Hillebrand Steve USFWS/Pixnio



Fishing is a very sui generis kind of pursuit, whose appeal for many lies more in the serenity and relaxation of being in the great outdoors, alone or with friends/family - though others also introduce a sense of competition, like who can catch more fish. Either way, those casting about (ahem) to get started fishing could use a little guidance, so here goes:

Where to Start?


First off, you'll need to apply for a fishing license - generally at the state or provincial level, depending on where you live.* Then while you're waiting on that, go to your nearest tackle-and-bait or outdoor supplies store and get kitted out - you may be offered a rental option, or you may have to buy gear, which will include a rod and reel, lines, and fishing lures and/or live bait.


Once all the groundwork is laid, a great place to start fishing is the nearest lake, river, creek, or seashore. These days online you'll find numerous maps of fishing spots, especially in the USA and Europe.

What Kind of Experience Are You Looking For?

For example, are you after a certain kind of fish? Or just a wonderful spot to share with your family/friends, relax and see what’s catching? Your answer will decide several things - for example, where you'll fish, the gear you'll need.

Popular Species of Freshwater Fish

Carp  

Native to Europe and Asia but also found in North America and Africa, the various carp varieties have long been considered a "trash" or "coarse" fish, but have been becoming more popular with recreational anglers in recent years. Not easy to catch, though!


Catfish

This diverse group of bony fishes can be fished (best with live bait) in a variety of settings and geographic areas, from warm, shallow ponds to fast-moving rivers, and can also be fished from the shore, both day and night. They're good fighters, and make great eating.

Perch


Also fishable from shores and boats in ponds, lakes, streams, and rivers, these carniverous fish are most active at dawn and dusk, and put up a good fight  And watch the teeth!

Pike

These can grow to a good size, and can be found in sluggish streams and shallow, weedy corners of lakes and reservoirs, as well as in cold clear, rocky waters. They;re prized as game fish because they, too, put up a good fight. And again, watch those sharp and numerous teeth!


Other Tips

- Simple floating lures and earthworms are good choices, especially for perch and carp,

- Find a spot where you can conveniently stash your belongings - it could be a bridge or a pier - and hopefully toilet facilities nearby.

-Make sure that at the spot you choose
the water has an inflow from a stream or another natural source. If the water in a small lake or pond does not move, there is a high chance that it is low in oxygen, which will deplete fish stocks and make those that remain more sluggish.

-When fishing from shore, look for spots near shrubs, grass, or water lilies.


-When fishing from boats, in spawning season try closer to shore.

 

For more information on fishing gear, check out duohook.ie.

*There are several countries where fishing licenses are not required, including Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

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