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Fishing Is Fun and Easy To Learn

Updated on March 30, 2012

Fishing is Fun and It's Easy To Learn How

This lens is your Introduction to fishing and discusses the basics of fishing tackle, fishing poles, casting and baits. The most important thing is to have fun and use this information to teach a kid how to fish!

Fishing is fun, just ask any of the 50 million children and adults in America who now enjoy the sport! Better yet, try it yourself-you can quickly learn to fish at any age.

Fishing is not just about fish-during a fishing trip, families and friends relax together as they enjoy being outdoors and learning new skills and sharing quality time.

What You Need To Get Started

Here's what you'll need to fish in freshwater:

An inexpensive fishing rod and reel

4- to 8-pound-test monofilament fishing line

A package of fishing weights

Fish hooks (Number 6-10 size)

A plastic or wood bobber A selection of live bait or fishing lures

A casting plug

A state fishing license (depending on your age)

You'll find everything you need at a fishing tackle or sporting goods store. Many discount or hardware stores also sell fishing tackle. If you want to fish in saltwater, ask for help in selecting the right equipment.

While you're in the store, ask about a fishing license. Depending on your age and your state, you may need one to fish legally. Also pick up a copy of your state's fishing laws (or regulations), which will tell you the types of fish, the minimum size limit, and the number of fish you can catch in one day.

Then, choose a fishing rod that you can hold comfortably in one hand. There are many inexpensive combination packages available that include a rod, reel, and fishing line. Tie a hook to the end of the line with a fishing knot. Instructions for the Palomar or the Improved Clinch knot are shown in Fig. 2 and Fig. 3 below.

Basic Types Of Fishing Poles

Two Basic Type Fishing Poles
Two Basic Type Fishing Poles

With spin casting or spinning tackle, you can put the bait or lure where the fish are. You can cast greater distances with more accuracy, work fishing lures effectively, fish in deeper water, and handle larger fish more easily with this tackle.

Spin casting outfits use a rod with a pistol like grip and a reel that’s mounted on top of the rod’s handle.Line is released using a push button on the reel.

Spinning gear uses a rod with a straight handle and a reel that’s mounted under the handle. Line is released using your index finger.

For most beginners, spin casting and spinning are two fishing methods that can be learned quickly. Both spin cast and spinning tackle are available in packages that contain a rod matched with a reel that is already spooled with fishing line. Buy the best equipment that you can afford—all will work well, but look for better quality pieces with more features.

The Palomar Knot (fig. 2)

The Palomar Knot (fig. 2)
The Palomar Knot (fig. 2)

Step 1 - Double 4 inches of line and pass the loop formed through the eye of the fishing hook.

Step 2 - Let the hook hang loose. Tie an overhand knot in doubled line. Don’t twist or tighten line.

Step 3 - Pull the loop far enough to pass it completely over the hook.

Step 4 - Wet the line. Hold the hook carefully, and pull the loose end with the standing line slowly to tighten the knot. Clip the loose end.

The Improved Clinch Knot (fig. 3)

Improved Clinch Knot (fig. 3)
Improved Clinch Knot (fig. 3)

Step 1 - Pass line through the hook eye and, with the tag end, make 5 turns around the standing line. Insert the loose end of the line between eye and first loop formed. Bring the end through the large second loop formed.

Step 2 -Wet the line and tighten the knot slowly while holding the loose end of the line end between thumb and index finger so the knot is partly closed before it’s secured against the eye. Clip the loose end of the line.

You may ask - How Do I learn To Cast?

Practice. Once you’ve selected a spin casting or spinning outfit, use either the Palomar or Improved Clinch Knot to tie on an inexpensive rubber covered weight called a casting plug. Ask your dealer to suggest one, or buy one that fits the size of your fishing rod.

Next, find an area away from other people where you can practice casting without breaking a window or hurting someone. Make sure you set your reel’s drag properly by checking the instructions that came with the reel. Now follow the steps for your type of rod that are shown in fig. 4 & fig. 5.

Don’t be discouraged if your first casts don’t go exactly where you want them. No matter what type of fishing tackle you use, the timing of your arm and hand movements is critical for long, accurate casts. You will improve with practice— keep trying!

Spincasting Casting Instructions

Casting with spincasting gear (fig. 4)
Casting with spincasting gear (fig. 4)

A spincasting reel has a button that you push with your thumb to release the line. (Fig. 4)

Step 1 - Grasp the rod’s pistol grip with one hand. Push the reel’s thumb button down and hold it in.

Step 2 - Face the target area with body turned at a slight angle, about a quarter turn. Aim the rod tip toward the target, about level with your eyes.

Step 3 - Swiftly and smoothly, bend your arm at the elbow, raising your hand with the rod until it almost reaches eye level. When the rod is almost straight up and down, it will be bent back by the weight of the practice plug. As the rod bends, move your forearm forward with a slight wrist movement.

Step 4 - When the rod reaches eye level, release the thumb button.

How did you do?

If the plug landed close in front of you, you released the thumb button too late. If the plug went more or less straight up, you released the thumb button too soon.

Spinning Rod Casting Instructions

Casting with Spinning Gear (fig. 5)
Casting with Spinning Gear (fig. 5)

With a spinning reel, you use your finger to release the line. (Fig. 5)

Step 1 - Grasp the rod’s handle, placing the reel “stem” that attaches the reel to the rod between your middle fingers. Place your thumb on top of the handle and extend your forefinger to touch the spool cover. With the other hand, rotate the reel spool until the line roller is directly beneath your extended index finger. Pick up line in front of the roller with your index finger and open the reel’s bail with your other hand.

Step 2 - Face the target area with body turned at a slight angle—about a quarter turn. The arm holding the rod handle should be closest to the target. Aim the rod tip toward the target at about eye level.

Step 3 - Swiftly and smoothly, using just one motion, bend your casting arm at the elbow and raise your forearm so that your hand is almost at eye level.

Step 4 - When the rod is almost straight up and down, it will be bent by the weight of the practice plug. As the rod bends, move your forearm forward with a slight wrist movement.

Step 5 - When the rod reaches eye level, straighten your forefinger to release the line.

How did you do?

If the plug landed close in front of you, you straightened out your index finger to release the line too late. If the plug went more or less straight up or behind you, you straightened your index finger too soon.

Some Natural Baits and How To Hook Them
Some Natural Baits and How To Hook Them

Hook, Line and Sinker

Natural Baits

Now that you’ve learned your knots and how to cast, you are ready to set up your rod with hook, line, and sinker. Cut off the casting plug and tie on a hook using either the Palomar or Improved Clinch Knot. Attach 1 or 2 sinkers or fishing weights to the line, 6 to 12 inches above the hook. This weight will keep your bait or lure down in the water and will help swing it away from shore.

For a beginner, live natural bait such as worms, minnows, crickets, and other insects is a good option. A few shovels full of dirt in your backyard will often provide enough worms. If you can’t dig your own, you can find them in a sporting goods or bait shop.

If you want to use minnows, catch them in or near the waters you want to fish. This prevents bringing new diseases or fish species into a river, lake, or stream. Return leftover bait fish to where you caught them.

Various Lures
Various Lures

Hook, Line & Sinker continued

Fishing Lures

Fishing lures-crankbaits, spoons, jigs, spinners, flies, and soft lures like plastic worms-are excellent artificial baits but may require special fishing techniques. This is called "working" the lure.

A bobber lets you know when fish are biting, because it moves up and down in the water as fish nibble at the bait. You can make a bobber from a cork, or buy an inexpensive plastic one. The narrow cork and quill bobber made from balsa wood or plastic is more sensitive to fish movement.

Most bobbers attach to fishing line with a spring clip and move up and down the line easily, depending on how deep you want to fish the bait.

Fishing Derby Winner
Fishing Derby Winner

What about Accessories?

A tackle box will store the variety of lures, hooks, snap swivels, weights, tools like pliers and wire cutters, and other gear. You might also need a live bait container (such as a minnow bucket or a worm box), a stringer or an ice chest to keep your catch fresh, a landing net, rod-and-reel cases and a first-aid kit for minor emergencies. Other handy items include a scaler, hook disgorger, tape measure and scale, and a filet knife.

Safety First!

* Fish with a companion who can offer help in an emergency

* Be careful when handling sharp hooks

* Don't cast near other people, and always look around before making a cast.

* Wear a Coast Guard approved personal flotation device or life vest when wading or in a boat.

Practice Conservation - Catch and Release

Fishing with Mom & Dad
Fishing with Mom & Dad

A good angler respects our natural resources and wants to conserve them for others to enjoy. Always carry out what you brought in— never leave behind plastic containers or packaging. Fishing line is very dangerous to birds and other wildlife, tangling around legs or the mouth. Bring old or tangled fishing line to a fishing tackle store to recycle it.

Catch and Release

Fish should never be wasted. If you catch a fish that is under the legal or minimum size or that you do not want to keep, release it quickly. If possible, keep the fish in the water and handle it carefully, pushing the hook back through the lip. If the fish has swallowed the hook, do not tear the hook out. Simply cut the line as close to the mouth as possible. You can revive a fish by gently moving it back and forth in the water so that water runs through its gills. When it begins to struggle and can swim normally, let it go.

Go Fishing!

A Good Catch & Good Eats!
A Good Catch & Good Eats!

Look for a weedy or rocky area where the water is several feet deep. Avoid shallow water that doesn’t offer fish a hiding place. Look for areas where the bottom changes in some way— from sand to gravel or from sand to mud. Stay quiet and avoid disturbing the water or you may scare fish away.

Next, bait your hook or tie on a lure. If you use a worm, thread the worm from one end. Once stuck on, it will slide around easily. If you find fish stealing too much bait without getting caught, try using a smaller worm or switch to a smaller hook. If you use a minnow, hook the bait through both lips.

Swing the bait or lure as far from shore as you can and watch the bobber. Small panfish will nibble at the bait, causing a slight movement and a small circle of ripples around the bobber. When a fish has the bait, it will probably try to swim away, pulling the bobber under the water. When a fish bites, raise the tip of the rod quickly to set the hook and reel your catch in. Steer the fish away from thick weeds or submerged branches.

Panfish, such as bluegill or perch, bite almost any time of day. If you have no action after 10 or 15 minutes, move to another likely spot and try again. For other types of fish, such as trout or bass, you may want to fish early in the morning or in the late afternoon.

Did you find this information helpful?

My goal is to promote fishing, it is a wonderful experience and a way to spend quality time with friends and family.

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Fun Links

Good causes and useful fishing websites to explore and learn.

Comments and/or Feedback

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    • stephen777 profile image


      6 years ago

      Thanks for your great lens on fishing. The kids are just adorable and your info on fishing gear is wonderful. I will add your lens on the links module of my Thanks again.

    • wolfie10 profile image


      7 years ago

      very nice lens and i keep this lens in mind if i ever decide to start going fishing.

    • CarolynPile profile image


      7 years ago

      When I was little, I got my daddy to take me fishing because it looked like fun in books and TV shows. But when he pulled a fish out of the lake, I ran away and screamed. I haven't been fishing since.

    • norma-holt profile image


      7 years ago

      Great lens and fabulous kids, or should I say fisherkids. Top marks and the tips are wonderful.

    • ebookmum profile image


      7 years ago

      Fab lens. Inspiring stuff :)

    • BlueDunDan profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      @VoodooRULEs: she has the most adorable look of wonder on her face doesn't she!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      The opening picture is the most adorable thing I've ever seen!

    • LigaSuper profile image

      S Kurniawan 

      7 years ago from Bandung, Indonesia

      Nice Lens. Thank you for sharing.

    • BlueDunDan profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      @anonymous: Tipi Thank you very much, I am happy you enjoyed it, but I'm even happier that it brought back pleasant memories to you! You're an angel, we need to put some wings on a giant squid just for you :)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      What great fun memories you brought back to me of Dad giving us fishing lessons and practicing casting with just a sinker on. I grew up on a great walleye lake with many wonderful memories of fishing as a family. I love that you share the diagrams of knots here. Well done!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Great lens and nice picture. Thanks for your sharing. I love Fishing :)

    • BlueDunDan profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      @Pnorway: Thank you Pnorway...skill comes with experience. The best part of fishing is having fun and sharing time with your father, I'm sure he can teach you a few things about fishing.

    • Pnorway profile image


      7 years ago

      Great lens. I often go fishing with my father. Fishing is fun. Em, but my skill is not good....


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