Fishing is one of the most popular outdoor activities out there. Many millions of people enjoy fishing whether on the occasional vacation or as a frequent weekend getaway. However, if you didn’t grow up with fishing as part of your childhood, then it’s easy to see how you could miss out.
While fishing can be great fun and a life-long hobby (or even positive obsession), there are certain skills you need to learn to safely and effectively head out on the water before a weekend of fishing fun.
Decide What Style of Fishing You Want to Try
One of the most important things to know when considering fishing for beginners is how many very different styles of fishing there actually are. There are huge differences between casting, trolling, fly fishing, ice fishing, and that’s even before getting into differences like crankbaits vs. bobber & worm combinations.
While more extreme styles like spear fishing probably aren’t what most first-timers have in mind, there are major equipment and style differences between fly fishing and regular casting, for example.
The same could be said for shore casting versus trolling open water. Having an idea of what you want to experience will make it easier to know how to prepare and what type of equipment you will need for your first outing. This isn’t insignificant information!
Focus on Learning to Cast
One skill that is going to generally matter more than any other is learning how to cast. If you are fly fishing this is absolutely essential, and most other styles require some form of casting.
Active fishing with crankbaits and many other lures means being able to cast towards shore without snagging anything, and sometimes dropping a lure into a small little spot for that perfect presentation.
Practicing can be done in an open grassy area. Use a sinker, or one sacrificial lure you cut the hooks off of for safety’s sake. Get use to the feel of the fishing rod, seeing how the line moves out, being able to judge distance.
Don’t be discouraged early on. Really good casters haven’t done this hundreds of times, they’ve likely casted tends of thousands of times and even the pros occasionally mis-cast or hit a snag.
Taking a little time to do this before actually going out onto the water and using hooks will not only help you, but be appreciated by everyone on the boat, as well.
See if There’s a Willing Local Mentor
If you’re looking for a guide on fishing for beginners the best single piece of information you can get beyond practicing your casting is to find a local mentor. If there’s one thing that life-long anglers love almost as much as actual fishing, it’s mentoring others and bringing them into the world of fishing.
Fishing buddies are always welcome, and who doesn’t like someone to share stories, tips, and news with?
Buy at Least Moderately Good Equipment
While it’s easy to avoid the trap of buying extremely expensive gear as a beginner you also want to avoid the other trap of buying really cheap gear. Cheap is usually cheap for a reason, and it will cause more problems that may cause you to become frustrated instead of having fun. At least go for mid-level middle of the road equipment.
Not only does that have better re-sell value if you decide fishing isn’t really your thing, but you’ll avoid the frustrations that cheap equipment bring to the table.