Reels and rods, bass and bait licenses, and lures ― it can be difficult to figure out where to start if you are holding a fishing rod for the first time. First things first, can you fish in the river or lake you are standing in front of? Fishing is not one of those activities that require you to hold a license. However, in some places, you might be charged with a fine for not having one.
You need a day license, which is usually sold at fishing shops or online. Its price is fairly inexpensive: $20. If you are a non-resident, the license will cost more. If you think fishing will be a hobby you’ll be passionate about for a long time, why not buy an annual license? It costs around $150. We recommend you do this only when your first time is not a disaster.
Let’s take a look at what gear you need and skills to learn for your fishing trip:
A Spinning Rod and Reel
This is the best beginner combo equipment. You can set it up easily by watching a YouTube video to know which part serves what purpose. If you are confused about which rod to buy, visit a tackle shop and seek guidance from the employee on a beginner rod.
Lures and Bait
It’s time to get into the sticky mess of fishing. You can either buy live worms or a scented material that feels like putty in hand. Known as PowerBait, it is wrapped around the hook to attract fish. Most people are not comfortable with touching worms. If you fall in the same category, go with PowerBait until you get comfortable touching the slimy critters.
A bobber is a small, round floating ball that sinks and rises when something hits the lure. This indicates that you have attracted the attention of a fish.
This net is easier on the fish’s skin than nylon or string nets.
This helps you retrieve any lure that might be stuck in the mouth of the fish.
A Tackle Box
To keep your baits, lures, and other small fishing equipment organized, get a tackle box so that you can find what you need in one place.
As you learn more about fishing, you will discover further equipment that will make your hobby more fun.
If you want to know where fishes hide to target them better, you need to be able to read the water. When talking about lakes, fishes hang out around or in downed trees close to the shore and weeds. They might gather near drop-offs, which is why they are easier to catch when you are in a kayak or canoe. The same strategy applies to rivers. Look for places that provide good cover, such as overhanging banks or logjams, because the two main objectives of a fish are finding food and hiding from predators.
It’s Time to Cast
Casting is a simple trick that requires you to wind up and then chuck the lure in the water. Think of it as throwing a baseball. Have about 6 inches of loose line on the end of the rod and keep the reel underneath your dominant hand.
The bail in the spinning reel keeps the line intact. When casting, you flip the bail, keep the line steady using your finger, tip up the rod and then slightly bend it backward to cast forward with your elbow and wrist. If the rod is vertical, let go of the line and send the lure flying. When the lure is submerged in water, flip back the bail and start reeling.
And this is how you fish! Seems simple right? Your first cast might not be as accurate as described above, but you will get the hang of it after a few tries with practice.