Step 1: Gear
-Fishing rod and reel (strongly recommended)
-Fishing regulations ( if you plan on keeping your catch)
-Pliers/ De-hooking device
-Other fishing lures or bait
-Tape measure or ruler
Other useful items:
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
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
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
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.
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