Before you get started fishing, you will need to purchase a fishing license in the state where you plan to fish. You can even purchase your fishing license online and go fishing that same day.
Learning how to identify the species you catch is a requirement. When you know how to properly identify the fish you catch, you will be able to accurately refer to any size limits, bag limits, or other fishing regulations pertaining to a particular species.
Use the places to boat and fish map or top family spots list to select your location. If the location is near you, and you have time stop by the spot in advance of your actual fishing trip to confirm access points, areas of potential structure, or fish activity, it can be helpful.
Keep in mind that you don’t need a lot of tackle or gear to get started fly fishing. Use this basic list of fishing essentials for beginners:
Rod and reel combo
Small tackle box with divided trays
Spool of monofilament fishing line (6- or 8-pound test for freshwater fishing)
Round plastic bobbers
Split shot weights
Assortment of hooks in various sizes (size 2 for small bait to size 3/0 for bigger bait)
Pliers (to remove hooks)
Scissors (to cut line or leader)
Learn one line joining knot and one lure or rig knot. Two good knots to start with are the double-uni knot (line joining knot) and the improved clinch knot (for tying your leader to your fishing hook).
You will need to know what the fishing laws or regulations are for the species you catch. Fishing regulations are put into place in order to protect our fish populations and waterways for future generations to enjoy.
You can either purchase live bait from a bait or tackle shop or get your own live bait. Live worms, crickets or minnows are good baits to use for freshwater fishing.
Since you have already researched good fishing spots in the area, you know exactly where you want to go to have your first fishing experience. Once you arrive, unload your gear and bait your hook with the live bait that you brought along. Don’t forget to use the appropriate sized hook for the type of bait you are using.
If you are using a plastic bobber, you may need to adjust the placement of your bobber on your fishing line depending on the depth of the water in order to get your bait at the appropriate position in the water column.
If you are fishing with circle hooks, remember that you don’t need to jerk your rod upwards to set the hook, all you have to do it reel. If you are using standard hooks, then you will need to set the hook by raising your fishing rod into the air quickly. You have your first fish on the line now, how exciting!
Now that you know how to get started fishing, be sure to learn how to the fish you catch. You won’t want to keep all of the fish you catch, so knowing how to release your fish so that it has the best chance for survival is very important.