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How to Get Started Fishing

How to Get Started Fishing
Read Time: 11 Minutes
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Humanity started fishing as a means for survival, but today, it can be a relaxing hobby during your downtime! But if you’ve never been fishing before, you may be wondering where to start. As experts in the fishing field, we have a breadth of knowledge on everything you need to know to begin your fishing journey, and advanced fishermen may find some useful information here too!

You will find in-depth guides that provide you with information on a variety of topics related to being a beginner when it comes to fishing. First, you’ll need a few things to be able to legally get started, including a fishing license and a boating license if you plan on fishing out on the water. Plus, you may want to learn some basic skills and find out about the best fishing spots. There’s so much to learn, and we want to help you with your new hobby by providing you with information on every aspect of fishing you could possibly need to know!

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Getting a Fishing License

fishing rod on tackle box

If you plan to fish on public property, then you need to have a fishing license. Every state has different requirements for what you will need to get one, and they may offer a variety of licenses, including one day, annual, or lifetime. Most states also offer a couple of ways to get a fishing license, and they are going to a specific location to apply or filling out an application online.

In our guide, you’ll learn when you will need a license to go fishing, how to obtain a license, and how to renew your fishing license once it expires.

Registering Your Boat

boat with fishmaster t-top on the water

Anyone who wants to fish from their boat will need to do two things: get a boating license to legally drive on the water and register your boat with the state. Of course, every state will have different requirements for registering the vessel, and it will depend on the size and type of boat you have too.

In our guide on registering your boat, you’ll learn why you need to register your boat, how registering your vessel is different from having a boating license, and how to renew your registration.

Getting a Boating License

young girl fishing from boat

Getting your boating license is just like getting your driver's license—it allows you to legally control your boat out on the water. Not only will you be able to drive your vessel, you’ll learn important safety information to keep you and your passengers safe, and you’ll know the rules and etiquette of manning this type of vessel out on the water. Plus, you can get some discounts from insurance companies!

Learning Basic Fishing Skills

man holding fish

Fishing isn’t just about having all the licenses you need and a pole. This sport requires skill and knowledge a beginner doesn’t yet have since he or she is just starting to learn about it.

It’s important to learn the basics with any new hobby, and fishing is no exception. You’ll need to know how to bait a hook and what type of bait is best for the type of fish you’re trying to catch. After you learn about bait, you’ll need to find out more about how to cast a reel properly and what kind of techniques are best for different types of fishing. Once you have a fish on your rod, you’ll need to know how to land it. And, of course, persistence and patience are key basics in fishing.

Learning Where You Should Fish

man fishing at sunset

Once you’ve learned the basic skills necessary to start fishing, you’ll want to get out there and put them into practice! There are probably a ton of bodies of water around you, so how do you decide where the best place to fish is?

First, you’ll want to determine if you will be fishing in freshwater or saltwater. Then, you can break down options even further. Most freshwater fishing takes place in lakes, rivers, and streams, while saltwater fishing could be offshore, from the surf, or in the flats. Learn more about the benefits of each area in our best places to go fishing guide.

Getting the Right Fishing Gear

two men walking to fishing boat

Another important thing a beginner fisherman will need to learn about is getting the right type of gear for the type of fishing you want to get into. It’s important to know what type of equipment you need so you are fully prepared.

Of course, you need to make sure you have the right bait for the type of fish you’re looking to catch. You’ll also want to have proper rods and reels for the type of fishing you’re doing. Once you have this kind of equipment sorted, you’ll want to make sure you have the right clothing. Then, if you’ll be on a boat, you’ll want to make sure you have rod and reel holders, shade for sunny days, and more.

Finding Your Fishing Style

man's hand holding fishing rod and reel

If you’ve done any type of research on fishing, you’ll quickly learn there’s more than one way to fish. The best type of fishing style for you will depend on your interests, where you live, and the type of fish you want to catch. The season and weather also play a large role in deciding where to fish and when to go fishing to reel in your desired fish.

Learning about the most popular fishing styles can help you narrow down what kind of fishing you will want to try. Plus, you might find more than one method that interests you!

Prepping Your Boat for Fishing

If you plan on fishing from your boat, you’ll want to be as prepared as possible when you’re out on the water. There are quite a few accessories you can add to your vessel to make fishing easier and more enjoyable.

fishmaster pro series leaning post

One feature that will enhance your experience fishing from your boat is a leaning post. This is a type of seating that is installed on center console boats in place of traditional helm seating to provide more comfort and make it easier to maneuver on the boat. Find out more about why a leaning post is a great addition to your boat in our buying guide.

fishmaster casting platform

Another accessory that could truly enhance your fishing experience is a casting platform. Higher elevation allows fishermen to gain more visibility to see fish in the water and keep an eye out for indicators that there are fish nearby. There are several factors to consider which type of casting platform would work best for you and your boat, and you can learn all about them in our guide.

fishmaster original t-top

Sunny days are some of the best days to head out on the water to go fishing, but you don’t want to have the sun wearing down on you all day. Take some of the heat off your back by adding a t-top to your boat. A t-top provides you with instant shade to keep you cool all day while you’re out on the water, and, for added sun protection consider adding a shade extension. Learn how to install a Fishmaster t-top on your boat so you can stay cool while you’re fishing from your boat.

fishmaster rigging bracket with hooks and lures

If you really want to improve your fishing game on your boat, then there are a few accessories that will help you out the most. A rocket launcher holds even more rods and reels and keeps them ready to go with different rigs and lures. Any seasoned fisherman will also swear by a rod safety strap. You don’t want to lose a new or expensive rod in the water, and these straps will keep them in place on your boat. Another accessory that will keep your boat organized and safe is a hook and rig holder. You can store all kinds of accessories in this holder and keep them out of seats and in a safe place.

Once you’ve gotten the right gear and learned more about fishing, you’re ready to head out and put it all into practice! While being prepared with information and accessories will get your started on this new adventure, there’s nothing quite like going out and experiencing it first hand that will make you a better fisherman!

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