Hook, Line and Sinker: An Essential Guide to Fishing for Beginners

Fishing may seem like a quaint hobby that belongs to bygone years, but there’s still a surprising amount of people who enjoy the activity every year. According to the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, 17 percent of the population of the United States, or over 50 million people went fishing at least once in a single year.

Fishing may appeal to you for a variety of reasons. First, it allows you to spend relaxing hours outdoors with only a little exertion. Unlike hiking and similar activities, fishing lets you enjoy nature without much hassle. It’s also very relaxing and a great way to get fresh fish.

Learn some of the best practices when you are only a beginner at fishing.

Aside from patience, proper equipment is a fisherman’s best friend. The primary tool for this activity is a fishing pole. There are a variety of poles you may wish to explore. The most basic poles can be constructed by using a long branch or a bamboo pole and affixing a line to it. But you can also use sturdier commercial models, like Van Staal fishing poles.

Next, you must find an appropriate type of fishing line. The amount of tension or weight a fishing line can withstand depends on the type of fish you are pursuing. If you are simply catching small fish, there’s no need to buy fishing line that’s meant for deep sea specimens. A simple selection of lures and baits to attract the attention of the fish is also needed.

There are literally hundreds of different types of fish you can attempt to capture in the waterways of the United States. However, some of them are protected some months out of the year to protect their population from overexploitation.

To fish out in the wilderness, remember the seasonal fishing calendar and when you can legally fish a particular species. This is crucial because you may face stiff fines or even jail time if you fish out of season. If you’re planning to go fishing in a state or national park, be sure to ask in advance when their fishing seasons are so you can schedule your trip accordingly.

A successful fishing expedition requires finding the perfect spot to do so. Different fish have wildly different presences and behaviors so you may need to do a lot of research.

For example, if you are fishing for salmon, you may be familiar with the fact they swim upstream during spawning season. There are also fish that enjoy swimming in placid waters away from turbulent currents. This means you would do well to fish for them in quiet pools or shallow streams rather than the deeper or fast running areas.

If there are a lot of people in the waterway when you go fishing, you should head upstream immediately to avoid competing with them.

People aren’t the only ones who enjoy the taste of fresh fish and there are plenty of wild animals you can run into during fishing season. Or particular note are bears, and unlucky fisherman have been mauled to death by aggressive bears who happen to be hunting for fish in the same spot. Other animals that could be fishing aren’t nearly as deadly, but you should still avoid interacting with them.

For example, many waterbirds also hunt for fish, but they can be endangered or protected species. For their own safety, you should avoid the areas where the aquatic birds do their hunting. There should be available information at your local park ranger’s station and online.

Finally, you should also bring equipment with you that will allow you to transport your catch such as a lot of ice and a cooler. After you catch any fish, you must learn how to properly clean and package them for transport home. Cleaning a fish requires cutting it open, removing the gills and gizzards and washing the fish out.

Unless you’re trained in cooking outdoors, you should pack your fish away in ice for later preparation rather than running the risk of eating undercooked salmon. If you have the time and resources, you can also begin seasoning the fish with salt to better flavor and preserve them.

Fishing has long been considered one of the most relaxing and rewarding outdoor activities. If you enjoy the wilderness, find the sound of running water relaxing and savor the taste fresh caught fish, then this activity is the one for you.