10 Tips for Beginners

If you’re a beginner fishermen here are some tips to get you started.
The world of fishing can be confusing for a newcomer. With all the terminology, lures, reels, rods and other equipment it can seem intimidating. Everyone needs a good jumping off point so here are ten tips to get newcomers started.

1) Look into things: And not just for tips about catching trophy fish. You have to see if you need a fishing license, you have to check the limits on how many fish you can catch, you need to know when the fishing season for each fish opens, and you’ll have to see if you’ve got any other limitations for your state or province. As for tips on catching fish there are lots of blogs and forums out there online.

2) Pick out the right equipment: You don’t want to buy equipment that’s above your skill level. When you go to purchase your equipment make sure you get someone to help you and be honest with them. Let the person know that this is your first time fishing and before you go in do some online research about good rods and reels for beginners.

3) Practice the basics: Before you hit the lake make sure that you know what you’re doing. Don’t take your brand new rod and reel out without knowing how to cast, tie on lures, hook up bait, change hooks, tie knots, or fix your line if it gets tangled. Make sure you can do all these things on dry land before attempting them on the water or you’ll only end up frustrated.

4) Find more fish: In order to catch fish you have to know where they are. Figure out where they like to spawn or their general behavior so you’ll have better success. For instance, bass like to hide in vegetation or under logs and will stay around five to fifteen feet deep while salmon don’t rely on cover and go for a comfortable water temperature.

5) Weather reports: Some of the best fishing is done on an overcast day when it’s not too hot or too cold. If the water is too hot (or the sun is too bright) fish will go deeper than normal to be comfortable in their environment.

6) Dress right: The best thing to do when going fishing is to wear layers. Depending on the season it could be cold in the morning and warmer in the afternoon, get progressively colder during the day or get progressive warmer during the day. If you’re in layers you can adjust for the temperature especially if you’re staying out for long periods of time. A good idea is to wear tall boots since you might have to go wading into the water. Long hair should be tied back so it’s not in your face if the wind picks up.

7) Stay fueled: and not just your boat. Make sure you bring some snacks or a lunch if you know you’re going to be out fishing for a long time. You don’t want to have to pack up all your gear just to get lunch or a snack. If you are traveling a little while from home or know you’re going to be in a secluded area make sure your car and your boat have enough fuel to get you home and then some. You don’t want to have to row your boat in if you run out of fuel.

8 ) Bug spray: anyone who’s new to going near the water or into the bush doesn’t realize how many bugs are out there. Make sure you have some kind of protection either in the form of bug spray or protective clothing. In some areas black flies can get so bad that fishermen had to resort to netting over their faces, similar to a bee-keeper, so they could fish.

9) Baiting Game: Different fish prefer different baits so if you’re going after bass don’t use something like raw chicken liver that attracts catfish. A good all around lure is a jig but if you’re going after bass a top water lure or a rubber lure works best.

10) No distractions: If you’re going fishing for the first time then don’t bring anything that will distract you. Leave your children at home for the day (if you have kids), bring along your cell phone but keep the ringer and other noises off. Keep any distraction out of your boat or off the dock so you can concentrate on fishing.

10 Common Mistakes Made in Fishing

Mistakes happen and they can cost you the fish of a lifetime.
Losing a fish, especially one you’ve been fighting with for some time, is a horrible experience. You feel defeated and angry but after a while that fish becomes “the one that got away” and you get over it. You move on to hopefully bigger and better fish. This list will help you stop calling fish “the one that got away.”

1) Line Woes: A worn out line can fail on you when you least want it to. You should always replace your line at the beginning of the season and if you’re fishing often you should replace the last fifty yards or so once a month. At the end of each trip (and during), feel the end of your line for any nicks or damage and cut off what’s not good.
Also check to make sure any knots are secure and retie them all before each outing. You won’t catch anything if the knots in your line and the line itself are weak.

2) Hooking Problem: Always check to make sure your hooks are rust-free and sharp. You can test for sharpness by running the hook over your thumbnail. If it bites, you’re good but if not you’re going to need to change your hook. That’s only half the problem though. Even if your hook is sharp you can’t catch a 30lb tuna on a freshwater hook. Make sure you’ve got the right size and strength for the fish you’re going after.

3) Too many choices: If you’ve got your hand in your tackle box digging around for a lure then you’re not fishing. It’s perfectly acceptable to change your lure if the one you’re working isn’t working and hasn’t been working for half the day. But it’s wasting fishing time if you’re changing lures every few casts.

4) Presentation, Presentation, Fish: If your lure presentation is lacking you won’t catch any fish. Make sure that you don’t slack in casting because casts that result in a big plop won’t catch anything. If your worms and plastics aren’t dangling straight you’ll lose the fight before it even starts because you won’t attract the fish.

5) Don’t Drag: If your drag pressure is set either too high or too low of the breaking strength of the line you’re going to have issues pulling in your fish. Too much drag means too much pressure which will break either your line or your rod. Too little drag gives you slack in your line which can allow a fish to throw a hook. You also have to make sure that your drag is smooth and consistent or else it might stick or perform erratically.

6) Equipment Issues: If you’re fishing big saltwater fish you don’t want to use your freshwater set-up. Make sure your reel holds enough line for any type of fishing you’ll be doing. You need to be able to gain back line quickly and the drag has to be strong enough to stop your prey. Speedy fish need a reel that has a fast gear ratio. If you’re not using the right rod you won’t be able to fight the fish and your rod might break.

7) Follow me: Whether you’re standing on the dock or “stand-up” fishing on a boat when you hook a big fish you have to move with it. If you don’t follow your prey one of two things can happen: 1) the fish can swim under the boat and saw you off on the motor (if you’re on a boat) and 2) your line (and fish) could become entangled with the people near you. Neither of these things are good and can result in a lost fish. If you follow a fish around on a boat (or on the dock) then chances are better that you’ll catch it.

8 ) Where are the fish: Fish don’t stay in one spot in a lake so neither should you. Take time to learn everything about a particular body of water that you can know where the good spots are during the morning, noon, and night relative to the weather. On the other hand if the bite slows do not immediately move on. Even after frenzied biting wanes off fish tend to remain in the area but have gone deeper or to tighter cover. Knowing your water will help you find your fish.

9) Too much or not enough: There’s a fine line between talking too much and talking too little while you’re out fishing. There are times when it’s completely okay to speak up, especially when you’re on a boat and if you’re with multiple people who might be catching a fish at the same time as you. You’ve got to move around a bit then and you don’t want to tangle lines or bump into someone. Talking becomes important when you’re on a guided fishing trip: you have to listen to the skipper, guide and deckhands for important information. Talking can be rude when you’re trying to concentrate on say, placing a jig where you want it to go or trying to feel a subtle bite. It’s important to know the when to talk and when not to.

10) Out of Line: You’re stopping the fight before it really gets going if you run out of line. If you’re fighting a fish that can make long runs it will take you to the last few inches of line off your reel and snap it if you don’t have enough line. Always make sure you put the proper amount of line on by following the manufacturer’s specifications for the line you’re using.

These are the common mistakes that most fishermen make. Some are not so common. What made you lose that one trophy fish that could have been prevented?

Top 10 Pieces of Fishing Gear

We all have our preference for lures and gear but there are some things no fisherman can do without.
Besides the basics (rod, reel, and lures) there are some bits of gear that most fishermen bring along no matter what they’re fishing or what time of the day it is. We’ve put together a list of 10 things we know most fishermen can’t do without. Think of it as a checklist for your next fishing trip.

1) Pliers: whether you’re closing sinkers or trying to get a hook out of a fish’s mouth pliers are an important part of any fisherman’s tackle box.

2) Pocket Knife or Scissors: On the off chance you have to cut your line (or anything else) you’re going to need something sharp to cut with.

3) Hat or sunglasses: and not just for looking good in your hero shots with your trophy fish. A hat or sunglasses will keep the glare from the water out of your eyes so you can see what you’re doing. Both are ideal and wearing sunglasses is best for any type of fishing. Sunglasses can also offer some measure of protection for your eyes against anything that might fly into them.

4) Fishing License: This is a no-brainer. Without a fishing license you can’t legally fish. If you get caught without one you may be facing some hefty fines.

5) Phone: If you or a person you’re with gets hurt you’re going to need to contact someone quickly.

6) Super glue: fixing rods, sealing knots, fixing lures and it’ll act better than a band-aid to fix a cut from a fish’s teeth or anything else. This is one thing that should always be in your tackle box.

7) Compass or GPS: Not only will this help you figure out where you’re fishing but it’ll help you find out where you are if you get lost.

8 ) Camera: If you’re catching and releasing (and even if you’re not) you want to have a picture of that trophy fish you caught. With today’s technology you can take your camera phone with you and save some room in your gear with the two-in-one device.

9) Life Jacket: Some laws state that you have to wear a life jacket if you’re anywhere near water where others state that unless the boat is underway you don’t have to wear one. It’s up to you to make the decision to keep the life jacket on while you’re dock fishing but either way it’s the law when you’re on a moving boat.

10) Net: How else are you going to get your trophy fishing into the boat (or on the dock) to take a picture with it? You can try with just your hands but that’s a slippery experience. The size of your net depends on the type of fish you’re going after.

Now we all know the basic and essential gear but this is a sport that varies from person to person. So what do you carry with you that other fisherman might not?