12 Fishing Tips and Tricks You Wish You Knew Sooner in Life


If you are thinking about trying your hand at fishing, then you are in luck! Below is a list of 12 fishing tips and tricks that will help any beginner fisherman ensure a successful fishing trip:

Fishing Tip #1: When and Where To Fish

From ponds, lakes, and reservoirs, to rivers and streams, you can fish essentially anywhere there is a large body of water.

Of course, the trick is finding where the fish are biting!

While it varies from region, type of fish, and time of year, there are a few key spots to look for no matter where you are fishing. Fish like to gather by any cover or structure, such as weeds, rocks, docks, and trees.

Picking the right time to go fishing plays a large factor in how successful you will be. Typically early morning, before the sunrise, and evenings are when the fish are hungry.

If fishing by rivers or streams, look for the point where two streams converge, this it the area fish tend to gather. If fishing on a lake and the wind is blowing, head to where the waves are crashing.

The fish will naturally flow towards that direction.

Fishing Tip #2: Check the Weather

Be sure to check the weather report before heading out.

One would think a beautiful, sunny day would be the perfect time to go, when actually overcast skies, wind, or rainy days are the best time to go fishing. The fish are more active during that time.

Fishing Tip #3: What To Wear While Fishing

Wear whatever makes you comfortable. Remember, fishing is an all day hobby. Be smart about what you wear.

If you plan on going on a warm day, wear shorts and a light weight shirt. If fishing on a cooler day, wear pants and awindbreaker jacket.

There will be times you will have to get wet, so wearing boots is an essential, as well as wearing a hat and polarized sunglasses.

Fishing is a hobby that involves a lot of down time. Sitting by the water, the sun reflecting off the water can take a toll on you, so be sure to have proper protection.

Fishing Tip #4: Bug Spray And Sunscreen

Some more essentials to bring along on a fishing trip are bug spray and sunscreen.

Believe it or not, you can still get sunburn on a overcast day! Also, bugs love to hang out around the water, especially mosquitos.

Bug spray and sunscreen will become your best friend!

Fishing Tip #5: Patience Grasshopper

If you are impatient, this is not the hobby for you. Expect a lot of sitting and waiting.

When you cast the line, the fish will be startled at first. Do not expect the fish to be biting right away.

Give it at least 20 minutes, and if there are no fish touching the bait, you can experiment in various ways until you get a bite.

Cast in another area or reel in the bait to give the fish the impression that your bait is alive.

Keep a close watch for any fishing line movement; a quick hard tug is the sign you hooked a fish!

Fishing Tip #6: Fishing License

One of the most important items a fisherman can carry is their fishing license. Acquiring a fishing license can be easy and affordable.

Fishing rules and regulations vary by state, so it is important to check with the Department of Natural Resources.

In most states, you need a fishing license for public reservoirs, lakes, rivers, and streams. The average license cost about $25 and can be purchased online. You can purchase a daily, short-term, annual, or lifetime pass.

In addition, most states do not require fishing license for kids under the age of 16 years-old.

Fishing Tip #7: Fishing Bait and Lures

There are a vast array of different baits for different types of fish.

For bass fishing, you could use spinner baits; they come in different sizes and colors.

Then there are the ever so popular plastic worm, as well as crank baits which resemble little fish.

For bigger fish such as pike or muskie, you should use different kinds of larger lures. They are heavy gage, heavy pieces of steel holding two lures together.

And of course you have the typical baits, the bobbers, which you would put worms in to catch panfish or catfish.

Fishing Tip #8: Proper Fishing Equipment 

For simple fishing off a dock, rowboat, or shoreline, you need a basic fishing set that includes a rod, reel, line and hooks.

Tackle boxes are ideal for carrying spare small equipment like sharp hooks, lures, extra line and a knife.

Fill your tackle box with basic tools like a flashlight, adjustable wrench, pliers, first aid supplies, spare hooks, rod tips, glue stick, and a lighter.

Fishing Tip #9: Choosing a Fishing Rod

When it comes to fishing rods, there are many different makes and models. Make sure that you keep a few basic things in mind when selecting a fishing rod.

Fishing rods are offered in two different materials, graphite rod or fiberglass rod.

Graphite rods are a lot stiffer and more sensitive. You would want to use a graphite rod if you were using live bait or anything settled that you need to detect a hit.

If you were using crank bait, the sensitivity is not required, and fiberglass would be your best bet.

Rods come in one-piece or two-piece. One piece rods are much stronger, sensitive, and durable. Two-piece rods, you lose that strength and sensitivity, but you would pick up the convenience of it.

Next thing to consider, a fast-tip or a slow-tip fishing rod. A fast-tip simply means the rod is bending at the tip. On the other hand, a slow-tip means the rod is bending from the tip of the rod to the base of the rod. You will want a fast-tip rod when fishing with live bait and a slow-tip rod when using crank baits.

Another thing to keep in mind when it comes to fishing rods is the rod action. They will be labeled whether they are a medium action rod, light action rod, medium heavy rod, or heavy rod.

A medium-action rod would be good for beginners. It can be used for smaller and bigger fish.

Light-action rod should only be used for panfish because it lacks in backbone, which you would need for larger fish.

Fishing Tip #10: Choosing Fishing Line and Hook

The smaller the lines and hooks, the better the chances of fish’s bites.

You should match the proper type of line to the pole you have. If you have a rigid pole, you might want to change strong test line. If you got a loose pole, use a light gauge.

When fishing, your hook needs to fit the specific fish you want to catch.

When choosing hooks, consider hooks that fit many kinds of fish, sizes from 8 – 5/0. When shopping for hooks, consider index of hook sizes such as 1/0, 1, 2/0, 2, 4, or 6.

Fishing Tip #11: Hooked A Fish

When you feel the line is taken or feel a tug on your line, start setting your hook.

Simply give the fishing rod a firm and quick jerk backward.

If the fish is on the line, it will immediately fights back. Pull the fish in by vertically lifting the rod and simultaneously reeling. Keep your line tight.

Then, use your arms to pull the fish toward you.

By keeping tension on the line you will ensure that the hook remains in the mouth of the fish.

Fishing Tip #12: Keep or Release the Fish

When you get a fish reeled in, bring that fish in with your net.

First, you carefully catch your fish in your net. Be wary of the sharp hook and sharp spines of the fish. Many organizations protect species of fish and they don’t allow you to catch any fish or bring them to the edge of being endangered.

When you catch a fish, measure that fish by following certain standards. If that fish is small, release it back into the water.

Regardless of releasing or keeping fish, back the hook out gently so that the fish is saved from bleeding and it will increase its chances of survival.

See Big R’s Fishing Department for discount prices on rods, hooks, lures, reels, lines, plastics, and more!

About Big R

Bill and Pat Crabtree originated the Illinois Big R Stores in 1964 opening the first store in Watseka, Illinois. To date 20 stores have been opened in Illinois and Indiana; 2 stores in Ohio and 1 store in Wisconsin and we are still proud to be family-owned and operated. Our 12 Illinois stores are located in Watseka, Gibson City, Danville, Tilton, Pontiac, Morris, Pekin, Washington, Rochelle, Homer Glen, Streator and McHenry. Our 8 Indiana stores are located in Warsaw, 2 locations in Elkhart, Rochester, Wabash, Crawfordsville, Michigan City, and Marion. Our 2 stores in Ohio are located in Lima and Findlay. And 1 location in Wisconsin in Burlington. The offices and warehouses for Big R remain in Watseka, IL. Farm and Ranch store owners in the western states started the Big R brand name; they chose the name "Big R" to convey the "Ranch" identity. The Big R group is now comprised of 12 independent owners with store locations throughout the U.S. They all are members of Mid-States Distributing Company of St. Paul, MN. The Mid-States Coop has over 600 stores throughout the United States and Canada.