Introduction: How to Fish

Picture of How to Fish

In this Instructable I will be showing you some of the basics that you need to know to catch the big one. You have to understand there are many different techniques that are used to catch certain species of fish and it would be nearly impossible to fit them all in one Instructable. Before you start remember that fishing can be a very frustrating sport, so if you fail just get up and try again.

Step 1: Gear

Picture of Gear

No matter who you talk to about fishing, they will always agree on one thing: you need the right gear to catch fish. No matter what kind of fish you plan on catching you are going to have to have these essentials:

-Fishing rod and reel (strongly recommended)
-Fishing line
-Fishing regulations ( if you plan on keeping your catch)
-Landing net
-Pliers/ De-hooking device
-Other fishing lures or bait
-Tape measure or ruler

Other useful items:

-Fishing buddy
-A boat
-GPS device
-Depth finder

Before you go fishing make sure you check with your state laws to see what kind of weights or hooks are legal to use in your state, because some states strongly enforce laws that keep you from using barbed hooks or lead weights.

Step 2: Location, Location, Location

Picture of Location, Location, Location

Many people that I talk to say that whenever they go fishing they don't catch a single fish. Then, I ask them where they went and they say someplace I've fished and didn't catch a single thing. This area of fishing is one of the most over looked areas, because most people think that they can just walk out to some random spot and start fishing. I'm about to tell you different.

When fishing inshore it's good to look for areas with a lot of bait and rocky bottom. Also, sometimes if you see fish hitting the surface that usually means that the fish are feeding. Grassy points are good spots when the tide is high and the water is rushing past them, because as the water moves past these points the bait fish move with the water and the bigger fish eat them as they go by.
Another good place when fishing in shore are oyster bars. These places harvest baby crabs, which are eaten by many different species of fish.

Fishing Offshore is totally different from fishing inshore, because the fish that you catch are usually a lot bigger. One approach that I like to do is to troll or drag lures behind the boat until we find a rock to fish on. Rocks show up on your depth finder as large mounds, and they usually have dark arcs over them, which are fish. When you locate the fish you can either: 1. continue to troll or 2. bottom fish the rock by anchoring over it or drifting over it. We seem to catch more fish trolling, but in my opinion its more fun and challenging to catch the fish while bottom fishing.

Freshwater fishing is a little different form saltwater fishing, because the behavior of the fish is a little different. One difference is that in the Summer the bass make beds under tree limbs, which is an ideal time to use top waters to try and get a bite out of aggression. Also, trolling for Lake trout is a good way to catch big fish.

Step 3: Fishing Lures

Picture of Fishing Lures

There are many different fishing lures on the market today. Some are better than others. Choosing your lure comes down to a few key things: type, action, hook quality, and design.

The type of lure that you want to use all depends on where in the water you want to fish. For example, when you want to fish on the bottom i suggest you use a jig head and plastic jig or worm. When you want to fish middle of the water you may want to use a swim bait or unweighted jerk bait. Fishing the top of the water requires a floating lure that makes a lot of sound.

The action of the lure mostly depends on the type and design of the lure. Most top water lures and swim baits have a a long plastic lip, which controls the swimming action of the lure. Gold spoons are shaped with a curve so that they spin or rock back and forth through the water.

When choosing a fishing lure the most important thing to remember is hook quality. The shape of the hook and sharpness are key to getting the fish hooked and keeping it hooked. The point of a hook should be very sharp to the touch, and the hook should not be bent to far in.

The final thing to consider when picking out a lure is the design. Most fishing lures that you want to use should either be very flashy or admit a lot of sound to attract the fish. Also, you must remember that the design of the lure affects the lures action, so don't pick a lure that doesn't run right.

Step 4: Technique

Picture of Technique

In this final step i will go over the basic procedures and techniques that you will want to do when you get a bite.

1. OK you feel a fish bump your lure. Now set the hook by yanking up on the rod, but not so hard that you break the line. The fish is on so now what you want to do is pull up slowly and reel on the way down, but make sure you keep the line tight or your fish will get away. When the fish pulls out line make sure you let it pull some line don't reel against it or you'll break the line.

2. Now that you have him near the boat get the net ready and scoop him up head first. OK you got him in the boat now put him on the measuring board and check if he's eatin' size. He's right on the line now's the time for a decision. It's to close to call. Take the hook out and throw him back. Try to catch a bigger one this time.

Thank You for reading my Instructable and don't forget to vote for it!


keonfrey (author)2012-07-28

i found that when catching pike in rivers, well, small rivers, its too easy to catch because they dont have anywhere to go. i caught a 27 inch pike with a broken four foot pole and he hardly fought. :) i used a stick bait lure, jerking it repeatedly by logs and stuff

freeza36 (author)keonfrey2012-07-29

I am in the process of making a broken Shimano reel into a miniature travel fishing pole. The ible should be out soon.

druski (author)2012-02-21

A handy piece of equipment is a TensionMate.
These can help you easily spool your line by yourself.
Check them out at

MACKattacksnipe (author)2011-07-11

its all about the sport and relaxing i have fun weather i catch a fish or not :)

macmundi (author)2010-09-03

How many rods you had in the water?

irish death1 (author)macmundi2010-09-03

we had around 4-6 people fishing at a time I think.

Robot Lover (author)2010-08-13

With all due respect, Iv'e been going fishing with my dad for 13 years now and I don't have half of theat stuff. I also consider my dad a proffesional and so do many others. Great instructable! 4.5*

irish death1 (author)Robot Lover2010-08-14

Absolutely! I just have all the equipment that I use and may be helpful, but most of it you can easily go with out. Thanks!

snook123 (author)2010-02-01

inlets are good inshore spots

becauseican (author)2009-06-13

ok 2 things first of all where r u fishing? and second off i am in the beautiful state of massachussets and there is a few pond in the woods behind my house. the fish tend to be small so i use 6 sized hookes and we catch hornpout mostly. the ponds contain millions of shiner (minnows), red fin dais, pickrel, croppies and there may be otherss but that is the abundance but all i bring is worms my pole hooks and some bobbers and weights. my point is u just need a few things.

An Villain (author)becauseican2009-08-19

he is fishing in a secret spot.

covey12 (author)2009-07-18

are you in mosquito lagoon by chance? i go to a spot that looks like that in my flats boat, and nice red fish have your ever tried to blacken them and fry up in a cast iron skillet its unbelievable

irish death1 (author)covey122009-07-30

Nope. This is at the mouth of the Suwanee River, but I have heard Mosquito Lagoon is a premiere fishing area. Blackened redfish has to be my favorite way to eat them.

tbone121 (author)irish death12009-08-06

thats a nice cobia you caught there, i caught a 68 pound cobia off the jersey shore. it was great. i could bearly get it in the boat.

bufalloo (author)2009-02-19

where do you live? that place looks amazing!

irish death1 (author)bufalloo2009-02-20

I live Northern Florida, but we caught that fish near Suwannee River. Can't tell u the exact location though. Its a secret. =)

covey12 (author)irish death12009-07-29

have you ever fished sisters creek? there aren't as many bull reds there but you will be pulling keepers for dinner all day long

irish death1 (author)covey122009-07-30

Where is sisters creek? I don't think I've fished there before yet

covey12 (author)irish death12009-07-30

its part of the intracoastal (which i always thought was intercoastal) near Jacksonville, not the city, but you can catch everything there except for snook there are always schools of yellow mouth trout and jack crevalle in the little jetties following the channel

irish death1 (author)covey122009-07-30

Sounds like a good place to fish. We have done some camping around there so we fished some of that area also.

covey12 (author)irish death12009-07-30

yea a lot of people camp on the beach that is right near the boat ramp, well its kind of like a mini beach with no waves

irish death1 (author)covey122009-07-31

Yeah are you talking about the campsites at Fort Clinch? Because that's where we camped.

covey12 (author)irish death12009-07-31

no its not a real camp site, but people just decided that it was a good place, i don't think it even has a name, its about a 1-2mile stretch of sand along hercshire dr. (that might not be spelled wright) on the inner coastal near the boat ramp, Google sisters creek Jacksonville

covey12 (author)2009-07-29

redfish is the one of the best fish to eat in the world freshly caught, second only to a freshly caught wahoo (spelled wright?)

irish death1 (author)covey122009-07-30

I do like Wahoo a whole lot but i think i would have say that i prefer redfish over them.

covey12 (author)irish death12009-07-30

yea i used to eat redfish on a half shell but then my dad found this recipe online on the florida sportsman forum about blackened fried redfish its unbelievable

irish death1 (author)covey122009-07-31

Yeah blackening redfish is the best way to cook it.

aleigh45 (author)2009-07-13

you think those fish are strong try catching a jack crevalle they may not be good to eat but the pull very very hard.

irish death1 (author)aleigh452009-07-30

Jack Crevalles are great fish. Any kind of jack puts up a great fight. They're one of my favorite fish to target with topwaters.

I_am_Canadian (author)2008-10-06

SNAP! What a catch! You can pull those out of the ponds where I live... Good instructable!

Thank you very much!

bleedingsoul (author)2008-10-05

can you make an Instructable on fishing from the banks soon

what do mean, do you mean banks of a pond?

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