Fishing can be an enjoyable and relaxing hobby or past time and there are various ways to fish which means wherever you live it should not be difficult to participate in this sport. You may choose either river fishing, lake fishing or sea fishing.
Freshwater fishing is classified as either fly or game fishing for salmon or trout, or coarse fishing, for any other fish. This involves fly-fishing where the fisherman attracts the fish with a lure on his hook that is made to resemble flies or small water creatures.
Coarse fishing requires the hook to be baited with food (maggots, worms or bread) and is either held on the bottom with a weight or suspended just below the surface with a float.
Sea angling is similar to coarse fishing but stronger equipment is used.
Ledgering A weight know as a ledger weight, on the coarse fisherman’s line holds the bait down where it will attract fish feeding near the bottom, such as bream, trench and barbell. The fishing line runs freely through the ledger weight so that the fish feels no resistance when it takes the bait. Ledgering is a good technique when fishing both still and running water.
To use this technique first assemble your fishing tackle and bait the hook. Be sure to stand where your shadow will not fall on the water, as this will frighten the fish. To attract the fish to your stretch of water throw in ground bait or hook bait. If you are fishing running water throw it in just upstream.
You can purchase ground bait in fishing tackle shops or make your own by drying out stale bread in an oven and crumbling it finely. Soak a small handful of ground bait and press it into the size of a table-tennis ball. Throw in just a few balls as more than that will leave the fish too full and uninterested in the hook bait…
Cast the baited hook using a fixed spool reel. After casting take up any slack line, point the rod away from the bait, and lay it in rests with its tip near the water.
Fix a quivertip or swingtip to the rod end. A quivertip is a small device made of glass or carbon and quivers at the slightest touch of the hook. A swingtip is a rubber device that hangs from the tip of the rod and swings upwards when a fish bites.
Should either of these move, trap the line against the rod butt with a forefinger, then raise the tip firmly but gently, to make sure the fish is securely hooked. Pull in the fish, keeping the rod tip up and the line taut, until you can reach it with a submerged landing net and bring it to land.
Float fishing A float and a small weight holds the bait at the depth you want. Float fishing is suitable in both running and still waters.
For this technique, assemble the tackle and attach a plummet weight to the hook. Lower the plummet and float into the water where you wish to fish. If the float submerges, draw it up the line closer to the plummet. Keep adjusting until it floats upright. You will now know the depth of the water and can adjust the float to hold bait at the depth where fish are feeding.
Again attract the fish using ground or hook bait. Cast the bait and float as in ledgering. If you are fishing in still water, just cast into the water you want to fish and lay the rod in rests. If you are fishing running water, use the technique known as trotting, with the float attached by its top and bottom. Cast the bait slightly upstream of the stretch you wish to fish. Hold the rod steady for a moment so that the bait moves ahead of the float. Then lower the rod and let the float, preceded by the bait, move downstream. Keep the line between the rod and float taut.
When a fish bites, the float may not plunge dramatically. In running water, in particular, it may merely hesitate or flicker slightly.
Casting a fly Before you attempt fly-fishing you need to master the art of casting. This can be done with practice on a lawn using a small piece of paper at the end of the line instead of a fly.
Firstly, put together the tackle and cast. At the end of the cast, the line should run out smoothly and the paper land lightly.
Fly fishing for trout There are two principle forms of fly fishing for trout; wet fly fishing and dry fly fishing. Wet flies are fished underwater and are meant to look like tiny water creatures and dry flies are fished on the surface of the water and are meant to look like insects alighting momentarily.
When you are wet fishing you can use as many as three flies at a time. In running water cast directly across the stream and let the flies drift around with the current before you cast again. In still water gradually pull in the line to draw the flies towards you. Keep a careful eye on the line where it enters the water. If it makes an unusual movement, strike.
Dry fly fishing is done in running water. Cast just upstream of where you think there maybe a fish and then let the fly drift down over the fish’s nose, pulling gently so the line does not go slack. When you see a fish bite, pause for a moment to allow it to take the fly before striking.
Fishing for salmon The techniques for salmon fishing are essentially the same as those used for wet fly fishing for trout. But the equipment used is stronger and the flies are larger and brighter.
Another effective technique for catching salmon is spinning. In spinning, a bright artificial lure is cast out and then rapidly pulled through the water. Its erratic movements make it look like a small sick or injured fish.
Sea angling from a beach or pier Fish that can be caught from the shore include mackerel, bass, flounder and cod. You can use an artificial lure on the hook, or bait it with lugworms, small crabs or baby squid.
When fishing with bait, attach a weight near the tip of the line to help carry the bait out to sea. When fishing from a beach, always fish an incoming tide; otherwise your bait will be in increasingly shallow water. Cast the bait out, you can hold the rod or set it on rests until a fish bites.