Learning to Fish: A Beginner’s Guide

Learning how to fish may seem overwhelming if you are just getting interested in the sport. However, fishing is one of the most welcoming activities for beginners. Many experienced anglers are excited to share their love of fishing and show newcomers the ropes. Talking to a seasoned fisherman can provide a great introduction to the basics, such as the best knots to use, the most successful casting methods and other techniques. 

Before you can learn how to tie a fishing knot, though, you will need to buy a variety of gear to get yourself started. As a beginner, there are several different pieces of equipment that you must have before you can start fishing. Below, learn about fishing gear for beginners and discover other basic knowledge you need to get started.  

Beginner Fishing Gear 

The first step in learning how to catch fish is to set yourself up with all the required gear. When you think of a typical fishing setup, a basic rod and reel is probably what comes to mind. However, it’s important that you remember other essentials, which include: 

  • Hooks
  • Sinkers
  • Bait
  • Lures
  • Fishing line
  • Bobbers

The exact types of gear you need will vary depending not only on your preferences, but on the type of fishing you want to do. For example, if you want to learn how to fly fish, you will have to buy very specific type of gear due to the fact that fly fishing equipment usually can’t be used for other types of fishing. 

If you’re not sure what beginner’s fishing gear to buy, it may help to go to an outdoor store in your area. Most major outdoor retailers have an entire section just for fishing gear, and staff members can help outfit you with all the essentials.

Don’t forget that one of the most important fishing basics is to get your fishing license. No matter where you are, you will more than likely need a license before you’re allowed to start fishing. There are a few exceptions, though. For example, some states have an annual free fishing day or do not require licenses for youths or seniors who meet the age requirements.

Other Fishing Gear Basics 

When learning how to go fishing, you may find that it helps to buy a tackle box to carry all of your gear conveniently. While picking out basic fishing gear, don’t forget about tools such as scissors for cutting line or a needle-nose pliers for removing stubborn hooks. Other things you may not immediately think of include sunglasses, a hat and sunscreen. Being on the water can quickly lead to a sunburn if you’re not protected due to the fact that sunlight is reflected off the water’s surface.

Essential Fishing Apparel 

While sunglasses and sunscreen can do a lot to help protect you from the elements, you can also prevent exposure by picking the right types of clothing. There are many types of fabric that block UV light or wick away moisture to keep you at the perfect temperature. Long-sleeved t-shirts and long pants can provide the best overall protection, but it’s always a good idea to dress in layers. 

The types of clothing you choose will ultimately depend on the climate that you’re fishing in. However, one of the best fishing tips for beginners is to prepare for the unexpected. Weather conditions can change quickly out on the water, so it is always a good idea to bring warmer or cooler clothing along so that you can adjust as necessary.

Choosing the right clothing is not just beneficial for your safety and comfort. It can also lead to more fishing success. Something you may not realize when you’re first learning how to fish is that fish are more sensitive to some colors than others. Because you want to stay invisible from fish, it is best to choose colors that help you blend in with the surroundings. Overall, the best colors to wear can vary depending on the type of fishing you are doing.

Basic Fishing Techniques to Get You Started 

Once you have gathered the essential gear, you can start practicing your skills and trying new techniques. First, you will want to set up your gear by assembling your rod and attaching your line. If you are wondering how to tie a beginner fishing knot or how to set up your specific type of gear, there are countless resources available to point you in the right direction. 

Learning how to cast fishing line is the most basic technique you can start with. It is a good idea to practice casting with a rubber weight at the end of your line rather than a hook, lure or other gear that can get easily caught. While you practice, you should go to an area away from other fishermen where you will have more room to try out your skills.

More Fishing Tips for Beginners 

When you are just learning how to catch fish, it can be challenging enough to master the basics of casting and reeling in your line. Once you get comfortable with these core techniques, you can improve your skills by learning how different factors affect your fishing success. For example, fishing is impacted by things like: 

  • Water temperatures.
  • Weather conditions.
  • The time of day.
  • The season. 
  • The tides, for saltwater fishing.

Learning how to go fishing in the perfect conditions can be tricky, but don’t let it discourage you. Even master fishermen have a hard time pinning down the best times, seasons and weather conditions for fishing. However, you can improve your chances of success by learning more about your target species’ behavior and preferences. For example, some fish are more active in cold water, while others prefer warmer temperatures. Knowing a fish’s favorite environment, such as rocky, sandy or weedy areas, and feeding habits can help you home in on the best times to try catching them. 

After you learn the basics of how to fish, keep in mind that it can take years to become an expert. However, each time you go out on the water, you’ll have fun developing your knowledge and adding new skills to your repertoire.