River Fishing For Beginners
Fishing is one of those outdoor activities that many people don’t quite understand. For them, fishing is a waste of time because there are more instances when you go home empty-handed than when you have a catch to show. But fishing is more than catching fish; it’s about enjoying a laugh or two with your dad, uncle, or best buddy. It’s about learning how to put up a line on your reel and how to manipulate this to pull in the big catch and catch it with your fishing net. Fishing is about appreciating that aquatic life form in your hands before you put it back in the water. And if you have this inclination to try out fishing for the first time, there’s no better place to start enjoying the activity than in a river. Here is a beginner’s guide to get you up and running on river fishing. So put on your fishing shirt and fishing shoes and let’s start!
What You Need
Let us first start with the things you will need to be on your way to enjoying river fishing. They are the following:
State Fishing License
The first requirement is vital as states have their respective wildlife conservation program. You cannot go fishing without such a license. This piece of document comes in different types with different age requirements. The good thing is that you can apply for your state fishing license via online services.
Fishing Rod and Reel
There are two basic types of rod and reel setups you can use for river fishing. You can pick a setup for spincasting. These are very easy to cast and inexpensive. They are ideal for young kids. The spinning rod and reel setup is almost similar to spincasting except that the reel is underneath the fishing rod.
Monofilament fishing lines are ideal for beginners as it is an all-purpose line. You need to check the strength of the line, often coming in pound- or kilogram-test. The higher the number, the stronger is the fishing line. For beginners, a 4- to 12- pound-test is enough.
For river fishing, you can for single barbless hooks. If your fishing hook comes with a barb, you can pinch this off using a pair of fishing pliers. Make sure they are all organized in your tackle box or fishing backpack.
Lures Or Baits
Depending on the fish you aim to catch, you will need either a fishing lure or bait. There are some fish species that can eat almost anything while there are also those that have more affinity for baits than lures and vice versa. A bait can be natural or artificial and it mimics a fish’ natural food. Lures, on the other hand, simulate the movement of a fish’s natural prey. A fishing vest will come in handy here because of the pockets you can use to stor all the baits in.
Weights And Floats
Weights allow you to sink your lure or bait deeper where the fish are. These also allow you to cast your line farther. Floats or fishing bobbers allow for the hook to remain deep in the river. They also allow you to place your line where the fish are congregating.
Best Fish for Beginners to Catch
Since you’re a relative newbie to the world of river fishing, don’t expect to reel in the rare and exotic swimmers of the river deep yet. What you need to aim for are common swimmers to give you the feel and experience of reeling in a catch. It is also important to look for fish that eat almost anything so you won’t have issues picking the right bait or lure. Here are some of the best fish that beginners can reel in.
One of the best things about these fish is that they tend to eat almost anything. Whatever bait or lure you use, you can expect to catch them. They are also very common and are weak fighters. Best of all, they tire very fast. A few turns of your reel and the fish is already in your hands.
Like Burbot, Sunfish are very easy to catch since they eat almost anything. You will have no issues choosing the bait or lure for your fishing line. However, owing to their size, it is best to use smaller baits and lures.
These fish come in different types and sizes. Aim for the rainbow or brown trout as they are very common. They can also eat almost anything, but be careful. This fish has the reputation for being so clever. You’ll have to experiment with the type of bait to use.
Despite their reputation for being aggressive, bass is a favorite since they have this propensity to pursue the bait. This means you will need to both flex your arm muscles and use your brain in choosing the right bait.
Unlike bass, perch can target a wider variety of baits to make the catch easier. The only downside is that this fish is invasive. You will never reel one into your boat without getting into a fight with this fish.
The crappie has many similarities to the perch. They are aggressive and invasive so you can expect that it will put up a good fight. The good news is that once you reel one into your boat, you will be catching several others since crappie swim in schools.
Other Things You Need to Know
As a beginning river angler, you will also need to learn how to put a fishing line into the reel. The good news is that there are plenty of online videos that can show you how. You will also need to learn how to put a bait into your fishing hook. This is pretty easy. If you can pierce a worm with a hook, then you can bait almost anything onto your hook.
Casting your line is a different matter. There are resources that can help you obtain the basic skills of spincasting. What you also need to learn is how to remove the hook from the fish so you can release it back into the water. This is why it is important to use a barbless fishing hook so you can ensure the fish survives.
There are many fascinating aspects of river fishing that many do not know of. This guide is not complete, but it sure can introduce you to the basics.