Fishing Basics Guide for Beginners
Every now and then try something new you have read or heard, or look for a new fishing spot. Experimentation even if it fails teaches you something.
Don't take what you hear or read as the only way to do something, and don't believe all advice given will be good. Some people wish to share some of their secrets, others gain twisted satisfaction from leading people astray. As with everything most fishermen are decent and helpful, whilst others are simply poor examples of human beings.
Keep a log of your fishing trips. Note the wind direction and strength, if it was over cast, stage of the tide when the best bites or biggest fish came on, bait used, date, moon phase, if bait fish were visible in the area etc. Try and think of everything and anything relevant you believe had an impact on your fishing and make a note of it. Was there low boat traffic, fish bit after wake from a passing boat washed over the bank. Things like this may just help you succeed in unlocking a secret which will give you an edge in your area.
Choosing a Fishing Outfit
Fishing can be as simple, complex, cheap or expensive as you want it to be depending on how, where and what you intend fishing for. That decision is yours.
Chasing bream off jetties with a handline can still be an effective practice that will put the occasional feed on the table and can be done on almost any budget with very limited experience. Hunting 1000lb black marlin on the other hand is going to burn major holes in your wallet and without reasonable experience the chances of landing one if you can even get the hookup are remote. Most people will be somewhere in the middle.
If you want to be one of those lucky fishermen that always catches good fish then you have to understand what luck is,
Luck = Opportunity + Persistance + Knowledge
When you have all 3 of these you too will become one of those lucky fishermen who catches great fish on a regular basis.
If you were not lucky enough to have been taught how to fish when you were young then you have missed a lot of opportunity and knowledge. Most likely you have been attracted to fishing via a television show, magazine article, or website featuring an experienced angler that shows you how simple it is to catch quantities of very large fish with little more than a flick of a bail arm. If only it was that easy.
What may not have been acknowleded was that they were in a $35 000 boat which burned $150 worth of fuel and oil to get them to the spot and the skipper was a local with 35 years experience fishing the area that coached the compare/writer on what bait and techniques would work before the trip.
Do you have access to something similar? What I am trying to say is before you run out and buy the gear that seemed to make catching the great fish so easily think whether you will have the knowledge and opportunity to put it to use.
Ever seen the old man that wanders down to the local pier and sits alongside the smirking guy with the latest carbon fibre rod, 8 bearing spining reel, gelspun line and chemically sharpened hooks, as he pulls out his old solid glass rod, alvey loaded with mono and procedes to rip out several good fish for dinner while the fishless smirking guys eyes glaze over?. The old guy has a lot of luck.
Before making an investment in fishing consider what fish are regularly caught in your area by the methods you will have available to you. Will your fishing be land based, from a boat, the beach or rocks?
Lets say you are land based with access to jetties, sandy mud flats near river or creek mouths and a friend that will take you out in their dinghy every once in a while and maybe once a year holiday where you can do some light surf or easy rock fishing. Your target species are likely to be bream, whiting, flathead and perhaps a stray salmon, small mangrove jack or tailor. Gear meant for snapper or kingfish is going to be heavy overkill for your fishing needs. So instead I would suggest a 2 piece light to medium 10ft rod with matching sidecast or spinning reel loaded with 4kg is some what of a compromise but will account for all the above.
Being 2 piece will make it fairly easy to transport, not too big for a dinghy, and of reasonable size for light surf and long and strong enough to control land based fish. I have gone just a little heavy with this option, (a slightly lighter rod and line is suggested if whiting and small bream will be your main targets), to give you the best chance should some above average quality fish put in an appearance. Also should the opportunity to chase smaller bay snapper, reasonable quality tailor or small mackeral arise this outfit should be able to handle the situation with patience.
More begginers fishing guides below,