My grandpa taught me how to fish when I was three so you know he kept it simple. Actually, it is simple! Get up, get out and go fish!

First determine your method of fishing:

·      Fresh water recreational fishing (takes place on a lake, stream or pond, using hand held method)

·      Fly fishing (takes place in a river or stream where there’s moving water and you’re standing in it!)

·      Hand held fishing a.k.a Angling  (usually from a pier or dock, on land, off shore or small boat variety of waters)

·      Trolling (slow moving boat using multiple lures to catch as you “troll”- like strolling, but while fishing)

·      Salt water fishing (right from the ocean beach, chartered or private boat in open waters)

·      Noodling (term used when fishing for catfish- that’s a whole other How-to!)

·      Ice fishing (self-explanatory!)

·      Spear fishing (this one is so advanced for me, I’ve yet to try it)

·      Trap and Pot fishing…..

Ok, wait, we said let’s keep it simple! Today we’re just focusing on fresh water recreational fishing.

Let’s gather some essential gear:

·       Fishing License  (purchased annually, online or at your local sporting goods stores and other places)

·       Fishing rod (often referred to as a “pole”)

·       Reel (the contraption that contains and releases the fishing line (string) weight& reel design is based on method and species your fishing

·       Variety of Hooks, jigs, lures, weights, bobbers, sinkers

·       Plastic worms (great for bass fishing)

·       Extra line (weight of the line is determined by WHAT your fishing for)

·        Needle nose pliers and clippers (manicure clip type)

·       Small first aid kit & sunscreen

·        Tackle box for organizing and storage

·        Don’t forget your Hat! (keeps the hooks out of your hair!)

·        Empty bucket (5 gallon works great)

·        Optional Hand net (  ¼” tight netting with adjustable handle is typical and economical)

Before you run out and buy everything fishing related, try-before-you-buy. Borrow equipment from friends and see what you like. This is how I found my easy to use Ugly Stik ®. After I borrowed several rods and tried others, I decided on my “Ugly” for basic fresh water recreational fishing of my favorite public park dock. It's been trusty and loyal gear! I also enjoy fly fishing and there is some other gear to consider for that but that's a topic for another article. For now I’ll stick to basics…fishing in shorts and a tank top at the local park!

Get started…..

A great place to start out is your local public land and water sources. Most cities and towns have plenty of stocked ponds and public fishing areas within the regional or state maintained park systems.

·        Your current fishing license MUST be on you at all times.

·        Each respective park with have its own rules and regulation for fishing times.  (Know the rules and check for updates each year.)

    For example, each state and each park has either catch/release opportunities, minimum weight and length rules or maximum number of catch per day.  

Find a quiet spot to set up and be respectful to those that arrived before you. Recreation fishing is supposed to be fun and relaxing. Be mindful there may be some serious sportsmen amongst you and they won’t want to be disturbed. Once you’ve planted yourself into a quiet scenic spot, spread out and get organized.

1)     Tie on your lures, hooks, bobbers (fresh water here)

2)     Bait your hook(worm, night crawler, minnow, or even hot dog)

3)     Cast out that line! (watch for our HOW-TO post on: lines, lures and hooks to come soon)

               With a firm grip on your reel, push down the release button to let slack from your reel, then gently put rod      behind and over your shoulder, with a nice snap of the arm and wrist, use forward motion to throw out your line (cast) DON’T LET GO! Then a little twist of the reel handle, engages the reel to get taut once a fish is biting

4)     Be patient, quietly watch, and wait for a little splish-splash or a jerk of the line that indicates YOU’VE HOOKED A FISH!

NOW WHAT?....gently reel it in, slowly turning the reel handle, let it swim around, reel it in more, then bring your net to the fish and scoop it up!

5)     Set down your rod with the fish still attached

6)     Using one rubber gloved hand, hold the fish firmly in the center of the body, behind the head

7)     Using the other hand to extract the hook (needle nose pliers works great here)

8)     Either gently release the fish back into the water as soon as possible

9)     OR   place unhooked fish  in your bucket (bucket should be pre-filled half way using the water from which you are fishing from)

10)  Take home your fish, clean it and cook it right away or freeze till ready to cook ( always label and date your catch, store in freezer bag with guts removed)

Cleaning / prep your fish for eating / storage…

Using a sharp fillet knife, rest your fish on a stable surface, place your knife under the fish, cutting from tail to head, open up the fish and clean out the entrails. Then run the knife between the meat and the bones and carefully “fillet” the fish. It's ok to keep the skin unscaled if you plan on putting the entire fish in the frying pan or on the grill. You don’t want eat scaled fish skin though. I like to cook it with the head and tail still on. Wash your hands thoroughly after cleaning fish and before cooking. There are lots of great recipes out there for your fresh catch!

My family loves Bass, Rainbow Trout, and Perch! Time for YOU to ENJOY the tender meat and the nutrients it has to offer! Its GREAT knowing where your food comes from! YOU DID IT!! Be sure to KISS your first fish!!! Take pictures too! Share this experience with your family and friends.

So now that you know how to do it, it’s time to tell everyone that YOU’RE GONE FISHING!!!



Sherri R. Trivisonno

Products Expert, Paulich Specialty Company

Leadership Team Member A Girl & A Gun Women’s Shooting League

Volunteer Range Safety officer,  Hunter, Outdoor Sportswoman

ReelCamo Girl Team Member


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 ReelCamo Girl is a lifestyle brand focused on ladies who love the outdoors. There is a growing need for a place for women to share  their outdoor experiences, as well as an interest in clean eating and  self-sufficiency. Through our website and social media networks, we  offer a safe place where the ladies can share their pictures, stories, wild  game and fish recipes, and news articles about conservation and  hunting perspectives.

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