How to Start Fishing Like a Champ

By Debbie Hanson

Mar 01, 2015

You might be new to fishing or maybe you've been fishing for years.

You might be new to fishing or maybe you've been fishing for years. Regardless of how much experience you have, if you really want to "up" your fishing game, it's time to learn how to start fishing like a champ!

What exactly does "fishing like a champ" mean? Based on my personal definition, it's when an angler seizes an opportunity during a critical moment on the water and then proceeds to catch a fish while overcoming an obstacle or situation that seems next to impossible.

Now that you know what it means, are you ready to find out how to fish like a champ? I've included a few tips below that may help you beat the odds and bring big fish to the boat:

  1. Accept challenges. Perhaps you've been bass fishing on lakes around the Midwest for years, and then a friend asks you to go along with him or her on a redfish trip to Florida. Do you hesitate because you've never been saltwater fishing before? Nope, if you want to fish like a champ, you need to accept new fishing challenges. Search for and read online articles about redfish or talk to an experienced friend before you go so that you know what to expect.

  2. Spend more time on the water. More time on the water means you'll gain more experience and learn how to handle unexpected situations. For example, there is a random chance that you could hook a 150 lb tarpon while fishing for spotted seatrout with 20 lb braided line with 30 lb leader. If you know how to fish like a champ, you'll bring that tarpon to the boat… very carefully I might add. However, unless you've spent plenty of time on the water, you won't have any idea about how to fight a big game fish on light tackle, so get prepared!

  3. Keep your cool. Tip number three when it comes to fishing like a champ is to keep your cool under pressure. A few weeks ago, I hooked a 3 lb bass and the fish instantly took off like a bullet towards the weeds. As much as I tried to avoid the situation, it happened. I knew that I had to keep my cool by maintaining light pressure on the fish, and instead of just yanking it through the bulrush without thinking, let the fish unwrap itself from the weeds and then work on guiding it back towards open water if possible. It worked… the bass made into my hands for a photo with the bulrush in the background.

Have you ever had the experience of overcoming an almost impossible challenge or obstacle while on the water in order to land a fish that you never thought you'd catch? Tell us about it by commenting on the link to this post on the Facebook Page. Or, if you're still learning how to fish like a champ, read a few more freshwater fishing tips and tricks on our website.

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.