Step 1: Buying a Rod and Reel
Before you start you need to decide what type of fishing you'll be doing. The options are:
Fishing the bottom
Fishing into rocks
Fishing from cliffs
Fishing from the beach
Fishing for bass
Decide the ones you think you'll most likely be doing and then go to the tackle shop and tell them what you plan to be doing so they can recommend the best cheap set for your needs.
Shore rods come in many sizes from 6ft to 14ft+ and depending on where and what you fish depends on the size of the rod. e.g- A 12ft plus rod would be good for fishing from rocks but useless for a pier. Also if you're going to be float fishing a lot make sure the rod and reel isn't too heavy because you'll be holding them all the time and you don't want a set that is going to ache your arms after prolonged use.
Something else that's important is how much bend is in the rod. When you're in the shop tell the person there what kind of fishing you think the majority of your fishing will be and you're concerned about the amount of bend a rod will give for your type of fishing.
Step 2: Vital Things for Your Tackle Box
You really do need a very sharp knife for fishing so not only do you need a knife you also want to buy a knife sharpener for your home. Your local tackle shop should have a range of knives. The cheaper ones are fine for the job, just make sure they remain very sharpe or your bait presentation will be lost.
Often overlooked but vital to keep your knife as sharp as possible. You don't need an expensive chopping board. I had a piece of wood laying about so I took a measurement of my bag and used a saw to saw it down to the size of one of the pockets on my bag. It is just big enough for an average sized mackerel to fit on which is all you need it for.
You may wonder why you need pliers but when you hook a fish like a garfish which tend to swallow the hook you'll be glad you did. Try and buy the thin pliers which curve off at an angle because these make the job of getting the hook out much easier.
You may not go out fishing at night but sometimes the fishing is so good you really want to stay on that extra couple of hours but you can no longer see the rod tip. Just buy a couple of nightlight's but buy the ones that come with their own selotape. Now you never have to worry about time again.
This really is a must have and it's the one thing I keep forgetting to take with me.
In the summer heat, your bait will dry out in a very short period of time. Even in the winter it won't last as long as you think. Here are my top tips for keeping your bait fresh:
THE BUCKET IS THE BEST
Most tackle and DIY shops carry a small range of buckets. You don't need a huge great thing. Just something small enough to keep a few mackerel in.
When you get to your location fill the bucket a third of the way up and immediately place any mackerel, squid, eel bait you have straight into it. Your bait will now last all the time you're there. The reason you only fill it a third is so any jumper or coat your wearing doesn't get wet.
Not only is it useful for you but it also keeps the bait out of the sun. It won't stop the bait drying up but will slow the process down. The downside is because your on the coast most of the time it's too windy to use one.
Another great way of keep bait cool but I still don't think it's better than the bucket. For one reason no matter how well you wrap the bait up you will always have a smell in the box and cleaning these boxes out isn't as easy as a quick rinse of a bucket.
LEAVE BAIT WRAPPED UP
Leave your bait in the paper and in the shade. The moisture from the bait will help keep it from drying out.
Step 3: Bait
- Mackerel Strips
- Rag Worm
- Lug Worm
- Peeler Crab
- Sand Eels
For float fishing the most common baits are mackerel strips, rag worm, sand eels and squid. For the bottom the most common are rag worm, peeler crabs and squid.
Step 4: What Line to Put on Your Reel
For the average sea fisherman who fishes from piers or isn't fishing for real monsters like conger then the majority of fisherman will use no more than a 15lb line. With a 15lb line you'll be able to cast quite a distance without the strength and thickness of the line hindering the cast. The move from 15lb to a 20lb line is quite noticeable when casting.
Most reels come with a spare spool so you could always have a very small pound line on one and a 15lb on the other. Alternatively you could have 15lb on one spool and 25lb plus on the other if you fancy going for bigger fish like conger.
Step 5: How to Cast
Image 2: Holding the line, open the bail arm.
Image 3: The outfit is now ready for casting.
Image 4: Swing the rod in a smooth arc and release the line by pointing your finger at your chosen target.
Image 5: Casting with a double-handed rod and a large spinning reel is exactly the same procedure, except that the non-reel hand comes into play, providing a pivot point for the rod swing.
Step 6: Parts of a Rod
Step 7: Parts of a Reel
2: Reel seat
3: Reel foot
5: Support arm
6: Anti-reverse lever
7: Skirted spool
8: Fishing line
9: Drag adjustment knob (sometimes this will be on the back)
Step 8: How to Land a Fish!
"Setting the hook" refers to the method of forcing a hook into a fish's mouth. In most cases, one sharp snap of the rod is all that is needed, provided the hook is sharp. Some situations, however, require more force than others.
Striking too hard or repeatedly with a soft-mouthed fish such as a crappie, shad, or sea trout can pull the hook through the mouth.
2. Fight the Fish
When a fish feels the hook, it struggles to get free. This might involve jumping, making a long run, swimming
back into snags, or swimming around obstacles. Each species of fish fights differently. Some experienced anglers can often tell what species of fish is on the end of the line just by the way it fights. e.g Tuna dive for the bottom.
Fish hooked and played in shallow water are more likely to jump and behave more frantically than those hooked in deep water. When hooked, deep-water fish often seek the bottom.
It's possible to land many small fish just by reeling them in. They'll fight, but this can be easily overcome by the strength of the line and the fishing rod. Much of the enjoyment of fishing, though, is gained by using lighter tackle that allows the fish to fight. However, if you plan to release the fish, do not fight it so long that it becomes exhausted and later dies.
Fighting larger fish requires a technique called "pumping the rod."
To do this, retrieve line quickly as you lower the rod until it is
horizontal and pointed at the fish. Then stop retrieving line and slowly raise the rod up. When the rod is at about the 11 o'clock position, repeat the process until the fish is near and ready to be landed. Never let the line go slack in the process.
3. Land the Fish!
Fish can be landed by hand or with landing tools such as a net. When you fish from the shore, beaching fish is
a popular way to land them. This method, however, should only be used if you plan to keep and eat the fish
because it will harm the coating on its body.