Learn How to Fish
What You Need to Get Started Fishing
- State Fishing License – Depending on age.
- Fishing Rod and Reel
- Fishing Line
- Fishing Lure or Bait and Hook
Fishing Rod and Reel
The fishing rod and reel are vital pieces of equipment for fishing. The rod aids in casting your bait/lure out and fighting a fish in when you catch one. The reel dispenses and retrieves line as you fish.
There are 2 styles of rod and reel that are used in bass fishing. They are casting rods that are paired with baitcaster reels and spinning rods that pair with spinning reels. There is a third type of reel you will see at chain retailers or gas stations called a spin cast or push-button reel. These reels are generally targeted at kids and should be avoided. They tend to get messed up and break very quickly and are not suitable for larger fish like bass.
Types of Rods & Reels
- Casting Rod: Used for most bass fishing techniques, can handle much heavier lures.
- Spinning Rod: Used for lighter baits when finesse bass fishing or fishing for smaller species.
- Spincast Rod: Only recommended for small children who will lose interest quickly.
How to Pick Out Fishing Line
There are three types of fishing line: braid, fluorocarbon, and monofilament. Each type of line has pros and cons but as a beginner don’t worry too much about it right now. I recommend starting with Maxima Ultragreen monofilament in 8lb for spinning rods and 10lb for casting rods. As you grow as an angler you can branch out into the other line types. We have a complete fishing line guide where we break down the benefits of each type and when it’s best to use them.
Now that you have your rod, reel, and line picked out you can set it all up. The steps are slightly different depending on if you have a baitcaster or spinning reel so read whichever guide matches your rod.
Choosing the Right Bait to Catch Bass
The final thing you will need to get before hitting the water is a hook and bait. Choosing a bait can be overwhelming for a new angler. To make it easier we created a beginner’s bait guide that covers multiple bait styles that are great for learning important fishing techniques while still catching fish. We also have in-depth guides and recommendations for all the other styles of lures that you can follow as you get more experienced.
But if you just have one bait to hit the water with and catch fish I recommend picking up a pack of Senkos or another plastic worm, 3/0 Gamakatsu Offset EWG hook, and some bullet weights. These three things are fairly inexpensive and allow you to set up a texas rig. A texas rig is extremely weedless so it won’t get hung up as much as other baits. It works everywhere and doesn’t matter if you are fishing from the bank, kayak, or boat.
After mastering the texas rig pick up a couple more pieces of terminal tackle to fish a wacky rig and a drop shot rig. Both these rigs can use the same soft plastic worm as the texas rig and are great beginner bass baits.
Learn to Fish
How to Tie on Hooks and Lures
Most hooks and lures are best to be tied on with a palomar knot. It is quick to learn, easy to tie, and very strong. Of course, there are other fishing knots that you should learn over time that are better for other situations.
Where to Fish
When looking for a place to fish close by one of the best ways is to search Google Maps. Maps will show smaller lakes, ponds, rivers, and creeks that may not be listed elsewhere. Be sure to check that the bodies of water you find can be legally fished or ask for permission if the water is on private land.
Your state’s fish and wildlife department should also have a list of recommended fishing areas throughout your state.
When to Fish
When is the best time to fish is a question beginners often ask. The answer is anytime you can. Conditions are constantly changing and as an angler, you need to adapt to them. Once you understand how different conditions affect bass you will be better able to catch them no matter the time or weather.
To help you better understand how to adapt your fishing read our fishing conditions guide.