4 Types of Fishing Techniques for Freshwater Anglers

By Debbie Hanson

Apr 20, 2023

Broad overview covering types of fishing used by freshwater anglers like bait fishing, finesse fishing, power fishing, fly fishing, different fishing techniques

If you are fortunate enough to be under the tutelage of a fishing mentor or friend, you may already be familiar with different types of fishing techniques. If not, it might be helpful to learn about four basic fishing styles or methods used by freshwater anglers. These fishing methods include bait fishing, finesse fishing, power fishing, and fly fishing.

1. Live or Natural Bait Fishing

If you are learning how to fish or want kids to have an action-filled fishing experience, natural baits will offer the best opportunities for catching. Freshwater bait fishing techniques for species like largemouth bass or panfish usually involves a basic bobber rig and live or natural baits like earthworms, crickets, leeches, or live minnows.

2. Finesse Fishing

Finesse fishing is the use of lighter tackle to make more subtle and methodical presentations of small artificial baits or lures to fish. Finesse fishing techniques (for example: techniques involving wacky rigs, Ned rigs, and drop shot rigs) can be used to catch a variety of freshwater fish species, but the term “finesse” is most often used when referring to largemouth or smallmouth bass. Finesse is a very different style of fishing when compared with power fishing. The techniques are slower, although they can work very well when you are fishing in post-front conditions, clear water, or in a waterway that gets a lot of fishing pressure.

3. Power Fishing

Freshwater power fishing is a method of fishing that involves covering vast areas of water quickly (often in areas with heavy vegetation or structure) using heavy rods and large artificial baits or lures like crankbaits or chatterbaits. Power fishing techniques are intended to produce reaction strikes from predatory freshwater gamefish like largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, walleye, and muskies (also referred to as muskellunge).

4. Fly Fishing

Fly fishing is a fishing technique in which a lightweight artificial fly is cast into or onto the water using a fly rod and reel and a weighted fly fishing line. In freshwater, the most popular cold-water species to target using fly fishing gear are trout and salmon. While the earliest known references to fishing with flies for trout and grayling originated in England in the 13th century, these days many anglers also pursue warmwater species “on the fly” (such as largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, carp, and panfish).


Fishing always gives you endless opportunities to try new techniques and practice new skills. Try one or two of these freshwater methods of fishing, and then learn more about different types of fishing for saltwater fish.



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 shefishes2.com or follow her on Instagram @shefishes2.