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fishing for beginners
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How to Start Fishing

Humans have been fishing for thousands of years. It all started as a means of survival. Today, fishing can be a job, a sports activity, or simply a hobby. For a beginner, it may seem odd how people manage to simply wait for hours or days to catch fish. And this is where it all begins. You may buy the most expensive gear and yet lack patience. If, however, you find your passion for fishing, you will soon understand that this hobby is one with countless possibilities.

Fishing is a lot more than simply knowing how to catch fish. After all, it is not every day that you will catch a lot. It doesn’t entirely depend on you. It is up to you, however, to find the lateral joys and possibilities of the days spent fishing.

People do it because of the time spent in nature. People do it because they love being around or on the water. Others simply love spending time with a good company. Fishing as a hobby is unobstructed, as long as you have all the necessary gear and items. Last but not least, it is often therapeutic and it also improves physical health.

While fishing is actually a very complicated hobby when you get more familiar with it, here is a small guide on all the necessary gear for fishing for beginners.

Beginner Fishing Essentials


Fishing License

Depending on where you live on the globe, you will need either a state fishing license or a ticket for fishing.  In the USA, for example, fishing licenses are fairly complicated. Each state has its own requirements and acquiring a license will give you different allowances.

In some states you will need to get two separate licenses, one for freshwater fishing, and one for seawater fishing. Other states combine it into a single permit. Prices vary and sometimes depend on your health status. For example, if you are a veteran, you may qualify for a discount in specific states.

Usually, fees are lower for residents of the particular state. If you are on a vacation in a different one, however, and want to fish, you will have to buy one for that state as well. Licenses are available for a variety of periods – weeks, months, years, or lifetime.

Rod and Reel

The rod and reel will be your most important items. For a beginner, the most important factor when buying a rod is that it fits your hand perfectly. You need to feel it right. A lot of stores will actually allow you to try out rods outside of the shop. Besides that, if you have fisherman friends, you may already know what you want. Otherwise, I suggest taking them with you as sales representatives will often mislead you in order to make the sale.

Your ultimate choice as a beginner will be a spinning rod and reel. There are countless combos available worldwide and it usually is the cheapest quality option. Besides that, I would suggest staying away from the most basic and cheapest products. The few extra dollars you will spend actually make a difference.

Fishing Line

For a fishing line, my recommendation will always be monofilament fishing line between 6lbs and 12lbs. There are dozens of options available and also in a variety of colors. Lines in these figures are great for smaller to medium sized fish.

Fishing Hooks, Sinkers, & Bobbers

Fishing hooks come in countless shapes and forms and vary depending on the type of fishing and place of fishing. As a beginner, you do not need anything overly expensive and fancy. I would rather suggest you get some basic hooks but in large numbers. They usually do not last too long, actually, you will most certainly be switching hooks more than once during the day.

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You may ask yourself “Why do I need sinkers and bobbers when it will be pretty much the same without them. It is true, sinkers are used to stabilize the fishing line when cast, and actually make it sink deeper. At the same time, you should have a bobber attached as well that remains above the water and does not allow your bait and hook to fall too deep. In addition, as a beginner, the bobber will make it easy for you to know when you have a fish on the line.

Clippers/Nail Clippers & Nose Pliers

You will need these additional tools to make your life easy while preparing or after catching a fish. You will need clippers to cut your line, although you can do it with your teeth. Besides that, the nose pliers will be used to remove the hooks from the fish you caught. You can regularly do this by hand but in some cases, the hook is attached in a way that makes it impossible.

Lures & Baits

Baits depend on the fish you plan to fish for. It could be small worms or previously caught small fish. If you do not fancy live bait, however, you can always use lures. These are artificial baits which try to resemble live worms or fish. Of course, some species require specific baits, therefore, you may, after all, need to use live bait.

A Net, a Bucket/Ice Chest, & a Tackle Box(Optional)

None of these items is a must-have. Instead, they are completely optional but will serve their purpose if you decide to acquire them. A tackle box is a compartment which you can use for all your small equipment such as lures, baits, hooks, etc. You will need a bucket or an ice chest if you plan on saving the fish. You could also use a net to keep the fish alive but otherwise, it can be used to take it out of the water or return it in.

Final Thoughts

Now, that you know all the necessary and optional beginners gear, it is time for you to learn the practical basics. Normally, you will need to learn a couple of knots to get your equipment ready. My suggestion is to have a friend or a professional show you how to set up your rod. Otherwise, there are countless videos online.

As for the perfect fishing spots, you will study the nature of the different species with time. Certain fish can be caught during certain periods of the year. In addition, every species has its own preferred environment. Make your research online and get prepared about the fish you want to catch.

Finally, a few words on expectations. Do not go to a fishing spot expecting to find dozens of fish immediately. As I mentioned above, it is a hard hobby and it will take time until you can perform every action fast and correct. Besides that, you never know whether it will be a good or a bad day. Even the most experienced fishermen have unsuccessful days.

Enjoying every minute and not giving up are my two most important tips. Last but not least, do not be afraid to ask questions. Fishermen often are the kindest of people. They love teaching beginners. Without a doubt, you will find yourself surrounded by old fishermen wherever you decide to try your luck. Make sure you always ask when you are troubled by something. After all, you share the same hobby.

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