BlogApril 2015

How to get a fishing license

How to get a fishing license

By Tom Keer

Apr 29, 2015

I was recently asked if a test was needed to get a fishing license.  It struck me as somewhat odd, because the answer is no.

I was recently asked if a test was needed to get a fishing license.  It struck me as somewhat odd, because the answer is no.  You need to take a test for a driver’s license, to get a hunting license, and for a lot of other things but not for fishing.  If you need a license then you can get one right now.

But as I thought about it, there really is a test, and the teacher of that class is the fish.  Do your homework you catch ’em up, thereby passing the test and going to the front of the class.  Blow off the homework and your grades are bad enough to make you go to summer school.  Come to think of it, spending my summer fishing would be pretty much ok indeed.

Think about it: what is a large group of fish called?  A school.  Right now that doesn’t seem like a coincidence, does it?

A couple of quick tips to graduate from Fish School :

If it’s not working change it up. Change your location, or shift from a dark lure to a bright lure.  If your retrieve is slow then speed it up; if your retrieve is fast then slow it down.

Fish where the fish are. If you’re fishing on the surface and nobody is home add a pinch of lead to get your bait deeper or switch from a surface lure to a swimmer.

Check your barometer. It’s pleasant to be on the water on a bright, high-pressure day, but I really like to fish the change (from rain to sun or from sun to rain).

Take a water temperature. When the water temperature is between 55 and 65 degress, a trout, for example, burns up a stomach full of food per day.  When it’s warmer or colder than that they burn up a stomach full of food every 3-4 days.  Fish when they need to eat and you’ll catch more trout, and it’s the same with all fish.

There are a lot of places to learn to fish, and since fishing season is here you need a quick fix of information.  Visit our Fishopedia page to learn more about fish species, watch a few “how to” videos to learn how to tie a knot and check our interactive map to choose where you are fishing next.
Tom Keer
Tom Keer
Tom Keer is an award-winning writer who lives on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  He is a columnist for the Upland Almanac, a Contributing Writer for Covey Rise magazine, a Contributing Editor for both Fly Rod and Reel and Fly Fish America, and a blogger for the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s Take Me Fishing program.  Keer writes regularly for over a dozen outdoor magazines on topics related to fishing, hunting, boating, and other outdoor pursuits.  When they are not fishing, Keer and his family hunt upland birds over their three English setters.  His first book, a Fly Fishers Guide to the New England Coast was released in January 2011.  Visit him at or at