First Time Fishing Tips for Beginners + Checklist

Last Updated: 19.04.19


Whether you are a nature enthusiast looking to take up a new adventure or simply in search of a relaxing hobby to help you wind down during your leisure time, fishing may be just the key to your quest.

Have you ever seen an angler “at work”, sitting by his fishing rod so serene and relaxed that not a single worry in the world seems to bother him or her? Did you wonder what the secret to that was? That peaceful angler could be you.

All you need to do is learn a few basic tips which will ensure that your first fishing session is at the same time safe and rewarding. Or maybe, on the contrary, you are looking forward to the rush that comes from capturing your prey and serving it to your family at the dinner table. We have put together this guide for you to start out equipped with all the information you need to succeed as a first-time angler.

Don’t be…fishy

Regardless of your motivation for taking up fishing, be it for fun, to relax or to feed your family fresh food right from the bottom of the sea, you will first need to obtain a license. Not only is possessing a permit a legal requirement, but you will additionally need to make sure that the species you intend to catch is in season.

Depending on the body of water you are going to explore, you may have to abide by specific regulations. We, therefore, advise you to get a fishing guidebook which offers information on regulations as well as where and when you are allowed to cast your rod for different species, how much fish you can keep per day and under which conditions.


Get yourself in gear

A rod and reel are the ABC’s of angling. Your fishing equipment purchase will largely depend on the type of fish you are set on catching. To make sure that you get the best advice tailored to your particular intentions and needs, visit the closest tackle shop and ask for assistance with selecting the tools you are going to use.

Once you’re set, treat your rod with great care, as it is a delicate instrument, and carry it horizontally, making sure that you do not hit the tip against any hard surfaces to avoid damage.

Your choice of line should also be adapted to the species and size of the fish you aim to catch. This is important because sturdy fish require more vigorous line which doesn’t break when you try to pull them up. Also, some species will struggle and flail quite a lot both before and after you remove them from the water, in which case you want your line to be elastic, lest it should snap.

The easiest device for a beginner is a spinning reel. Ask the tackle shop assistant to show you how to attach the line to it. The next thing you need to do is purchase specific bait or lure, which you then attach to the hook. If you are unsure which type of bait you need, the most commonly used option is worms. Once you get the hang of it and gain some experience, you can start diversifying and alternating between baits and lures in order to maximize your catch.


How to cast your fishing rod

Once you go official with a fishing permit and have all your gear packed up, you’re good to go. Unless you bring along a well-versed angler to teach you the proper way to cast your rod or watch other experienced fishermen around, you may have a hard time understanding how to handle the tools.

In a nutshell, it all boils down to a three-step movement. Start out by pressing the line between your forefinger and the rod. At the same time, use your free hand to open the bale which serves to open and close the reel. The final step consists in throwing the lure into the water and removing your index finger from the rod to let go of the line.

If you are unsure whether you will be able to handle the fishing equipment, it is always a good idea to practice in advance. Find a remote spot in your backyard or in a park and try your hand at it until you feel confident enough to go into the wild and capture your prey.

Other considerations for success

As is the case with any new sport or hobby, fishing takes time to master and to yield truly satisfying results. It is essential to be patient not only with yourself but also with the fish. Understand that it may take a number of failed attempts until you finally come home with a bountiful catch.

Don’t overlook the importance of wearing an appropriate outfit while focusing merely on equipment. Check the weather forecast and try to pack an extra layer so as not be caught off guard. Also, putting on your fishing boots seems just the most sensible thing to do and so it is, as you’ll be very close to water and you can always be at risk of losing footing and wading into it.

In addition to this, summer days can pose additional difficulties because of the direct exposure to the sun and the unwanted insects populating unspoiled nature. Do bring along a waterproof backpack to deposit sunscreen, a pair of sunglasses and an insect repellant.

If you are going to fish off a paddleboard, a kayak or the most stable canoe for fishing, always equip yourself with a fitting life vest so that you avoid accidents and respect safety regulations, as well. Bring along an ice box if you like, to store your lunch, some drinks, and, why not, all the fish you are going to catch.


First-time fishing checklist

Obtain a fishing license.

Visit the closest tackle store asking for guidance and assistance.

Purchase a rod and reel, fishing line, bait or lure, according to the species you intend to fish.

Learn how to correctly cast your rod and practice in advance.

Pack your gear, your fishing accessories, lunch, water and a small ice box.

Bring along a friend to keep you company and share the fun with!



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