Turn off your video games and put away your bats, balls, and other things – it is time to go fishing. Here are some tips for having great fun while out fishing.
Step #1: When choosing gear, keep things simple. All you need is a graphite, cane, or fiberglass pole, all of which are available at surplus.net.
Also, do not forget to get a small monofilament fishing line spool (for freshwater fishing, get the 6 to 8-pound test and for saltwater, get the 10 to 12-pound test). Also, make sure you get several plastic bobbers, a few hooks (a size 2/0 for smaller bait and a size 3/0 for larger bait), and some split shot BB-sized sinkers. To keep things organized, make sure you get a small tackle box with a carrying handle and divided trays.
Step #2: Bait. When it comes to bait, the best lures to get are nightcrawlers, crickets, minnows, and red worms, all of which are available at bait shops. However, it is more fun to catch or hunt down your own bait. Minnows are abundant in creeks and can be easily caught using dip nets. To catch crayfish, look under stream rocks. Find crickets and redworms under leaf litter and logs.
It is worth noting that other types of bait work well too! Shrimp, dead or alive, is a saltwater fish delicacy. Trout won’t mind biting into cheese or kernel corn, and catfish have been known to eat chopped up ivory soap. Get a small plastic bucket to hold and carry your bait when going fishing.
Step #3: When cutting your line, make sure it is about one foot longer than the pole’s length. Wrap one end around the pole’s tip and make sure it is tightly tied down.
Step #4: Match hooks to the bait you are using. For size 1/0, use small shrimp, use long worms on size 3/0. Tie your hook on the other end of your line – make sure you use a slip-proof knot like the Palomar knot. Wet your knot before tightening them. Remember, a lousy knot will cause you to lose good fish.
Step #5: Ready to start fishing? If you live in a coastal region, you have the chance to catch to types of saltwater fish around large, close-to-shore, rocks and piers. If you are inland, ponds are your best bet – most are actually loaded with bass and bluegills.
Step #6: Try a hand at bobber fishing. After you’ve baited your hook, attach your bobber right above your line – like two-feet for starters. However, if you need your bait to go deeper, you can tie it a bit longer. The next step is to extend your pole over the water and lower it into the water until the bobber floats. Make sure your pole stays horizontal to the water and keep it steady.
Step #7: Patience pays. Fishing is a process that requires patience. Please note that it might take some time before fish ‘discover’ your baited hook. Therefore, wait patiently and keep an eye on your bobber. If it starts shaking or jumping, fish is nibbling on your bait.
Step #8: If the bobber goes underwater, set your hook by raising the fishing pole quickly and point it straight into the air to make the fish swing at you.
Step #9: Handle with care. Majorities of the fish you catch from shore do not have sharp teeth; however, most of them do have spiny and sharp fins. As such, be mindful when handling your freshly-caught fish – the best way to handle fish is by grabbing them gently yet firmly behind their head. Use a needle-nose plier to remove your hook.
Step #10: Take photos of the fish you catch, then gently place them back in the water so they can swim away, grow even bigger, reproduce, and be caught another day again.