Fishing is one of the most popular recreational sports in America — right behind bowling. It’s cathartic, fun, relaxing, and when you go fishing with friends can be a great bonding experience. But with all of the different lakes, streams, oceans, baits, rods, and reels, it can be a bit overwhelming to get started. Never fear! We’re here to help with this handy Cheat Sheet guide to fishing.
Step 1: Make a plan
Figure out what fish you are going to be targeting. A 500-pound marlin and a 2.5-pound largemouth bass are usually fished with different bait, and you’ll need to know which you’d like to catch before you get out on the water. Find an appropriate rod and reel, and research the best baits for your target.
Step 2: Find your body of water
Once you figure out which fish you’re going to target, you’ll need to find a place to catch them. If you’ve decided to fish for bass, find a nearby bass lake by checking fishing reports. You’ll need to make sure shore fishing is an option, unless you have a boat.
Step 3: Get your gear
Research the best baits for the species you are targeting by reading up on fishing blogs that offer tips and tricks. You’ll want to find out what works based on the time of year, weather, and area you’ll be fishing. From there, you can purchase baits based on the species you are targeting.
Step 4: Get to fishing!
For all the research and development that seems to go into fishing, it’s really about getting out on the water and trying different things. Your buddy may catch a boatload of fish with a bait you’ve never heard of, and bam! You both look like geniuses when you tell everyone what you were catching them with. Get out on the water, rig up your pole, and catch some fish.
Bonus: Step 5: Take pictures
Even those who don’t know much about fishing know that fishermen tend to exaggerate their tales. If you want people to believe you caught a 9-pound trout, you’re going to have to hold your catch up and have your buddy take a picture! That way you’ll have proof you can pull out at any time.
This post was created in partnership with Mystery Tackle Box. Mystery Tackle Box is a monthly subscription service introducing both beginner and expert anglers to new fishing lures and tackle. Mystery Tackle Box offers a fun way to discover new baits and learn more about fishing.