BlogMay 2014

C'mon, let's go fishin'

C'mon, let's go fishin'

By Tom Keer

May 14, 2014

We were in between tides and a buddy and I stopped in a sandwich shop for some lunch.

We were in between tides and a buddy and I stopped in a sandwich shop for some lunch. He knew this spot because he is a technical rock climber and goes to the shop that was next door. After we ate we stopped in to kill some time, and my first thought was “what the heck?” I had never seen this kind of gear before and had zero idea what it was or what it was for.

Folks learning to fish are similarly confused when they walk into a tackle shop. But we’re talkin’ fishing here, not rocket science, so here a few ideas that can help fast-track the process and get you on the water catching fish.

  1. Learn the terms — Terms like rod, reel, and waders are simple, but as you add more terms new anglers can get confused. The easiest way to go is to make a list of the terms that are confusing and plug them into the encyclopedia right here. Once you understand the term you’ll be able to figure out the next step. It’s easy.

  2. Don’t Over Think It — Jump right in, the water is fine. There is no perfect time or place to start, so just get started somewhere. New anglers who get after it make the most progress in the shortest time frame. If you need a shot of confidence stop by your local fishing shop and tell them you’re heading out for your first time and need some advice on where to go and what to use.

  3. Get a license — Be sure to get a license for all folks who need one. Check out the state-by-state regulations right here.


  4. Time on the water — The more time you spend on the water the faster you learn. There are two approaches; the first is to return to the same spot. Seeing the same spot at a different time in a different condition can reveal some things you didn’t notice before (think of what you see during low water and that you can see bars or structure that was previously covered). Or try for a different species in a new place always represents a learning experience. Either way you go is fine, my point is that the more time you spend on the water the more you’ll learn. Plus it beats mowing the lawn….

  5. Change it up — Albert Einstein said that insanity was doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. So try different approaches. Mistakes are opportunities to learn and to improve so if you make some then cut yourself some slack.

  6. Check out the Video — For more information on getting started check out this video.


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