More than 45.7 million Americans took at least one fishing trip in 2015. If they didn't do their research and have the right equipment their fishing trip probably didn't go how they hoped.
If you are wanting to get into fishing there are some important fishing tips you should know before you get started. The amount of prep work you put in is a big influence on your ability to catch fish.
1. Do Your Research
Make sure you know what you are getting yourself into. Take some time to read a book, watch a tv show, or even some online videos.
This can help give you a good idea of what type of fishing you want to do. You can also learn the basics of fishing and the types of fish you can catch.
You'll learn what equipment will serve you the best for the fishing you want to do. Maybe you need the best fishing lures or the best boots. You'll never know if you don't do your research first.
2. Know the Basic Terms
You need to learn the basic terms so that you can communicate with fellow fisherman. It will also come in handy when you go to buy your gear -- it's hard to ask where the bobbers are if you don't even know what a bobber is.
Knowing the name of knots and how to tie them is just as vital as knowing your gear. You'll use these for tying your hook and lures to your line.
There are two knots you must learn: the arbor and cinch. The arbor knot is what you use to tie your line and backing to your reel. The cinch knot is used for attaching hooks and lures.
3. Get the Right Equipment
The type of fishing you'll be doing will dictate the equipment you need. Keep your equipment simple in the beginning and stick with a basic rod and reel.
Other equipment you'll need is an extra line, hooks, bobbers, sinkers, and lures. Having extra will let you keep fishing if a fish steals your first one.
Having a pair of pliers will come in handy for removing a hook lodged in a fish. You will also want something to cut with, like a knife or nail clippers.
Don't forget to have the right clothing for fishing. If you are in tropical areas, you'll want to make sure you have sun protection.
If you're fly fishing you'll want to have boots and waders. This will help keep you dry when you go into the water.
4. Learn How to Cast
Learn how to cast properly by spinning the rod and bait together is a mandatory skill to learn. If you don't master casting you will have many missed catching opportunities.
Hold the rod in your dominant hand with the reel below the rod. With about six inches of line off the end of your rod turn the handle until the line roller is directly underneath your index finger.
Hold the line against the rod with your index finger and open the bail with your other hand. Point the rod at where you want the lure to go and then bring it up.
You'll do a wrist action to bring the rod forward again. While doing this in a smooth motion let go of the line you are holding against the rod.
5. Be Where the Fish Are
You could cast perfectly all day long but if there are no fish where you are then you're wasting your time. Learn where the fish are during certain times of the day, month, season, and year.
As with many wild animals, fish migrate with the seasons. As water temperature changes, the fish move. Fish are also more likely to eat during certain times of the day.
Do your research. Learn the ins and outs of the fish.
6. Bait is the Key
Bait is the food or something similar that will entice the fish to bite your hook. Your bait could be nightcrawlers, insects, smaller fish, or plastic lures.
You will quickly learn that many fishermen have their own theories about what makes the best bait. They will use everything from cheese to hot dogs.
7. Keep Your Eye on the Weather
It may seem counter-intuitive, but an overcast sky has been proven to be the most effective weather conditions for catching fish. You'll also want to keep an eye out for inclement weather as you don't want to be stuck out in bad weather.
8. Safety Always
No matter what kind of fishing you are doing, it is important to stay safe. Hooks are sharp and odds are you'll get stuck by one eventually.
Always keep a first aid kit with your fishing gear. Periodically check your kit to make sure nothing passes the expiration date.
9. Practice, Practice, Practice
Knowing the name of knots and how to tie them is always included in guides about how to start fishing. You'll use these for tying your hook and lures to your line.
You'll also want to practice casting. This will allow you to get good at placing your lure exactly where you want it.
10. Bring the Whole Family
Fishing makes a great family sport. You'll be able to learn a new skill together while making memories your children will remember late in life.
You can use this opportunity to teach your children and reaffirm what you've learned. Just remember to find a fishing pole that fits your children's size.
Afterward, you can cook your day's catch. This sets you up for a great homemade family dinner.
Final Fishing Tips
Do your research before you get started so you know the level of commitment you'll need to put in to be successful. Give yourself the best start by buying the right equipment.
Be open to those more experienced who are willing to give you fishing tips. Practice your technique. Most importantly get out on the water and start fishing!
Do you still have questions about how to get started fishing? We'd love to help!
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