Even the best anglers in the world remember their first fishing trip when they were as lost as every beginner.
Fishing is a great and relaxing hobby that can be taken as seriously or not as you want. It looks so easy to pick up while watching people cast away from the banks and reel in fish. That is until you go on your first fishing trip.
I remember when I took my daughter on her first fishing outing. She thought it was going to be so easy until her first cast buried her worm straight into the bank at her feet.
The best way to get into fishing is to find a friend, neighbor, or family member that fishes. Get them to help you select the correct gear, teach you how to cast, and other aspects of fishing you need to know. Here are 10 things most of us have done, and most beginners will do, on their first fishing adventures.
Click through the slideshow to see 10 signs you’re on your first fishing trip.
You Can’t Tell the Difference Between Fish
There are literally 32,000 different species of fish in the world, and it is impossible to learn them all. I’ve seen numerous people mistake crappie for bluegill, largemouth bass for smallmouth bass, and others. Over time you will learn to tell key differences between similar species, but in the meantime spend some time online reading up on fish identification.
You Bring the Wrong Bait Selection
You stopped by the tackle store and picked up some bait, but you aren’t catching anything. First decide what type of fish you are after before selecting bait to use. If you are just out to catch whatever, go with nightcrawlers, red worms, live minnows, and other live baits. These will generally catch a large variety of species.
You Are Using the Wrong Size Hooks
You can’t just grab a fishing hook from your box and throw it on the line. There is a reason they make differently sized hooks. There are hooks smaller than the tip of your pinky, all the way to hooks bigger than your whole hand for saltwater fish. Most freshwater fish can be hooked on sizes #8 through #1/0.
You Brought the Coolest Looking Rod You Could Find at the Store
You can catch bluegill on a catfish rod, but it’s not the most effective way to do so. Make sure you are using the correct action rod and reel setup for what you are going after. Bluegill only require light action while large, hard-fighting catfish require heavier action.
You Tie Your Hooks on With an Overhand Knot
I have seen this happen numerous times. Someone just starting out tries to start tying their hook on with a double overhand knot. Learning to correctly tie different knots for different setups is very important. It means the difference between landing a fish and losing it when your hook comes off.
You Spend More Time in the Trees Than Water
If you spend most of your time getting caught in tree branches and other obstacles on the bank then you are definitely on your first fishing outing. Learning to correctly release a cast, pitch, and throw different distances comes with time. You can speed this along by setting a bucket in your yard at different distances and trying to cast into it.
You Use 50 Pound Test Line to Bass Fish
Much to the surprise of most new fishermen it doesn’t take super strong line to catch most fish. Most can be caught on 10 to 12-pound test line. The only time you need anything stronger than that is going after large fish 25 pounds and up.
You Leave to Much Slack in Your Line
You see your bobber get sucked under, but no matter how hard you pull back you can’t hook the fish. This is a common mistake among new fisherman. You want your line to be as taut as possible while fishing. This way, all that is required is a quick jerk to set the hook, and sometimes if it is tight enough they will hook themselves.
Your Drag is Set to High or Low
When you do manage to hook into a fish it is getting off or breaking your line. Knowing how to correctly use drag on a fishing reel is very important. Too high will put too much tension on your line, while too little will allow the fish to run and possibly burn your reel up. It should be set at about 25 percent of the line’s strength.
Patience, or Lack of
Patience is something every fisherman must have. Without it you will become frustrated or bored very quickly. A lot of people new to fishing think we go out and nab fish all day then come home. That’s just not the case though; some days you will lay into fish non-stop, while other days you won’t catch a thing.
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