Fishing is such a peaceful and rewarding outdoor sport that you can do at any age with a little time and practice. It is a great way to either spend your weekend with family and friends or relax on your own. This step-by-step guide would hopefully be helpful to those who are interested in fishing, especially beginners to this sport.
Get your gear
For a beginner, it is particularly important to get a suitable gear that is easy to use and provides you with adequate support to catch the fish. A medium-length pole and a rod with a comfortable weight are ideal. You don’t need a rigid rod that is more likely to break line though. A loose rod is strong enough for beginners to catch average fish.
Two basic types of reels are baitcast reel and spinning reel. The latter one is more suitable to beginners. Making your way to a sport store with its wide range of rods and reels to choose from can make you overwhelmed though. Have a look at fishing websites to find the best spinning reel for yourself is such a good idea.
You then need an appropriate fishing line and a variety of hook. Although the line must match the type of your pole, you might want to buy the smallest line. Remember smaller hook and line mean more fish. Your hooks also need to fit with the kind of fish you are going to catch. Ask your local tackle shop to make sure you know about the hook sizing system so that you know what are best for the job.
You also definitely need to choose the right bait. You can either buy live bait or gather them on your own. Consider using worms, salmon eggs, grasshoppers, shrimp, liver, bacon and cheese. Keep them alive as long as possible in a bucket with water.
And you finally need something to keep your fish in if you are planning to keep them. Simply get a bucket or a fish cage with some water. You might also need a lawn chair and some wellies to keep your feet dry and a life vest if you are going to be fishing on a boat.
Pick a spot
You want a place where you would enjoy spending several hours outdoors and where you have a good chance of catching fish. Most common places are public lake, rivers, and ponds. You might want to look for a place where deep water meets shallow water as most big fish living in deep water come into shallow water to feed. It is also helpful to talk to local fishermen to get some advice for the locations. Remember to ask about the kinds of fish you are more likely to catch in those places and what they are biting on.
Catch the fish
- You want to tie your hook on your line with a right knot. Beginners should start with the simple clinch knot.
- You then need to bait your hook. You generally need to hook through your bait as many times as possible to secure it on the hook.
- Next step is casting your line. To begin casting, bring the rod back to your side and smoothly bring it in the direction you want to cast while releasing the line.
- You might want sit back and wait quietly or reel in very slowly and lightly jerk the bait to make an impression that the bait is alive. If you have waited for 10-15 minutes and got no bite, try casting somewhere else.
Once you feel the weight of the fish or your bobber is pulled under water, you want to set your hook. If the fish is just tapping your line and bait lightly, not biting it, keep waiting till it take the bait. Some fish are light biters, so you need to respond quickly. Understanding the kind of fish you are catching would be very helpful.
You then pull the fish in by pumping and lifting the rod vertically while reeling. The fish might struggles to get free by jumping, making a long run, swimming back against the line or swimming around an obstacle. Remember that you need to reel it in to get it back to the boat no matter how it reacts. For beginners, try catching fish in small pond or lake. You can easily land the fish simply by reeling them in. If you are not planning to keep that fish, don’t play it too long or it will die from exhaustion. When catching bigger fish, it is important not to reel while the fish is swimming away. You’d rather need to relax and let the drag and rod do the job. Keep the rod up at roughly 45-degree angle to the water and only reel when the drag stops moving and the fish stops taking line off your reel.
When you’ve got your tired out and reeled in, bring it out of water. For smaller fish, you can simply lift them by hand or by a fishing net quickly before cradling it around the belly to remove the hook. For a bigger fish with sharp teeth, a fishing net is most useful as it minimizes the amount you touch the fish. Place the net in the water and lead the fish into the net head. Remember not to stab the net at the fish.
Fix the reel
When your reel is not performance at its optimum performance, you might want to do a thorough cleaning or repair. A thorough cleaning and lubrication will fix many problems associated with the reels.
- Begin by removing dirt on the exterior of the reel with a soft cloth.
- Remove the spindle by removing any retaining screw or locking device. As the retainer is removed, simply slide the pool from the reel.
- Once you can access the fearing for the spool, clean the gear with a towel and a brush. Inspect for any broken parts. If they are all functional, apply a small amount of lubricant to the gears and moving parts.
- Wipe the spool down to remove any build-up of scum or other debris which slows down and impact the performance of the reel during casting. Inspect for any nicks, dents or chips. Replace it on the reel and secure.
- Remove the handle from the reel by removing the small crew on the opposite side of the reel.
- Clean the handle, threads and insertion point on the reel body. Apply lubricant to the threads and reassemble.
- Use a small screwdriver to access the main body of the reel before cleaning any old grease and build. Inspect the gears for any damage before applying lubricant to the gear and reassemble.
- Wipe the entire reel down with multi-purpose oil.