BlogApril 2016

13 Things You've Thought While Learning How to Fish

13 Things You've Thought While Learning How to Fish

By Debbie Hanson

Apr 04, 2016

If you're just learning how to fish, you've probably had quite a few random thoughts and questions run through your head during the process.

If you're just learning how to fish, you've probably had quite a few random thoughts and questions run through your head during the process. Some of these thoughts or questions you may have actually verbalized, while some you probably kept to yourself. One or two of these might sound somewhat familiar to you.

  1. How can that guy cast that far? When you are just learning how to fish, you might be in awe at the distance some anglers can cast. Keep practicing. You'll be able to cast just as far if you have patience with yourself and stick with it.
  2. I wonder if he or she can show me how to tie that knot a few more times. There are different fishing knots that you can use for different situations. Start with one knot that is easy to tie (such as an Improved Clinch Knot), and don't be afraid to ask a fishing mentor or friend to show you how to tie it two or three times so that you learn how tie it for yourself.
  3. Is it really necessary to have so many lures in one tackle box? The answer to this question depends on whom you ask and which species you plan to fish for, but most anglers will answer this question with a firm "yes."
  4. Why do I keep getting caught in the trees? When you are learning how to fish, you'll also learn that fish often prefer to hold in areas where there is structure. Trees roots and branches are structure; therefore, you will most likely be casting around these types of areas and you may get hung up. This is simply part of fishing, and it happens fairly often if you are fishing in the right spots. Don't feel bad about it.
  5. How do I get this line untangled? Sometimes you can untangle your line and sometimes it's just easier to cut the line and re-rig altogether.
  6. Weight or no weight? This depends on several factors such as wind, current, and the type of fishing you are doing.
  7. Do I set the hook when I feel a nibble or wait until the fish really hits? Again, this often depends on the species and the fishing technique you are using. When bass fishing using a Texas Rig, for example, when you feel the fish hit your bait, you generally set it right away.
  8. OK, so I caught this fish… now what do I do with it? You'll need to carefully unhook it. From there, you can release it, or take it home for dinner as long as the fish is within your state fishing regulations.
  9. Does it have teeth and will it bite me? Some fish species do have teeth, so it's always a good idea to learn as much as you can about the type of fish you are targeting. Be aware of any sharp teeth or spines. For example, a fish species such as a freshwater muskellunge or a saltwater barracuda will have sharp teeth that you need to be cautious of.
  10. But it looks so much heavier than 2 pounds! Can you weigh it again just to be absolutely sure your scale is accurate? When are learning how to fish, every catch seems a bit larger than it really is due to the excitement factor.
  11. There's no way I was hooked on a stump! I am sure that I felt it fighting for a minute. If you are learning how to fish, it's OK to admit that you hooked something other than a fish.
  12. I'm not sure why that guy was so grouchy. I just pulled up next to his boat to see what he was catching in that one spot. You will learn quickly that most anglers are much happier if you keep your distance from the spot where they are fishing.
  13. Wait… is there a bathroom on this boat? On some boats there is and on some there is not. Always go before you leave the dock.

Aside from these, have you had any other thoughts or questions about learning how to fish? If so, you can read about how to catch fish to get answers and fishing tips.

Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, women’s sport fishing advocate, IGFA world record holder, and freshwater guide living in Southwest Florida. Hanson’s written work has appeared in publications such as Florida Game & Fish Magazine, BoatUS Magazine, and USA Today Hunt & Fish. To learn more about her work, visit or follow her on Instagram @shefishes2.