Fishing is a highly recreational activity. Recreational fishers, fish for sport, pleasure, and sometimes food for themselves and their families. There are many different techniques for fishing, like handfish gathering, spearing, trapping, netting, and angling.
Recreational fishers usually use angling methods. You can effectively use fishing techniques with the additional information about sensory physiology, feeding ecology, behavior, and biology of fish along with the environment and characteristic of the bait/hook/lure.
In this guide, we are taking a look at the beginner fishing mistakes that you can avoid when you are starting fishing.
Table of Contents
1. Not Considering Safety
While fishing encompasses all the following: weather, sharp knives, boat traffic, and hooks, it is a lot of fun.
Here are 6 safety tips you need to take care of when beginning fishing
File a Float Plan: float plan is a fancy term for note including the information about where you are going, with whom, when others should expect you back, on which boat, what it looks like and where you will park your car. You should also be specific about who to contact in case you are late or out of reach.
Wear a Life Jacket: it is essential to wear a life jacket as you never know when you are going to tumble overboard, have a boat mishap, or any such incident. In such cases, the life jacket will help you tackle the situation. You can tuck a whistle in your life jacket, if it already does not have one, and summon help from a distance.
Safety on the boat: with a neat boat, you can avoid unnecessary mishaps. To prevent tangles and slips, ask the captain to keep lines neatly coiled, or if it is your boat, then do it yourself. A handily stashed landing net reduces the chance of a mad-scramble mishap. Check your baitwell and Livewell supply lines. Also, check your drains to make sure you are not filling a hull with water. Knives should be sharp but must be covered when not in use.
Smart Angling Advice: learn one or two methods of hook removal. You should keep lures and hooks in tackle boxes and keep those boxes closed. Wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from errant casts or fish—thrown hooks. It’s better to wear gloves when tackling fish as their teeth and fin can cause injury too.
Do not Fish Alone: try to never go alone on a fishing trip, but if you have to, then ensure that you take all the safety precautions. For that float, the plan is extra essential, and a life jacket is a must. Your boat must have an electronic cut-off switch that shuts down the boat’s motor if you are a few yards away.
Be Conscious of the Environment: safety applies to the environment, too. Clean and dry your gear. Keep each fishing spot as clean as possible. Do not transport live organisms from lake to lake.
2. Not preparing properly
You must prepare for your fishing trip properly before you embark on your journey. If you are not adequately prepared, you may face problems, let us discuss some tips that can help save you from ill planning.
Here are the 8 tips to keep in mind when preparing for the fishing trip as a beginner:
Check the weather forecast before planning your trip. A check weather forecast will save you from surprises and will also allow you to be well prepared.
If you do not take the right bait with you, you might not be able to lure the fish hence losing your prey and time.
The more you take your preparation seriously, the better fisherman you will become.
Beginners should practice casting before going fishing. If they make quality cast in practice, they might catch quality fish.
Before going fishing, make sure to learn about the local fishing laws in the area you are planning to fish.
Understand and identify the habitat of the fish you are planning to catch. Study the biology of the water body and then adapt your fishing method. It will help maximize your fishing experience.
You should know about the types of knots and where to use which knot for the best possible results.
Keeping in mind all the possibilities will help you deal with them better. The right gear, proper clothing, forecast knowledge, etc., if appropriately planned, will help make your experience a memorable one.
It’s always good to carry safety items like water, maps, flashlights, radio, cellphone, visual and sound signals, and SOS devices. Proper clothing for both hotter and colder conditions. Wear non-slip shoes, a broad-brimmed hat—waterproof sunscreen, windproof, and waterproof outer layers of clothing. Do not drink alcohol; its effects start appearing during a long day on the water. Life-saving drugs should be on board too.
3. Having Wrong Fishing Lure
A fishing lure is artificial fishing bait used to attract fish. Lures are of different shapes, colors, and sizes, and each one is designed to attract a particular fish species. What works with one species won’t necessarily work with other species.
Here is the list of 7 basic fishing lures:
Here is the short description of the 7 basic lures for fishing:
Plugs: these are hard plastic fishing lures that resemble baitfish or other prey. Plugs float on the surface of water or suspend in water. Your expertise in reel-and-stop moves will resemble the live baitfish.
Jigs: jigs are one of the most popular types of fish lures. They have a weighted head and sink easily. They are great for bottom feeders.
Poppers: these bats have concave or hollowed noose. They move in water resembling a distressed creature moving or struggling in the water.
Spinnerbait: they move horizontally through the water. Spinnerbait has a skirted hook on one side and one or more metal blades, which spin like a propeller, on the other. The spinning of blades produces vibration and color reflection, resembling minnows and other baitfish. Spinnerbait is perfect for catching species like Pike, Perch, and Bass.
Spoons: they are called spoons because of their curved, concave metal structures with handles cut off. They shine and wobble because of their concave shape when moving in the water, hence resembling an injured baitfish. Gamefish can’t say no to these baits.
Soft Plastics: these baits resemble a variety of aquatic critters like worms, minnows, crawfish, even lizards, and frogs. These are primarily used for Bass fishing.
Flies: they have a single hook and a skirt. They resemble insects. Flies work great for fish that approach the water’s surface. Traditionally these lures are used in fly fishing.
The 5 pros(benefits) of using fishing lures are:
Lures are less messy than live bait
Lures allow you to cast further than live bait
Using lures, you can target a specie more accurately
Lures are good for catch and release because the fish will not gulp the entire hook
The 4 cons(disadvantages) of using fishing lures are:
Lures are more expensive
Lures are less effective in colder waters than live bait
Lures require skills, making it difficult for beginners to use.
You need to move them to attract fish continually.
The important point is, if you use them correctly they can be your best friend. They work equally well in saltwater and freshwater hence can be used to catch a wide variety of fish.
4. Focus on Species You Want to Hunt
Fishing is a seasonal activity. Some fish are active in winter, while some can only be seen in summers. Fish are cold-blooded, so different species react differently when the temperature drops in winter. Let us list down some of the fish species that remain active in winters, to help you plan a fishing trip:
Here is the list of 7 fishes that you can catch in winters:
They have physiological adaptations, so they remain active in even the coldest water. They are native to almost all rivers and lakes throughout the north. You can attract them using artificial bait or minnows.
Perch remain aggressive and active even in the frigid waters. Try small ice jigs with blood worms or maggots to attract them.
They have universal distribution. They are well adapted to cold waters. Minnows, small spinners, and small plastics are irresistible or them.
They are one of the most sought-after fish in the Midwest. They are present in lakes and rivers throughout the north. You can attract them by using jig and plastics.
They are also found in summers but are incredibly active in winters as well. Try a tiny jig and a piece of crawler near steep shorelines to attract them.
Trout are genetically susceptible to prefer cold water. You can find them throughout the year in cold creeks and springs.
7. Channel Catfish
They are also very aggressive in winters. Anglers have grown a likeliness towards them. They can be attracted by minnows, blade baits, and jigging spoons.
Carp becomes active in the summer months. The bait you use should be meatier.
Early morning and late evenings are the best times for catfish hunting in summer. Anything that offers shade or some relief from the heat can be their hiding place.
Bass goes deep in summers. A topographical map of the area you are planning to fish will surely help.
Trout can easilybe found in colder waters. Any waters between 50-68 degrees Fahrenheit are best if you want to hunt for them.
You can night fish if you want to catch crappie near the surface. Use bright colored jigs to attract them.
5. Using a faulty or not suitable hook for the job
Here are 6 reasons why using a suitable hook for fishing is important:
There is a definite chance of confusion for an angler because there is a wide variety of hook types and sizes.
There are two main types, the J hook and the circle hook.
For conservation purposes, circle hooks are preferred.
The hook’s size should be based on the size of the bait rather than the size of the fish you will be targeting.
A wrong hook will take more time for the catch.
You might end up with no catch at the end of your fishing trip if you are using the incorrect or faulty hooks.
6. Using a Wrong Fishing Rod
Here are 5 reasons why using a suitable rod for fishing can improve your number of catches:
A good rod will let you know what is going on with your lure.
A good rod will help you with your casting ability.
A good rod will help place your bait exactly where you want it and as quietly as possible..
The inferior quality rod will not hold the weight of a slightly massive fish and snap.
Using the right rod will make your fishing experience fruitful.
4 reasons why having a bad fishing rod can ruin your fishing trip:
The primary function of a fishing rod is to band and provide resistance.
A heavy rod will not bend enough to allow for lighter fish.
A rod that is too light will not work for heavy fish.
Having the right rod will add up to your experience of fishing.
7. Having weak fishing knots
You can’t expect to catch fish if you don’t know how to properly tie a fishing knot. There are two reasons why a knot may fail; breakage and slippage. Breakage of knot occurs when the strain of knot is more than its capacity to hold the fish. Slippage happens when you tie a wrong knot on a wrong line material or tying it not correctly. To avoid knot problems; some tips that you can follow are listed below:
5 Tips about using the correct fishing knot:
Select a knot which is appropriate according to the fishing line. There are different kinds of fishing lines like fluorocarbon or monofilament. Every line material can’t keep every type of knot without slipping. Every line has a knot that works fine on it, so learn about them and use those.
Go for a knot with which you are comfortable. Don’t tie a knot because it is easy to tie or because it is popular in fisher’s community. This is a mistake that many beginners make because they are not aware of how a simple thing, such as a knot, can make a significant difference on a fishing trip.
Select a knot that you can tie again and again. Some knots are strong but very difficult to tie. So, when you are on the sea, you won’t be able to tie the knot again. That is why you should learn some easy yet secure knots to make your job easy and effective.
Practice tying a knot many times before you go on a fishing trip. This is because you can’t expect perfection if you try tying a knot first time when you have the whole fishing trip at stake. Practicing makes perfect, so make sure that you keep practicing to make your knotting skills better.
Don’t strain knots more than the knots can handle. If you are using a line with 20 pounds and tie a knot on 80%, then don’t strain more than 18 pounds because then it can break. Read the guideline about how much the line and knot can hold before using it for fishing.
If you take care of these things when you tie a knot on your fishing line, your knot won’t be weak and won’t slip or break.
7. Not checking the weather forecast
The biggest mistake you can make when it comes to fishing is that you leave for your trip without checking for the weather forecast. Weather can make or break your trip because whichever water you choose to fish on will be affected by weather conditions.
Fishers rely on weather conditions to assess whether or not they will be able to sail in bad weather conditions or weather thy will find fishes to fish them. Because if there is a storm, the fishes do deeper into the seas and oceans to protect themselves, and also, the small boats are at the risk of wreckage in such weather.
8. Using a bare hand to handle fish
All the fishes are slippery by nature. They have a layer of proactive mucous all over their bodies, which protects them from outside diseases and also helps fish heal when they are in the water. So, when you handle the fish with your bare hands, it can slip through your hands. It can cut your hand from any sharp elements of the fish’s body, like its scales or teeth.
Many fishes also have a toxic coating over their bodies, which helps in hunting and protection. These toxins are released when the fish is frightened or whenever it touches something; so, if you are handling it with bare hands, especially as soon as you take it out of the water, it will release those toxins, and you can seriously get hurt.
You won’t know how your body will react to that poison or how deadly that poison is. This is why the best option is to use special fishing gloves to stay protected and get the job done.
Hopefully, this article will help you enjoy your fishing trip to the fullest if you are a beginner. If you are new at fishing, then there is a chance that you make this mistake, so make yourself prepared in advance for any such incident or event. We took all the essential elements of a fishing trip and tried to explain how you can correctly plan the journey and what mistakes you can make. So, now you know how you can have a good fishing trip.
I have been an outdoor activities enthusiast from teenage. I have been going out with my parents on different outdoor activities such as camping and hiking. After moving to a town surrounded by three well known fishing spots, I started fishing and started using all kinds of tricks and equipment to make the most out of each adventure I pursued. Over the years I have been camping outdoor, hiking and following my passion of enjoying life at full.
Few years ago, I started writing about my thoughts, experiments and ideas about outdoor, fishing, hiking and more. This blog is a compilation of that plus tips, ideas and products that can make life more meaningful, enjoyable and a pleasant.
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