Fishing is an exciting and fun hobby. However, to an inexperienced angler, it can be rather intimidating. Without the proper equipment and knowledge, it can result in a long, boring, day. I’ve gathered some fishing tips to get you started on a fun adventure out on (or near) the water.
First Time Fishing Tips
The first thing you’re going to need is a Florida Fishing License. A recreational fishing license is required for residents and nonresidents of Florida. While you can obtain one online, I recommend using this opportunity to stop by a bait and tackle shop. This will offer an excellent opportunity to get some tips and pointers from the local fishing community. Be sure to ask questions. We’re all beginners at some point in our lives. You’ll find Anglers are more than eager to swap stories and give advice.
However, don’t expect them to share their favorite fishing spots. They’ll more likely point you in a general direction of good locations to practice your casting. Before you leave with your newly acquired knowledge and fishing license, don’t forget to pick up a fishing regulations pamphlet. This will give you insight on length requirements, in addition to what fish are currently in season. Also, remember there is a huge difference between Saltwater Fishing Regulations and Freshwater Fishing Regulations. When in doubt, ask questions!
Next task is to acquire your supplies. This mostly consists of a rod/reel combo and tackle. Fortunately, you can easily find a good quality rod and reel combination without having to invest a ton of money. In fact, I recommend you holding off on purchasing an expensive rod and reel until you’re well-versed in the local waters and you know exactly what kind of fishing you will be doing. You may find that you enjoy fishing for smaller fish in brackish water over angling for the big guys out over the deep seas. Hold off on those big purchases until you’ve found your niche. Same rule goes for your tackle. You don’t need to go out and spend $500 on a tackle box and supplies. Truthfully, all you’ll really need is:
- Simple tackle box to keep all your supplies in one place and easily accessible.
- A net to assist in getting the fish out of the water and close to you without snapping your line
- Fishing Line
- A bobber, if you’re not at ease using the method of paying attention to tugs/strikes on your line
- Lures or live bait
- Line cutters (nail clippers are usually the easiest and quickest way to cut fishing line)
- Needle-nose pliers
- First Aid Kit (remember those hooks can be pesky)
- Life vest if you’re out on the water
Once you’ve put these supplies together, you may want to consider sunscreen, bug spray, a hat, sunglasses, and a long sleeve lightweight shirt to offer you protection from the sun. Though hard to believe, some of the worst sunburns happen on overcast days. Also, it’s best to always fish with a companion. This not only ensures you’ll have assistance with reeling in any catches, but provides safety, as well.
Next, you’ll need to know your knots. Learning some simple knot tying will ensure you don’t lose a fish to your hook coming off your line. Spend a few minutes practicing these knots with your fishing line. It’s different than tying knots with rope or string. Once you’ve got this down pat, practice some casting. There are different techniques to it. Find the one that’s right for you.
The Importance of the Weather
Check the weather before heading out. Most anglers agree that overcast days usually deliver the best results. However, you’ll want to avoid stormy or rough waters. So, be sure to check your local radar before heading out with your gear.
Practice, Practice, and Practice
Don’t expect too much from yourself the first few times you attempt to fish. Remember, practice makes perfect. The more time you’ll spend out on/near the water, the more experience you’ll gain. Your goal is to learn and let it become second nature to you. Walk the piers and talk to the locals. Stop by those bait and tackle stores. Ask questions. Most of all, relax and have fun! That’s really what it is all about!