10 First Time Fishing Blunders You Don't Want To Make

By Debbie Hanson

Mar 11, 2016

Since your first time fishing will be an experience that you'll remember for many years to come, take a minute to read through this list of fishing blunders.

Since your first time fishing will be an experience that you'll remember for many years to come, take a minute to read through this list of fishing blunders. Knowing how to avoid these fishing mistakes will help make your first fishing trip a lot more productive and fun.

  1. Forgetting to purchase your state fishing license. Each state has their own regulations and offers daily, short-term, annual or lifetime licenses. Find out where to buy a fishing license, learn about the types of fishing licenses that are available, and check license age requirements.
  2. Not taking the time to read and learn your state fishing regulations. Always take the time to read your state's fishing laws or regulations before your first time fishing so that you are properly informed about the fishing seasons, bag limits, and size limits.
  3. Forgetting to check the drag on your reel. If your drag is set too tight and you get a bite from a big fish, your line can break. Before you make your first cast, check your drag by pulling on the line just above the reel.
  4. Wearing dark-soled shoes on a boat. If your first time fishing experience happens to be on a boat, leave your dark-soled shoes at home. Wear boat shoes or shoes that have non-marking soles so you don't leave black or brown scuff marks on the boat deck.
  5. Holding the fishing rod and reel upside down. On a spinning reel, check to be sure that the reel and the rod guides are facing down, not up.
  6. Allowing slack in your line. Keep the connection between you and the fish. If you allow slack in your line, you give the fish an opportunity to shake its head and throw the hook. Keep your lines tight.
  7. Using dull hooks. If it's your first time fishing, buy some new hooks. It may be tempting to use old hooks that may have been handed down to you by a friend or relative, but sharp hooks without any wear or rust will always work best.
  8. Not following your fish once it's hooked. When you catch a fish and it starts to run, always remember that your feet are not glued to the same spot. Follow your fish to avoid the line getting wrapped around other anglers or rubbing against the side of the boat.
  9. Trying to figure everything out on your own. Ask for advice from local experts at a tackle shop or, better yet, find a fishing mentor that can come along on your first few fishing adventures.
  10. Losing your patience. Don’t lose your patience if you don't catch a fish right away. If everyone had a great day of fishing every time they went on a trip, it would be called catching instead of fishing. One of the best things about fishing is that there is always something new to learn. Don't expect to learn it all in one day. Just have fun!

Looking for a few more great pieces of first time fishing advice? You can get some useful tips on how to cast with a spinning reel, and improve your casting distance with just a little practice.

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.