The weather is finally warming up, and after a long winter and the drama of 2020, Americans are more excited than ever to get outside and get back to their regularly scheduled lives.
Outdoor sports are expected to be popular again this year as many are still trying to stay socially distant due to the pandemic. The good news is that there are many ways we can still participate in outdoor sports and stay safe.
As Americans find themselves searching for a new hobby this year or simply a way to spend more time outside, many are flocking to the ever-popular pastime of fishing. Fishing is a sport that engages your body and mind, all while immersing you in nature. Plus, this sport isn’t just for men; recent studies show that the gender gap in fishing participation is closing, and each year more women are discovering the joy of fishing.
Whether you are a beginner in the world of fishing, a hobby enthusiast who is not yet an experienced angler, or someone who has never even set foot on a boat, you may be wondering: where do I go next? Let’s explore some fishing tips that can help you boost your confidence at any experience level and start reeling ‘em in!
1. Live Bait or Lure?
If you aren’t seeing the results you want, you may be using the wrong bait or lure. Most beginners learn to fish using live bait, and nightcrawlers or worms are easily available at your local bait shop. However, not all freshwater fish are the same. Be sure to educate yourself on which bait or lure is appropriate for the fish you are aiming to catch. Before you head out on the water, take the time to learn about the best types of fish baits and lures for a beginner from the experts at TailoredTackle.
2. Start With Cheap Lures
Don’t learn to fish with an expensive lure that you are afraid to lose. In order to be brave and keep going while you’re still learning, buy a cheaper lure that you aren’t too attached to and you’ll maximize your success.
3. Gear Up
Before you head out to the water, make sure you are set up with all the essential gear. While fishing is famously low-tech, you still might need to spend some money to get started.
Besides the obvious fishing line and pole, live bait and lures, and personalized tacklebox, you’ll need a waterproof bag to store your valuables, a pair of reliable pliers to remove hooks, and a cutting tool like a knife. And don’t forget to gear up with your most important essential: your fishing license! Check out the laws near you and get licensed to protect yourself and others.
4. Scout Your Spot
Search for the best fishing spots in your area online, or kick it old school and get out a map. Who knows, you may just find the best spot to keep all to yourself!
Next, it’s important to get to know the topography of the lake or pond you have chosen. Getting to know the water’s depths can help you decide where to begin.
5. Look to the Animals
If you’re not sure where to start casting your line, pay attention to the behavior of other animals in the area. If you see a bird in the distance having some success with a fish, chances are you are hunting for the same thing.
6. Sharpen Your Hooks
Sharpening your hooks before you cast takes a short amount of time and yields a great result. Using a small file to make sure your hooks are sharp takes less than a minute and is especially helpful when catching bass.
7. Save Imperfect Bait
if you ripped a plastic worm or another artificial lure you purchased for your trip, don’t throw it away! Some fish such as bass actually prefer to latch onto bait that they perceive as “wounded” or vulnerable and might love the imperfect bait. Saving your imperfect bait could get you that bite you’ve been waiting for all day.
8. Switch up Your Bait Seasonally
Some fish eat different things based on what time of year it is, so be sure that you’re using the bait that will most entice them this season. For example, bass like to eat crawfish at the beginning of the year, so now is a good time to choose bait in orange or peach tones to entice them.
9. Watch the Weather
This is a crucial one, as water conditions can vary based on issues with the weather. Always take weather into consideration such as your relationship to the wind (facing or turned away), and if you’re fishing before or after a storm, as weather factors can contribute to the success of your fishing trip. If you want to go high-tech, invest in a tide clock or a wind speed meter to track the speed of the wind or the flow of the tide.
10. Handle With Care
Always handle your catch with care and respect. Especially if you are planning to catch and release, be sure to carefully remove the hook from the fish’s mouth and try not to overly disturb for a smooth release. If the fish doesn’t survive and you don’t plan to use it, don’t throw it back in. Make sure you are familiar with your area’s waste removal procedures.
11. Don’t Give Up
The most important rule as a beginner angler is don’t give up. It can sometimes take a long time to get your first catch of the day… Sometimes you can cast a lure in the same spot for an hour before the fish decide they want to come out and bite. But you will soon realize that part of the fun is leaning into the solitude of the water and the methodical casting of your line. Be persistent, use the correct bait for the fish you’re after, and sit back and enjoy the journey of learning to fish.