As exciting as fishing is, it can be challenging at first, especially if you don’t happen to know anyone who has any past fishing experience. We understand how lost you must be feeling, but you don’t have to worry about that anymore.
In this guide, we’ll let you in on some of the most valuable tips that make fishing way less intimidating for beginners, so without any further ado, let’s get right into it!
10 Things Beginner Anglers Should Know First
1. Get Licensed
First things first, you need to get a license for fishing. Although it sounds like a big, complicated matter, it isn’t. In fact, many fishing shops and convenience stores sell fishing licenses. Not to mention, you can get licensed online with the click of a mouse.
Fishing licenses are pocket-friendly, but they differ from one state to the other. If you’re serious about fishing and aren’t planning on becoming an occasional angler, we recommend going for an annual license because they’re better bang for your buck. Otherwise, you can get a daily permit if you aren’t sure where you’re going to go with it.
2. Check the Local Fishing Regulations
Every state has its own laws and regulations when it comes to fishing or otherwise. Thus, it would be best to make yourself familiar with such rules before you dip your toes in the water.
3. Pick the Right Gear
Gears are tricky to work with, particularly for anglers who go for different reel and rod combinations. This is why we think beginners should pick up a rod and reel combo that is sold in the same package; that way, they can be sure they go together.
It’s also best for newbies to get their gear from a local fishing store so that they can find out more about the type of fish in the surrounding lakes and the nature of the water and choose their equipment accordingly. Moreover, you should ensure that your fishing gear can support the sizes of the fish you’re pursuing.
4. Match the Bait
Your baits and lures are what attract the fish and lure them to the hook. This is why you need to choose ones that mimic what the fish would naturally eat. Otherwise, you might have a hard time catching any fish.
Needless to say, you’ll have to learn about the types of fish living in the river or lake you’re planning to go fishing in so that you can pick the suitable types. Nevertheless, don’t get overwhelmed because you don’t have to do all the work on your own. It’s always a good idea to have a fishing companion with more experience on your first fishing trip.
5. Practice Casting
We know how casting looks pretty easy. And once you get the hang of it, it actually is. Nonetheless, there’s a learning curve to becoming a good caster.
So, practicing casting before you go on the actual trip is of great help; at least you’ll be familiar with one thing that you’ve dedicated some time to master. Moreover, even though fishing isn’t just about casting, it’s the trickiest part of the process because there are plenty of techniques, so it’s worth dedicating a little more practice to it.
6. Study the River
Beginners tend to focus more on their fishing gear and technique and pay no attention whatsoever to the river they’ll be fishing in or the fish species that live in it.
However, knowing your way around the river makes fishing much less challenging. That’s understandable when you consider the major variations with regard to the weather, fishing season, stream, and dynamics of the river.
7. Don’t Forget Your Personal Belongings
We know how absurd this sounds, but it’s always an issue with first-time anglers. For example, “I forgot to wear my sunscreen today, but it’s no big deal”, or “I forgot to get my sunglasses, my lifejacket, etc.
These are some essentials that you should make sure you have before leaving the house if you don’t want to get sunburned, hurt your eyes, or put your life on the line. And of course, don’t forget your fishing license, which we’ve discussed earlier.
8. Hire a Guide
If you don’t think you’re ready yet, don’t risk it. Having a guide can be the best way to make progress if you don’t personally know someone who can help.
Also, guides are more professional to work with because their experience isn’t just with finishing. Not to mention, they know how to handle, teach, and supply beginner anglers with the necessary equipment whenever needed.
9. Stay Calm
Fishing is full of surprises. Nonetheless, it’s essential to stay calm and self-collected so that you can act fast and think straight. Whether it’s tackling a large fish, dropping your equipment, or even dealing with a capsized kayak, make sure to stay calm and focused and get things under control.
10. Don’t Rush
As we were just saying, fishing needs patience and considerable dedication, so take all the time you need. Rushing through it will get you nowhere, and you might end up being disappointed. However, if you understand that you won’t become a professional angler overnight, you’ll have more will to go on. And soon enough, you’ll pick up the pace.
Hopefully, you’re feeling more prepared now that you’ve read this guide. We’ve passed on what any experienced angler would advise a beginner. So don’t worry about missing out on anything crucial. And, of course, you can always get help from a qualified fishing guide. Just take the step, and enjoy the experience. May you keep a tight line!