Guide to Fishing Basics

Fishing can be a fun recreational activity or  even a great way to make a great homemade meal. Whatever your reasons are, you will need to know some fishing basics before you get started.

fisherman reeling in a large mouth bassPurchase Your Gear

Before you can do anything fishing related, you must get your fishing license.

If you go to your state’s website, they should have a direct link to the Department of Fish and Wildlife or Department of Natural Resources and find out what the process is to obtaining a fishing license. It typically costs around $10 to purchase your license.

You will obviously need a rod and reel. Start with a basic rod and a spincasting reel as it is the most beginner friendly. You will also need some bait which can be anything from a can of worms or crickets to fake worms or jigs.

Picking a Good Fishing Spot

Stop by a local sporting goods store or ask some local fishermen in the area and ask them where the best fishing spots are. Sometimes municipal parks have fish in their ponds that they allow anyone with a license to fish. Find a spot but be mindful of others and do not crowd other fishermen.

Catch a Fish!

If you do not know how to tie a hook onto your line, your best bet is to bring an experienced fishing friend with you. Ask them to teach you how to do a clinch knot which is simple and best for beginners.

Keep or Throw Back

The first step in learning when to keep or release is measuring the size of your fish. You can typically tell by the size immediately if it is one that you want to keep. You might also want to purchase a fish identification guide to help you to determine what kind of fish to keep. If it is going to give you bragging rights with your buddies it is probably a keeper.

If you are a beginner fisherman, educate yourself before you get into the real deal of fishing. If you have a friend make sure you bring him/her along with you.


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