Did you know that humans have been fishing for over 40,000 years? It’s a useful skill that kept villages fed for generations, but it’s also a lot of fun.
Whether you’re thinking of going camping for the first time or want to expand your camping horizons, learning how to fish is the gift that keeps on giving. It’s the type of sport that’s both exciting and relaxing all at the same time.
The best part is that anyone can learn to fish, no matter their age or expertise. Check out our guide down below that will get you reeling in the big one in no time at all!
Obtaining a License
Before you’re allowed to cast your line into any fishy waters, you first need to get the proper fishing license. This license needs to be for the area in which you plan to fish and it needs to be valid for the entire time you’ll continue fishing.
It’s not too difficult to find a fishing license. Order one online or check out a local fishing shop for guidance. Some convenience stores even sell licenses, so there are plenty of options.
Since you’re a beginner, get a license that lasts for a couple of days at maximum. Not only does this give you ample chance to test the waters, it’s also a cheaper option. When you fall in love with this timeless sport, it’s easy enough to get a lengthier license later!
Understanding Fishing Etiquette
Another important aspect to keep in mind before you start fishing is to know the basics of fishing etiquette. If you spot another person fishing, give them plenty of space so that you both have your own section of the pond. Even within a crowded area should you keep a fair distance between each fishing spot.
It’s also vital that you are respectful to the fish and their home. Think of it in much the same way as the idea of leaving no trace during camping in general. You don’t want to cause harm to this area or disturb the fish more than necessary.
Try not to keep more fish than you intend to eat. Otherwise, let the fish go once you’ve had the thrill of catching it. There’s more fish where that came from, but only if you don’t needlessly take them all out of the pond.
No fishing guide is complete without a section dedicated to the tools of the trade. There are a few things you’ll want to outfit yourself with before you hit the waters. These items make fishing both easier and more enjoyable for everyone involved.
Rod and Reel
Whenever anyone thinks about fishing, they think of the iconic fishing rod. If you want to catch any fish, you’ll need a high-quality rod.
You’ll want to look for a rod with a spinning reel that’s already spooled for you to make things less hectic. There’s time to learn how to spool your own reel later if you take a liking to fishing. The size should be between 1000 to 3000.
Some rods require you to assemble them before using them but avoid this by getting one that’s pre-assembled for you. Get a medium-action rod that offers the best reliability for fishing for beginners.
As you continue to fish more and more, you’ll soon understand which parts you’ll want to change to further customize your fishing experience.
Bait and Lure
The next thing to focus on is the tackle that’ll entice those fish to come biting. Certain fish enjoy different types of bait and lures, so it’s tricky to know what to choose as a beginner.
The best thing to do is to ask a local fishing shop which setup they recommend and go with that. It won’t take long for you to memorize which bait and lure combo works best for your favorite fish!
Some extra gear will ensure that your fishing adventure is a joy rather than a pain. Make sure to wear warm clothing and a life jacket if you plan to fish on a boat.
Have a small toolset in case you need to repair any of your fishing gear. Plenty of bait and hooks are also necessary so that you’re able to stay out on the water for as long as you want.
No camping lover should ever go into the woods without a proper first aid kit on their camping checklist, so make sure you bring that with you as well.
Finding the Right Spot
The key to finding the best places to fish is to look for places that the fish could use as cover from predators. They’re far more likely to collect near a fallen log or a large area of weeds and underbrush.
Sometimes you’ll spot movement in the water, but most of the time you’ll want to keep an eye out for the places that provide plenty of protection for the fish you want to catch.
This kind of scouting requires a bit of practice, but after a few attempts, you’ll have no trouble figuring out which place is the best place to cast your line.
Casting for the First Time
When you cast your bait into the water, you want to try to throw it as far into the water as possible. This gives you more room to work with and it’ll help the fish feel safer when they approach your lure.
Unhook the spool to keep it from being held in place and give yourself a good amount of slack. Then use your arm and wrist in a flicking motion to help give you distance on the line. Release the spool as you reach the apex of the arc and allow it to fly towards the water.
It’ll take some practice to get the hang of this motion. Keep trying until it feels natural. Once your line is in the water, begin reeling it back in slowly.
Fishing takes a bit of patience, especially as a first-timer. Allow yourself to enjoy the process and you’ll soon find yourself in a zen state surrounded by calm waters and zero technology.
Hooking Your First Fish
It may take patience to wait for the fish to bite, but once you get a nibble, it’s all action and excitement the rest of the way. As soon as you see your bobber dip underneath the water, this is the moment you’ve been waiting for.
To ensure that the hook is set, pull back on the rod with a bit of pressure until the tip is pointing up. Too much pressure could rip the hook right out, but too little means the hook could slip out.
Good timing is also vital to make sure you’ve hooked the fish. Always keep an eye on your bobber so that you don’t miss your chance to hook it. You’ll need to be quick to get the hook set before the fish gets away!
Reeling in a Whopper
Now comes the playing game. Fish are far more powerful than we might realize at first, so you can’t reel it in without first tiring it out a little. Otherwise, you’ll end up breaking your line and losing both your hook and your fish.
Always keep the tip of your rod pointed towards the sky as you reel it in. You want to find the right balance between allowing some slack to stop the line from breaking while also keeping enough pressure on the fish to keep it coming towards you.
Bigger fish means you’ll need to tire it out even more than the smaller varieties. Try not to get too excited or else you’ll reel in the fish too fast. Steady pressure on the line is the best way to get the biggest catch of your fishing career!
Tips and Tricks
A couple of these extra fishing tips will help make your fishing experience more successful.
Find a lure that is a similar color to the water of the river or pond. If it stands out too much, fish won’t go near it and you’ll never catch anything.
The best times to fish are often early in the morning and later in the evening. These are the times in which fish often leave their safe places to catch a meal of their own.
Do appropriate research about the body of water you’re fishing in and the fish inside it. This way, you’ll have all the appropriate things to entice them to bite.
Don’t forget to turn your best catch into a delicious meal for you and your family!
Learning How to Fish Makes Camping More Exciting
By learning how to fish, you open up a whole new avenue of interesting camping activities. You’ll have the chance to spend the day trying to catch a beautiful fish and then have a fresh and delicious meal for dinner.
It also gives you a lot to talk about with fellow camping fanatics. There’s nothing that brings campers together quite as much as sharing fishing techniques. Head out and give it a try for yourself and see what all the fuss is about!
Have more questions? Contact us today and we’ll help you get everything in order for your first fishing adventure!