How to Fish

Fishing is a great activity to enjoy at any age. It’s easy to learn how to fish, it just takes a little time and practice. In this section you can find more information and fishing tips on each step to learning how to fish.

I have 27 grandchildren; so I have plenty of experience in teaching them how to fish. Each is different in desire to fish and some even do not want to learn how to fish. The important thing to remember is to treat them kindly and let them learn at their own pace. I was fortunate to be raised on a farm with a fishing pond. My father taught me the basics and I learned a few tricks and techniques by trial and error. Once installed, the joy of catching a fish, never leaves. I have grandchildren that call me regularly to take them fishing. I do my best to accommodate them if possible. Nevertheless, there are basic steps to follow for learning to fish.

How To Get Started Fishing in 10 Simple Steps:

There is no better time than the present to get started fishing. Fishing is a great way to spend time outdoors with your friends and family while learning new skills. With just a few pieces of basic gear and practice, you’ll be reeling in fish and making new memories in no time.

Step 1. Purchase a fishing license:

Before you get started fishing, you will need to purchase a fishing license, if you are of age, in the state where you plan to fish. Children can fish on the adult’s license. You can even purchase your fishing license online and go fishing that same day.

Step 2. Learn to identify the fish species that inhabit your state waters and you want to catch. Most locations have several species of fish.

Learning how to identify the species you catch is a requirement. When you know how to properly identify the fish you catch, you will be able to accurately refer to any size limits, bag limits, or other fishing regulations pertaining to a particular species.

Step 3. Locate a good fishing spot.

Use the places to boat and fish map or top family spots list to select your location. If the location is near you, and you have time stop by the spot in advance of your actual fishing trip to confirm access points, areas of potential structure, or fish activity, it can be helpful. Another great tip is to talk to the locals. They can provide a lot of help finding the best places to fish. (caution some may lead you astray)

Step 4. Assemble your fishing gear and tackle.

Remember you don’t need a lot of tackle or gear to get started fishing. Use this basic list of fishing essentials for beginners:

Rod and reel combo

Small tackle box with divided trays

Spool of monofilament fishing line (6- or 8-pound test for freshwater fishing)

Round plastic bobbers

Split shot weights

Assortment of hooks in various sizes (size 2 for small bait to size 3/0 for bigger bait)

Pliers (to remove hooks)

Measuring tape

Scissors (to cut line or leader)

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Step 5. Learn and practice a couple of simple fishing knots.



Learn one line joining knot and one lure or rig knot. Two good knots to start with are the double-uni knot (line joining knot) and the improved clinch knot (for tying your leader to your fishing hook).



Step 6. Check your state fishing regulations and bring a copy along on your fishing trip.

You will need to know what the fishing laws or regulations are for the species you catch. Fishing regulations are put into place in order to protect our fish populations and waterways for future generations to enjoy.

Step 7. Get some live bait.

You can either purchase live bait from a bait or tackle shop or get your own live bait. Live worms, crickets or minnows are good baits to use for freshwater fishing.

Step 8. Head to your fishing spot and bait your hook.

Since you have already researched good fishing spots in the area, you know exactly where you want to go to have your first fishing experience. Once you arrive, unload your gear and bait your hook with the live bait that you brought along. Don’t forget to use the appropriate sized hook for the type of bait you are using.

Step 9. Cast your line out into the water.

If you are using a plastic bobber, you may need to adjust the placement of your bobber on your fishing line depending on the depth of the water in order to get your bait at the appropriate position in the water column.

Step 10. Wait for a bite.

If you are fishing with circle hooks, remember that you don’t need to jerk your rod upwards to set the hook, all you have to do is reel. If you are using standard hooks, then you will need to set the hook by raising your fishing rod into the air quickly. You have your first fish on the line now, how exciting!


Now that you know how to get started fishing, be sure to learn how to properly release the fish you catch. You won’t want to keep all of the fish you catch, so knowing how to release your fish so that it has the best chance for survival is very important.

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