Freshwater Fishing Tips For Beginners

Freshwater Fishing Tips For Beginners

As an adventurous person, my visits to my local bays, ponds, estuaries, and rivers have always created mixed emotions. I’ve often found myself wondering how my life would be if I ventured into fishing as a profession. I have also wondered how much I could make if I trained newcomers the ins and outs of efficient freshwater fishing. Unfortunately, I am not a professional angler but only a well-versed freshwater fishing hobbyist and fanatic always ready to learn. I know the pain of spending hours in your favorite fishing spot in vain. I too understand what it feels like to catch a bucket of fish in short order. Whichever your skill level or motivations, these freshwater fishing tips for beginners are the keys to successful freshwater fishing.

Dress for the Occasion 

It is quite cool to walk around the shores of your favorite fishing joint dressed in casual shorts alongside branded t-shirts. But have you ever asked yourself if such a dressing code is safe for a freshwater fishing adventure? Of course, I know you haven’t. According to the experts, proper dressing facilitates a successful fishing endeavor. The recommended dressing for fishing during hot weather seasons is a thin breathable T-shirt and lightweight comfortable shorts. The shoes or sandals should fit your feet comfortably to ease movements. A pair of sunglasses and a hat will give you optimal protection against the scorching hot sun. Ensure the hat is comfortable and breathable and the sunglasses allow for clear visibility. During the cold weather, dress in a t-shirt and long-sleeve top. You may as well dress in a fleece or wool sweater to keep yourself warm. An insulated jacket, pair of warm leggings and long underwear will as well be a great addition. The winter sun can affect your visibility and so consider wearing polarized sunglasses to keep your eyes safe. A pair of gloves will keep your hands safe from hypothermia and frostbite as well as keep your hands dry.

Get the Right Fishing Equipment and Accessories 

Freshwater fishing requires proper use of a rod and reel suited for your skill level. There are tons of fishing rod and reel brands, which vary in features, design, and complexity. But there are two main types available, which are spinning and baitcasting rods. The two have their reel attached in different positions. The spinning rod has its reel attached to the bottom area while the baitcasting rod’s reel is attached to its top. Beginners into freshwater fishing are advised to use a spinning rod and reel as the simple setup aids streamline the learning curve. A spinning rod and reel have a simple set-up that allows for easy casting, an essential skill you need to be successful in freshwater fishing. A baitcasting set-up is a bit complex for a beginner as it increases in making mistakes and lengthens the learning curve.

Best Spinning Rod for Beginners 

spinning fishing rods Spinning rods are simply thin and long metallic bars with guide rings attached to the bottom area. They’re usually 5 to 9 feet long. Spinning rods of 6 foot 6 inches long are the most versatile and reliable options for beginners. Ensure the spinning rod you choose is flexible and versatile if you want to be making longer casts.  Freshwater spinning rods are designed flexible enough to make different casts and catch different types of fishes. As a beginner, a medium-action spinning rod is the perfect one since it curves near its middle area which eases your casting and learning curve. As a novice angler, you need a spinning rod that has the right power for your skill level. The rod you choose should have the best-suited power rating for the kind of fishes you intend to catch.  You can easily tell the power rating of a spinning rod by checking the weight ratings of its line and lure. A medium-power spinning rod is an ideal choice for novice anglers as it complements the action and allows for optimal casting.

Get the Right Spinning Reel 

Whether doing it as a hobby or profession, freshwater fishing should be fun. Why then should you strain yourself dealing with a tangled line? Consider matching your spinning rod with a well-suited spinning reel to make your fishing adventures funnier. Spinning reels have an open-faced design so they help increase the visibility of your fishing line. As a beginner angler, you have to identify a spinning reel that’s lightweight and well-rounded for catching multiple fish species. You can tell the reel size by checking the specifications printed on its label or the box it comes with.  Reels with smaller ratings are smaller while those with bigger ratings are bigger in size. Check the gear ratio of your reel and get one rated for anglers with your skill level. The gear ratio determines the reel’s spinning speed and so for a beginner, a reel with a medium gear ratio will be a good choice. spinning reel size matters

Good Fishing Line and Hook

There are two common types of fishing lines beginner anglers can use.  The monofilament lines stretch more and are perfectly suited for beginners. The braid fishing lines come either as mono or bite. The braid bites are light and thin but are not as versatile and easy to handle as the brain mono fishing lines. As for the hooks, they come in many different configurations and sizes. There are options such as treble, double and single hooks all of which are suitable for use by users with different skill levels to catch different fish species.

Get The Right Fish Lures 

Novice anglers are spoiled with choices when it comes to fish lures. They have the option of artificial lures that resemble baitfish and come in multiple sizes and types. There are also spinning lures designed to be used together with spinning reels and rods. Buyers can as well opt for soft plastics, which come in multiple colors and sizes and similar to spinning lures.

Know Where To Go Fishing 

Freshwater fishing is divided into five common types.  These categories vary based on the water body and the kind of fish one wants to catch.  As a novice, any of these freshwater fishing methods can work for you depending on your skill level and the equipment you have ready.
  • Lake fishing—lakes are the most popular freshwater body sources. Lake fishing is strongly recommended for beginners as lakes are small enough to allow for easy identification of the fish.
  • Lake-and-pond fishing—these freshwater structures have limited water and the fish inside can be easily controlled.
  • Pond fishing—ponds as well make good freshwater fishing spots. Ponds have limited spacing and water, and the fish inside can be controlled with ease.
  • Flowages and reservoirs—fishing in these freshwater spots require you get permission from the responsible bodies.  There are only one or two fish species in these bodies hence the strict guidelines.
  • River fishing—Rivers are the most common spots for freshwater fishing. Both professionals and novices can have fun fishing in these spots, which offer an unlimited choice of fish species and fishing options.

Know Which Fishing Method to Use 

Once you’re dressed for the occasion, you’ve got the right equipment and know where to go fishing, you should identify the best fishing method. You need to know which of the many fishing techniques available will add fun and success to your fishing endeavors. casting for walleye

Fishing On A Boat 

Regardless of where you decide to fish, a boat can lessen the work and make fishing fun. Exploring your favorite freshwater body on a boat enables you to cover more surface area, which increases your odds of catching bigger and fatter fishes. There are many types of boats designed to be used in different kinds of water.  Beginners can use johnboats, canoes, and skiffs as they allow for easy navigation of small lakes and rivers with limited water. If fishing in bigger water bodies, you’ll need more powerful sportfishing boats or V-hulls.

Trolling On a Boat 

Attaching baits and lures behind a boat is another fun way to cover more water while fishing. Trolling is the perfect freshwater fishing technique to use when catching fish species that feed on other fishes. Downrigging is the most common trolling technique that aids guarantee a higher level of fun and success. Downrigging involves attaching a lure and line on a cannonball and winch to enable you to discover fishes 200 feet deep into the water body. For shallower bodies of water, planer boards make walleye fishing much easier when trolling.

Still Fishing 

Still fishing is the oldest and easiest method of angling. This form of angling involves the use of a reel and rod, weighted line, baited hook, and bobble.  It’s the most basic technique of angling which gives novice fishers an opportunity to learn the basics of fishing and advance skill-wise over time. The good thing about still fishing is that it does not require the use of technical skills or special equipment and anyone regardless of their skill level can use to hunt different fish species. One of my favorite still fishing approaches is catching walleye from shore. still fishing for walleyes

Pitching and Flipping Fishing 

Flipping and pitching talk about the same thing. Flipping involves placing a lure in a specific position where there is minimal to no disturbance. This fishing technique is commonly used to catch fish in dirty water and it mostly involves using stationary bait.  In pitching, you have to release a lure from your hand using an underhand pitching movement while in flipping, you need to release a short line while feeding the line back by raising and lowering the rod.

Choose The Right Fishing Time and Season 

The success of any fishing trip is measured in terms of the size of the catch. And the size of the catch is directly proportional to the time you go on the fishing trip. If you visit your favorite fishing spot on the wrong season or time, you will obviously be making a fool of yourself.

Best Time of the Day to Go Fishing 

In the 24 hours of the day, you only have the option of deciding whether to go fishing during the day or at night.  If fishing as a hobbyist or a novice, it’s advisable you do it during the day hours. During the day, the water is warm and since fishes are cold-blooded and would want to have a taste of the hot water, they will move closer to the top of the water, which means you are likely to get a bigger catch. Nights with moonlight are also great fishing moments for beginners since fishes are usually closer to the top of the water.

Season Of the Year 

Fishing is an all-year activity and so you can fish any season of the year.  However, some seasons of the year might prove to be more fruitful than others. Summer is the most promising season to be alive and energetic ready for thrilling angling. Most freshwater fishes live on insects and small fishes, which are mostly found at the top of the water. Spring season is not a bad time to try your luck on fishing, though it may not be as fruitful as the summer season. In the fall season, it’s impossible to tell how a fishing trip to the rivers and lakes will be. You can be lucky enough to get a good catch or spend a whole day in pain. Winter is never a good month for anglers. There is almost totally nothing to catch during winter. The only lucky anglers who can have great moments angling in winter are those who live in areas with frozen lakes as they can use ice fishing with fishing rods and fish finders.


Angling is one of the funniest and most enjoyable recreational activities. The success of any angling activity depends on a whole lot of things. However, the experience and skill level of the angler alongside their chosen fishing spots and selected fishing equipment are the key determining factors. In the article above, you will learn the tips and tricks to use to increase your catch as a novice angler. You will also know about the best equipment and techniques to use so you can boost the success of your angling endeavors.  Take your time to learn and master the art and uncover the secrets the professionals use to get bigger catches. Good luck and happy fishing!