Guide to Fishing: Catching Your First Fish will be a simple guide to let you know what you need to get started on your fishing adventure.
This Guide to Fishing: Catching Your First Fish article will cover…
- Establish Fishing Objectives
- Find a Place to Fish
- Get The Right Fishing Tackle
- Add New Fishing Line To Your New Reel
- How To Wind Your Fishing Reel
- Get Some Basic Fishing Equipment
- Fishing Equipment Kits
- You Will Need Some Fishing Lures
- What Kind of Live Bait To Use
- Wait For The Fish to Bite
- How Do You Know If You Have a Bite?
- WOW! You Got a Bite!
- What to Do With The Fish You Caught
Read more about the Guide to Fishing: Catching Your First Fish below.
Guide to Fishing: Catching Your First FishLearning the basics of fishing is easy. Simply learning how to cast is just a tad harder. Now becoming a good or even great angler… That’s the hard part.
That’s why it’s called fishing and not catching.
The 2 biggest challenges when you are trying to Catch Your First Fish are…
- Where do you find the fish?
- What is The Right Fishing Tackle to Use?
This guide to fishing breaks down the 2 challenges and gives you step-by-step instructions for your first fishing trip.
You will receive precise recommendations on what to use and how to use it to get you started catching fish right away.
Establish Fishing Objectives
At first, your goal is to start catching fish as easily as possible. There is a lot to learn about the basics.
The best way to learn the basics of fishing is to catch a smaller species like perch close to shore.
As you get more experience you can tackle bigger fish. So let begin trying to figure out how to catch your first fish.
Find a Place to Fish
Start typing on google to find a public place that offers shore access for fishing. If the public place has a wharf or jetty, it is better.
Start by searching for your “county or city” + “public fishing access” or “fishing ponds”.
While off the beaten path fishing is a scenic ideal, you should focus on finding a convenient location.
This way you can focus on the fishing and avoid complications.
Many local parks have stocking ponds and small lakes with convenient public access for fishing.
My personal experience to find new fishing spots in a new area is to look at a town near you on google maps satellite version.
Zoom all the way in and slowly expand the view, you will find local small ponds that are not listed as fishing spots.
Found some cool fishing spots that are full of fish using this technique.
Check out our post How to Find Good Fishing Spots Near Me? for more information on this topic.
Get The Right Fishing Tackle
The first thing you are going to need is of course a fishing rod and reel.
How do you choose the right Fishing Rod and Reel? My recommendation is to Buy a Spinning Combo that is close to the specifications below.
This rod and reel size pairing can be used to target the majority of freshwater fish.
You have to get a large enough fishing pole to tackle bass and other large fish.
Please buy a combo between $50 and $100 anything less will not last for very long.
Most inexpensive rods will break after 5 or 6 trips so it’s actually cheaper to buy a mid-range model now.
You can find really good fishing rods in Amazon in that price range.
I would suggest the Zebco 2-Piece Fishing Rod Combo for the low-end price or the Quantum Spinning Reel and Fishing Pole Kit for the higher-end price.
Zebco 2-Piece Fishing Rod Combo
Quantum 2-Pc Fishing Pole Combo
These rods combos that can be used in any type of water are very durable and will not easily break
They are more than capable of handling advanced techniques as you get more fishing experience.
Add New Fishing Line To Your New Reel
When you buy a fishing rod reel combo it usually comes with a fishing line already in the spool.
Honestly, from my personal experience… Throw that line away. You don’t know how long it has been in that spool.
We also have no idea of the quality or the brand or the line weight. So just unspool that line and add some new fishing line.
I recommend these two brands because they have worked the best for me in the past.
For the lower end in price but still has never let me down you can try the Berkley Trilene Big Game Monofilament Fishing Line.
For the higher end in price yet a lot more durable fishing line you can get the SAPLIZE 100% Fluorocarbon Coated Monofilament Fishing Line.
Berkley Trilene Fishing Line
SAPLIZE Fishing Line
Both of these brands of fishing lines have worked great for me in the past.
How To Wind Your Fishing Reel
To wind your reel, thread the line through the guides on your fishing rod and make a double knot in your reel while the handle is open.
When I have to do this I place a big nail on a wooden post or even a tree and place the new line reel there.
Step back about 10 feet and start reeling the line into the spool.
Be careful not to wind your spool too much as that will create difficulties while actually fishing.
Your reel may be able to handle a few more feet of line more than the recommended amount, but it is important not to overload the spool.
The monofilament will wrap around its original circumference from the spool you have.
If you do not want to do it by hand you can use one of these automatic fishing reel spoolers.
They save you lots of time and make things easier all around.
A must-have fishing gadget for every fisherman that makes loading your fishing reel fast and tangle-free.
A well-made fishing gadget that will wind narrow, wide spools or string spools.
Do not go crazy at first and add a really heavy line. Start with either 6 lb or 8lb. while you are learning the basics.
That should be heavy enough for bass or catfish, and light enough for trout and perch.
Get Some Basic Fishing Equipment
What basic fishing equipment will you need?
The basic fishing equipment you are going to need is nothing fancy.
The right amount of hooks, sinkers, bobbers, weights, some lures, and maybe some split shots.
You really do not need much to get started fishing.
But these are some things that you will need for sure.
A good beginner fishing kit will cover most of these needs.
Fishing Equipment Kits
You can get some fishing kits that contain most of these items already. Buying the kits will save you money versus buying each piece separately.
Plus if you get the kit, you will see which items you will use the most and restock accordingly.
Here are two examples of fishing kits, and following the trend some low-priced and slightly higher-priced kits.
93Pcs Fishing Kit Set
93Pcs Lures for fishing Kit Set for Bass, Trout, Salmon Including Frog Lures, Plastic Worms, Spinner Bait, Crank Bait, Jigs, Topwater Freshwater and Saltwater Lure with Tackle Box.
Crankbaits 2pcs, spinnerbait 8pcs, frog lures 1pcs, Soft plastic worms 40pcs, and other accessories 42pcs.
All pack in a box which enables you to tackle a wide variety of fish species and more perfect for fishing in the ocean lake river and pond.
Allow you to travel to your favorite fishing spot and enjoy fishing whenever and wherever you want.
275pcs Fishing Kit
Good quantity of fishing equipment that will work well on Lake, pond, river, sea, stream.
Fishing Lure Set is one of the most awesome fishing lure Kit to ever hit the market.
275pcs fishing lure pack in a PVC box, it is easy to take.
Both fishing kits come with a convenient storage box that can be easily carried in a backpack.
Even the smallest ones have a good quantity of fishing equipment that will get you started.
You, Will, Need Some Fishing Lures
What Fishing Lures Will You Need? There are many choices for fishing lures and which ones you will use will depend on the weather, location, time, and other variables
Fishing lures come in many types: Jigs, Crankbait, Jerk Baits, Lifelike Lures (crawdads, minnows, worms), Spinners, Lipless Crankbaits, and many more.
They also come in a variety of colors, shapes, weights, designs, and of course prices.
Since you are a beginner fisherman we will be pointing you to fishing lure kits that you can get.
They will offer a wide variety of lures to choose from. You can try different ones and quickly figure out…
- The lures you like best
- What lures you will never use
- The fishing lures you will get many more of
Trust me, fishing lures are not cheap. From $2 to $20+ dollar per lure, you definitely want to buy only the ones you will need and use often.
So in the long run buying a basic fishing lure set to test them out will save you lots of money in the end.
In the low end, we have the XTON 78Pcs Fishing Lures Kit Set, and on the high-end priced you can try the XBLACK 48Pcs Assorted Fishing Lure Kit.
XTON 78Pcs Fishing Lures Set
XBLACK 48Pcs Assorted Lure Kit
I personally like the XBLACK version better as you will get more lures for a very low price per lure.
There are many kits for lures and you can also get them depending on the type of lure and also the type of fish you are going after.
Check out our post 7 Fishing Lures That Work Year-Round with more information about these fishing lures.
What Kind of Live Bait To Use
What kind of bait to use will depend on your location. The possible options are separated into two simple variations Live Bait or Dead Bait.
In the live bait category we have, mealworms, red worms, minnows, crawdads, shad, shiners, and the list goes on.
Dead bait would be chicken livers, frozen anchovies, frozen shad, shrimp, and others.
Depending on when you live they may be some other baits that I have never heard of or even used.
If you are going with fishing lures, the options are just as many options: Jigs, Crankbait, Jerk Baits, Lifelike Lures (crawdads, minnows, worms), Spinners, Lipless Crankbaits, and many more.
Anyways, on to the fishing…
Bait your hook. Make sure you use the right size hook for the bait you are using.
Too big a hook and the fish won’t be able to get a bite, and too small a hook your bait will easily fall of.
Cast your line out and let’s try to catch our first fish.
Wait For The Fish to Bite
The bait is now in the water, and all your hard work should start to pay off.
This is the part that beginner fishermen may not be able to tolerate… waiting for the fish to bite.
This could be a minute or hours, and on occasions, the fish will not bite all day.
In the meantime, the second thing that beginner fishermen will begin to hate with a passion… The bait keeps disappearing.
Fishing requires a lot of patience and patience. Yes, I said it twice. If you do not learn to have patience while fishing you will never make it past a few fishing outings.
When you are using lures, you will be more entertained while you wait for a bite as you cast and recast again.
If you are using live bait all we can do is wait and wait patiently for that fish to bite.
How Do You Know If You Have a Bite?
How Do I Know When I Got a Bite? Good indications that you have a bite are…
- Your Bobber Goes Under
- Your Fishing Line Slowly Moves Away
- The Tip of The Fishing Pole Bends Slightly
- Fishing Pole Bends To The Ground
- Your Fishing Pole Starts Going Into The Water
I have had all 5 of these happen several times in my fishing life.
The last one happened twice, once I got it in time. The other time, well let’s just say that it was a good thing I had a spare fishing pole that day.
You will notice that you have a bite as your bobber moves up and down, or rolls to one side or the other.
Let the fish bite off the hook. Give the key a 5-10 second countdown if your float is not completely submerged.
Small fish don’t have the strength to completely submerge your bobber.
Also small fish would just get hooked and slowly move away, so if the line starts slowly moving away… there is a good chance there is a fish on the line.
Another thing to consider with small fish is that their mouths are very small and they suck and push food with their gills.
You probably have a hooked fish if the float moves unevenly for more than 5 seconds.
WOW! You Got a Bite!
Fish on brother! A fish is on the line and you got a bite! Relax, I know it’s hard, but do not try to set the hook yet.
If you don’t give it 5 seconds, you run the risk of removing the bait from the fish’s mouth as it exhales. The feeling of knowing when to set the hook will develop over time.
If that bobber goes down again time has come to set that hook and land that fish.
After confirming the 5-second rule, you can set the hook. Then slowly start reeling the fish in in order to land it.
Once your fish is out of the water, try not to come in contact with the dock or the ground.
Hold him aloft as you gently place the palm of your hand under his stomach and wrap your fingers around his body.
Catfish spines can be sharp and can easily sting.
Take care to wrap your hands around the stomach and hold it in a cloth with the spine pointing upwards.
Having pliers is a handy tool for removing the hook (and you should buy one).
However, I understand that the budget is tight for the first time and making another purchase is a tall order.
So if you don’t have pliers, the best method of removing a hook from a fish is to twist the hook so that it comes close to the surface, then push it down.
Until the hook comes back through where it went. The hook should now be in the fish’s mouth, so gently twist it once more to take the hook out of his mouth.
What to Do With The Fish You Caught
Now that you caught your first fish, it’s time to figure out if you will be catching and releasing the fish or you will be taking it home.
Either solution is a good one. We are not here to judge you on what to do on this topic.
All that we ask is that you follow one of the Golden Fishing Rules and you do not mistreat your fish.
If you are releasing it back to the wild… Free your fish by submerging it, letting it go on its own.
If the fish is not kicking, slowly guide its tail in the palm of your hand until it begins to kick on its own.
If your catch is not resuscitated and accidentally died, please take your fish with you, either by consuming it or by disposing of it as part of your state’s waste management process.
Fish on brother and go out and catch more fish. You have succeeded in getting your fish.
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