or bed and sticking your hand into it with the hopes of snagging a fish. As you can imagine, this hand fishing technique can be extremely dangerous and requires a great deal of experience and knowledge in order for it to be successful. 

A much safer technique, which is doable for a wider range of fishermen, is trout tickling. By simply reaching his or her hand into the water and rubbing the underbelly of a trout, an experienced fisherman can lull the fish into a trance and simply pick it out of the water.

How to Spear Fish 

whereas hand fishing equipment is extremely minimal, spear fishing is a sport that requires a very specific type of gear. This sport involves diving beneath the water and using a spear gun, bow or similar tool to take fish. With that in mind, having scuba diving skills is a helpful prerequisite. 

This type of fishing also requires that you are an expert at identifying aquatic species. Many species of fish cannot legally be speared, which is why you need to know exactly what your target is. If you are already an experienced fisherman and want to try your hands at a new skill, few fishing methods are more exciting than this one. 

How to Master Other Fishing Skills 

In addition to the advanced techniques described above, there are countless other ways to expand your horizons and master a new type of fishing. For example, if you are experienced with a rod and line, fishing from a kayak can present a fun challenge, as it requires you to have complete control over your boat while fishing. Other techniques that are worth trying include fishing with: 

  • Nets or traps.
  • Animals, such as dogs or certain birds. 
  • Technology, such as fish finders or light attractors. 

As with any advanced fishing technique, it is important that you pay extra attention to the regulations in your state. You may be familiar with the angling rules where you live, but the laws get more complicated once you start using other techniques. For example, you usually need a special permit or license that allows you to use certain equipment. Furthermore, states may require that certain fishing activities only take place during designated hours or seasons, or in specific bodies of water 

Whether you want to improve your line fishing skills or try your hand at any other technique, researching the body of water you want to fish on, as well as the species you want to take, will give you a leg up. Getting to know your equipment before you go out on the water will also give you more confidence and make your efforts more successful.