Fishing is one of the last places on Earth where you can get away and be left alone with your thoughts, far from the crowds and noise. Fishing has always been a great activity for professionals to test their gear and amateurs to enjoy some casual fun.

There is a lot to know before fishing so it is important to do your research. As with any sporting activity, no matter how casual it is, you still want to have fun and do well. Catching a fish is the ultimate goal after all, so this guide will give you the heads up on the essential knowledge to make your next fishing outing worthwhile.

Picking Your Location

Fishing is all about location. Different species of the fish breed, live, and migrate to different areas based on all sorts of factors. Streams, rivers, lakes, ponds, or large open water like oceans, and other bodies of water will determine the size and species of fish you can catch, which will also affect what lures, line, or rods to bring as well. Choosing your location is the first thing you should plan out when fishing. It is a good idea to bring a map or GPS so you do not get lost on any unfamiliar bodies of water or trek too far into the woods to find a good fishing spot.

Choosing What Fish to Find

The fish you want to catch are equally as important because some fish are more for a game while others might be something you would like to catch and keep to eat later. There are all kinds of species of fish, they are found in different areas, and they require different gear. Using shrimp as bait or jigs are good for fish like flounder, and the tips for flounder fishing vary compared to others. Muskies are bigger, much stronger fish that lurk in weeds, which means you have to change up your game. Picking the fish you want to go after will help you narrow down your gear you bring, the location to search for, and your casting and reeling techniques.

What Gear to Bring

Fishing is more about technique and patience then gear, and this is evident in the fact that some people can still fish effectively with bows and even bare hands. It takes a lot of skill to get to that level, but the point is that gear should not be the only thing to focus on. Still, the right equipment can make any fishing outing much easier. As mentioned, the right lures or strength line can make catching certain species of fish much easier than using a child’s rod to pull in a 20lb fish. Fishfinders are great for patrolling bodies of water to get a more accurate map of the water so you can determine the depth so you know what fish might be lurking below the surface. Choosing the right test strength line for your fishing needs is always good, extra lures, pliers, gloves for handling the fish, net for a similar purpose, and a cooler if you do not have a wet storage compartment with a water pump on your boat. Having the right tools will not guarantee success, but it will make it easier.

When to Go Fishing

Fishing is all about timing, from the moment you cast for the time you choose to put the boat in the water or head out to start reeling them in. Choosing the right time of day is important for finding fish. Some of the best times for freshwater fishing are during light rain because the water is colder on surface temperature so they will be more active. They will usually avoid hot, midday sun for this reason so some of the best times for fishing are universally accepted as early morning around sunrise, and late evening before dusk. Summer fishing is much easier because the early morning is brisk but not cold, whereas fall can be quite cold, yet both equally rewarding. Ice fishing requires a lot of patience but should be done all day long to make the day(s) worth of effort worth it. Generally speaking, early morning and late evening are the peak times to go fishing for most fish.

Fishing for some is an art, for some, it is a sport, a casual activity, and for many, it is all of the above. The point is that fishing has a lot of rules and tips that go along with specifics. The general idea of fishing is quite simple and requires little explanation, but it never hurts to have a simple guide and that is what these tips hope to do for you.