Page 1


Contents: Introduction


Gearing up


Rods Reels Lines


Fishing termology Setting up your rod About fishing rods Fishing knots Where the fish are Salmon


Trout Bass Pike Sunfish Removing the hook

10. 12.

22. 24.

3. 3. 3. 3. 3. 3. 3. 3. 3. 3. 3.



Proper Bait. A beginners guide to fishing: Essential tips for novice anglers on how to have a succesful fishing trip. It’s a beautiful day in early spring. You are standing beside a beautiful river floweing through the mountains of leeds. In your hands you hold your gear. You are brimming with excitement as you imagine what you will catch today. You are getting ready to fly fish and you can’t wait to get started! People have been fly fishing for years. In its begginings, people would use flies to fish with for food, but then it turned into a sport and now anglers fly fish for both food and sport. Fly fishing is a traditional angling method that uses artificial flies for lures that are made of materials 5.

like fur and feathers. The flies are fastenened onto a hook and are meant to imitate a fish’s natural food source. The rods are light, but the lines are heavy providing the weight and momentum for casting. Fly fishermen use a series of casting moves meant to imitate the but on water. The technique are wide and varied. When casting much of the rod’s movement comes from the anglers wrist. Fly fishing as a sport is something many people find amazingly enjoyable. Most fly fishing is done in certain places like Leeds, Manchester and High Wycombe. The fish most often caught are trout and salmon, although anglers can catch a variety of fish with their flies. In this book, we’ll explore a variety of topics with regards to fly fishing. Some of the information will be geared towards beginning fishermen, but experienced flu fishers can benefit from this information as 6.

well. A refresher course is always good in any sport! We’ll look at the gear you’ll need, wayes to tie flies and the best places to find an excellent fishing spot. You’ll learn about places to buy your gear from and what to look for when you are buying gear.

New and experienced fishermen can both bonefit from the content of this book. The author is an equal opportunity person and no disrespect meant to women who like to fly fish when i use the term fisherman. 7.

Proper Bait.

Gearing Up All sports attract their share of equipment freaks, but, for my money, it's hard to imagine one that befuddles the beginner with a wider range of gimmicks and doodads than fishing. It's possible to buy a separate rod and reel combination for just about any stretch of water that you're ever likely to fish, artificial lures for any possible combination of quarry and water conditions and everything else from self-warming streamside seats to electric hook sharpeners. And, as your pursuit of flashing fins takes you down differing trails, a lot of those things might well become must-haves. For now, though, I'm going to try to set you up with a versatile, do-most-anything rig, without slashing too deeply into your food budget. The core of your outfit, of course, will be the rod and reel. And, since we're trying to pick out a simple, versatile, more or less foolproof rig, your best bets are probably 1) a bait casting outfit, 2) a spin-casting set or 3) an open-faced spinning reel and matching rod. There are enthusiastic fans of each option, and any of the choices would do the job, but I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that you buy a medium-sized, open-faced spinning reel (one suitable for line in the sixto 10-pound test range; have the salesperson load it with as much as it will hold when you buy it) and a medium action, six- to seven-foot fiberglass spinning rod. (The action, sometimes called power, should appear on a label somewhere on the rod.) With this rig, a few lures and a selection of hooks and sinkers, which will be described below, you should be able to go for most freshwater fish, in most types of water, and even catch smaller saltwater species. Though many recommend a closed-faced, or spin-casting, reel for the beginner, I prefer the open-faced because it’s simple to operate and, well, open. When the line tangles during a cast (it will), you’ll be able to get at that bird’s nest without disassembling the reel itself. And, though an open-faced spinning outfit may take a little more practice than the closed-faced variety, I think it ultimately offers more casting distance and control. Of course, you will have to practice. Fortunately, all you need to complete your training are an open field or large back yard and a small (1/4to 1/2-ounce) lead sinker. Just tie the weight to the end of your line and follow the instructions in the accompanying sidebar. Don’t be discouraged when your first attempts at casting misfire. The correct rhythm


Gearing up

and touch will come quickly, and in a short time you should develop enough casting range and accuracy to allow you to continue to perfect your skills while you’re fishing! Though the term sounds imposing (and you’ll be hoping your gear does prove terminal to a dinner’s worth of fillets), terminal tackle simply means the hooks, sinkers, bobbers and artificial lures that you’ll be fastening to the end of your line before you cast in search of fish. Once again, the choices are wide enough to be overwhelming, but a few basic purchases should get you underway. The accompanying photograph includes, I think, everything you’ll need to stock a “barebones” tackle box. Artificial lures catch fish and don’t smell when you leave them in the refrigerator too long, but in many instances it’s hard to beat live bait. For freshwater fishing, there’s no more versatile bait than the earthworm (it ain’t called angleworm for nothing). Other good choices are minnows (make sure the ones you use are native to the water you’re fishing . . . “imports” may catch fish, but they may also disturb the environmental balance if several escape). Crayfish (also called crawdads) are effective, too, particularly in the spring and early summer, when they’ve shed one exoskeleton and not yet fully formed another. (“Softshells” are one of the all-time best baits for smallmouth bass.) Other choices for fresh water include, but aren’t limited to, frogs, crickets, grasshoppers, various salamanders, hellgrammites and anything else that fish routinely eat. Saltwater baits also come in a wide variety. If you decide to do ocean angling, ask around at your local bait shop or pier and find out what’s hot and what’s not. (Cut mullet, sandworms, bloodworms, squid and shrimp are a few favorites.) The fishing tactics you’ll use will vary with the water you’re angling in and the species you hope to catch. I’ll deal, therefore, with specific strategies and techniques in a series of situations. Just choose the one that’s closest to the setting in which you’ll be fishing, and the advice should provide a reliable starting point. But don’t let anyone’s advice keep you from watching and learning from the fisherfolk around you. Every lake, stream, pond and river has its own idiosyncracies. You could fish one area for a lifetime and not uncover all of its secrets . . . so you’re certainly not going to pick up everything you need to know here.


Proper Bait.

It’s hard to imagine a more congenial setting for “jist sittin’ an’ fishin’.” The air will probably carry the aroma of tilled soil and wildflowers (along with, perhaps, a hint of cow). Swallows will spin their hunting dances overhead, and the surface of the water may swell occasionally with the magical bulge of a surfacing turtle. Better still, farm ponds can be rich with fish. You’ll commonly find bream, catfish of one sort or another, largemouth bass and such “trash” fish as carp or suckers. If the pond is deep enough to stay cold and oxygen-rich year-round, it may even be stocked with trout. (It goes without saying that you’d better get permission before fishing anyone else’s pond. A well-maintained, stocked pond represents a big investment in time, money and work, and the trespasser is as likely to catch a load of birdshot as a string of bream.) The most common way to fish a farm pond, or any other small, still body of water, is with a bobber, hook, worms (either red worms or night crawlers) and a small splitshot sinker. Keep in mind that, as my grandfather used to say, “You can catch a big fish on a small hook easier than you can catch a small fish on a big one.” I suggest starting with a number six or eight. Now simply thread the worm on the hook, leave enough hanging loose to get an enticing wiggle, but make sure the point of the hook is covered—clamp the split-shot a few inches to a foot or so above the bait, fix the bobber to the line at a point where it will float the worm just above the bottom or over any underwater foliage and flip the assembly into a likely looking spot. It’s a good bet to fish near cover of some sort: a dock, lily pads, etc. Keep the line relatively tight, but not enough to drag the bobber along. An interested fish will probably first show itself by “nibbling,” causing the float to tremble, jerk back and forth, or bob up and down. That’s your signal to pay attention. But don’t do anything yet. When the fish drags the bobber along the surface of the water with determination or pulls it under, give a short, sharp jerk of the rod to set the hook, and reel your prize on in. be stocked with trout. (It goes without saying that you’d better get permission before fishing anyone else’s pond. A wellmaintained, stocked pond represents a big investment in time, money and work, and the trespasser is as likely to catch a load of birdshot as a string of bream.) The most common way to fish a farm pond, or any other small, still body of water, is with a bobber, hook, worms (either red worms or night crawl-


Gearing up

ers) and a small splitshot sinker. Keep in mind that, as my grandfather used to say, “You can catch a big fish on a small hook easier than you can catch a small fish on a big one.” I suggest starting with a number six or eight. Now simply thread the worm on the hook—leave enough hanging loose to get an enticing wiggle, but make sure the point of the hook is covered—clamp the split-shot a few inches to a foot or so above the bait, fix the bobber to the line at a point where it will float the worm just above the bottom or over any underwater foliage and flip the assembly into a likely looking spot. It’s a good bet to fish near cover of some sort: a dock, lily pads, etc. Keep the line relatively tight, but not enough to drag the bobber along. An interested fish will probably first show itself by “nibbling,” causing the float to tremble, jerk back and forth, or bob up and down. That’s your signal to pay attention. But don’t do anything yet. When the fish drags the bobber along the surface of the water with determination or pulls it under, give a short, sharp jerk of the rod to set the hook, and reel your prize on in. If you plan to release the fish, wet your hands before touching it, and handle it gently. (In fact, if you’re planning to release your day’s catch, it’s best to bend down the barbs on your hooks with a pair of pliers, to make hook removal easy.) Whether you aim to let the fish go or not, take a few seconds to savor its delicacy of color and beauty of line. Few things look as alive as a living fish, and appreciating that beauty is one of your rewards for skillful angling. Enjoy it. Then, after unhooking the fish and putting it on a stringer or in a waterfilled pail, rebait and cast back to the same spot. Chances are there are more where that one came from. If, however, a while passes with your bobber doing little more than serving as an aircraft carrier for tired dragonflies, reel it in, check the bait to make sure you weren’t dozing or distracted when a fish hit and try another spot on the pond. Or vary the depth of your bait by moving the bobber up or down. You might even make a relatively long cast and move the float a foot or so every minute or two until you find fish. In a reasonably productive pond, a few hours of this sort of rest and relaxation ought to pro vide you with the makings of a nice family dinner.


Proper Bait.

There are, of course, less passive ways to tackle the same body of water. And, though bobber fishing can yield some huge fish, the techniques described above are far more likely to bring you bream than hefty bass or trout. If largemouth bass are what you’re after, you’ll probably do well with a variation of the bobber technique. Just try a bigger float and a bigger hook (size two or larger) and a two-inch-long (or longer) minnow or shiner, hooked either through the lips or just under the back (dorsal) fin so it can swim freely. The small baitfish will pull the bobber around, but you shouldn’t have any trouble spotting the difference in the action of the float when a bass grabs the bait and tries to make off with it. With that “hawg” (bass-fishin’ talk for a big one) in mind, this is probably a good time to talk about drag. Either on top of your reel’s spool or by the handle (see the owner’s manual) will be a dial you can loosen or tighten to make it easier or harder to pull line off the closed spool. Set this to allow line to be taken when the pull is just over half the line’s breaking strength (you can guesstimate accurately enough). Then, when a real hawg takes of on a run, he’ll simply pull off line against the drag, tiring himself all the while, instead of breaking free. Once you have him on and fighting, keep the rod tip high. Only try to reel when the fish isn’t pulling against the drag. If the bass explodes upward in a rainbowspraying leap, drop the rod tip a foot or so each time the fish breaks water. Try to make your movements smooth, gradual but relentless. With a little luck, you’ll soon grab the bass’s lower lip (watch that hook) and hoist your prize ashore.


Gearing up


Proper Bait.

Fishing terminology Fishing, like many other hobbies, has its own vocabulary of words. These pages will address come of the more common fishing terms that aren't obvious to get you started. Synonyms commonly used for these fishing terms will be listed also.

A.C. Plug:

A brand name of a large trout-imitating, jointed topwater lure made of wood.

bar or other obstruction in the river. Large backwaters tat are isolated may be referred to as oxbows.


Bag limit: Restriction in the num-

Measure of rod performance ranging from slow to fast and describes the elapse time from when the rod is flexed to when it returns to its straight configuration. Also refers to the strength of the rod, light, medium and heavy, with light being a limber rod and heavy a stout rod.

Air bladder: A gas-filled sac in

the upper part of the body cavity of many bony fishes. It is located just beneath the vertebral column; its principal function is to offset the weight of the heavier tissue such as bone.


Person using a fishing pole or rod and reel to catch fish.

Backlash: An overrun of a revolving-spool reel, such as a bait-cast reel, which in turn causes the line to billow off the reel and tangle.


Shallow area of a river that is sometimes isolated, often being located behind a sand


ber of fish an angler may retain, generally on a daily basis.

Bait: Can mean live bait or artificial bait, such as a lure.

Bite: When a fish takes or touches

a bait so that the fisherman feels it.

Cane pole:

A pole of natural cane, often made from Calcutta or Tonkin bamboo, used for fishing. No reel is used; the line is tied to the pole. Extremely effective for fishing small, narrow streams or creeks. Those fishing with such a rig are said to be cane-poling.

Carp: A member of the minnow

family, introduced to the United States in the late 1800s. Typically refers to common carp originally from Europe and not grass carp (amur), which are from Asia.

Catch-and-release: Refers to catching a fish and immediately

Fishing terminology

releasing it. Many anglers practice catch-and-release as a way to help conserve the resource. In some waters, such as certain small trout streams, the state fishing regulations actually require anglers to catch-and-release.


A term for any of the many species of catfish, including black, blue, flathead, channel and yellow species. Fishing for catfish can be called catfishing and a person who fishes for catfish is a cat channel – The bed of a stream or river. This can also refer to a submerged stream or river channel in a reservoir.

Dabbing: Working a lure up and

down in the same spot a dozen or more times in a bush, or beside a tree or other structure.


A small member of the dragonfly family.


A method of fly-fishing in which the fly is allowed to skip or dance on the water while line and leader are held above the water from a high rod.


A tree that has fallen into the water.

Deer-hair bug:

A floating flyrodding lure made from hollow deer hair and used principally for bass and panfish. Often used to locate actively feeding fish. Often used to locate.

Desert sucker: A native Arizona

fish typically found in rivers and streams that can weigh over four pounds.


Refers to having many fish die at the same time, quite earthworm – A common term for any of the many different fishing worms, including night crawlers (two words), garden worms, leaf worms, dillys, and red wigglers.

Edge: The borders created by a

change in the structure or vegetation in a lake. Examples are edges of tree lines, weed lines, and the edges of a drop-off.

Egg sinker: An egg-shaped fishing weight with a hole through the center for the line to pass through.

Eutrophic: Highly fertile waters characterized by warm, nutrientrich shallow basins.

Eyelets: The eyelets are the line guides or rings on a fishing rod through which line is passed.

Fan cast:

Making a series of casts only a few degrees apart to cover a half circle (more or less). Often used to locate actively feeding fish.

Feeding times:

Certain times of day when fish are most active. These are associated with the position of the sun and moon and are referred to as solunar tables.


Proper Bait.

Fillet: A method of using a sharp

knife to separate the meaty portion of the fish from the bones and skeleton and/or skin for human consumption.

Finesse fishing: An angling tech-

nique characterized by the use of light tackle – line, rods, reels and artificial baits. It is often productive in clear, fairly uncluttered water, like many of our western impoundments.

Fingerling: A young fish about a

finger long, usually 2 inches or so in length.

Fisherman: One who engages in fishing for sport or occupation, or for food.


A term used for a lake, river or stream where people can catch fish, or even a particular kind of fish, such as a bass or trout fishery.


A barbed or barbless hook used for catching fish. For fish hook sizes, always use numer

Endangered Species Act.


Respiratory organ of many aquatic animals, such as fish.

Gill opening:

an opening behind the head that connects the gill chamber to the exterior.


The natural environment where people, animals and plants live. In an aquatic environment, it includes the water, topography, structure and cover present in a lake.


A fishing line used without a rod or reel; a line held in the hand.

Hard bottom: Usually a type of

bottom that you would not sink far, if at all, were you to walk on it and can consist of clay, gravel, rock or sand.

Hawg: A slang term describing a

large lunker-size or heavyweight bass weighing 4 pounds or more.


The larvae of the



Any tools used to catch fish, such as rod and reel, hook and line, nets, traps, spears and baits.

Gila trout: One of Arizona’s two native trout species. Gila trout had been extirpated (eliminated) from Arizona, but were reintroduced in the mid 1990s. They are listed as federally endangered under the


Holding area:

Structure that habitually attracts and holds bass.

Holding station: Place on a lake

where inactive fish spend most of their time.

Honey hole:

A slang term de-

Fishing terminology

scribing a specific hole, spot, or area containing big fish or lots of catchable fish.

Inactive fish:

Fish that are not in a feeding mood, sometimes referred to as having “lockjaw.” Examples of inactive times can be following a cold front, during a major weather change that causes a sudden rise or fall in the barometer..

Inside bend: The inside line of a grass bed or a creek channel.

Jerkbait: A type of soft-plastic or

hard-plastic bait resembling a bait fish that is typically fished in a series of quick jerks or is “ripped” to resemble a darting baitfish.

stretch of tail-water fishery along the Colorado River tucked between the Glen Canyon Dam and the Grand Canyon in northern Arizona. It is renowned for its large, wild trout.


Refers to the subsurface stage of development of an aquatic insect.


A severe drop-off. Commonl found in Arizona’s deep canyon lakes, such as Canyon Lake, Lake Powell, Lake Mead, Blue Ridge Reservoir and Chevelon Lake.

Light intensity:

usually dressed with hair, silicone, plastic or bait.

The amount of light that can be measured at certain depths of water; the great the intensity, the farther down the light will project. In waters where light intensity is low, brightly colored lures can be good choices.

Jigging spoon:

Light Cahill: A dry fly pattern.

Jig: A hook with a leadhead that is

Refers to a spoon that is typically “jigged” or bounced off the bottom with a slight up-and-down motion of the rod or rod tip so the spoon resembles a dying shad or other baitfish

Keeper: For anglers, it is typically any fish that is worth taking home to eat. For lakes with special regulations, it can be fish of specified lengths that are legal to harvest, such as fisheries where there are slot limits.

Line guides: The eyelets or rings

on a rod through which fishing line is passed.

Marabou jig:

A weighted jig with light, fluffy feathers attached to the body.

Mayfly: A small aquatic fly that is

an important food for trout, which means it is also important for flyanglers.

Lees Ferry: The popular 16-mile Mesotrophic:


A lake classifica-

Proper Bait.

tion describing middle-aged bodies of water between oligotrophic (young) and eutrophic (old) classifications. It is a body of water with a moderate amount of dissolved nutrients.

Migration route: The path followed by bass or other fish when moving from one area to another.


Surface-growing aquatic



A small leadhead jig, usually 1/16- or 1/32-ounce, often used for catching crappie or sunfish.

Nest: The spot in where are fish,

such as a largemouth bass or bluegill, deposits its eggs. Some nests, such as those for largemouth bass, can be well defined. For largemouth bass, the female lays the eggs and the male guards the eggs. See the listing for “redd.”

the line comes off the fixed spool in loops and there is no nose cone.


The ear bone of a fish. The age of a fish can be determined by counting the layers in the otolith, much like the rings of a tree.

Outside bend: The outside line of a creek channel or grass bed. For underwater structure, it can also refer to the outside line of a submerged wash or arroyo.


Lake classification used to describe young bodies of water characterized by deep, clear, cold, weedless water that can support fish, such as trout.

Pan fish: Any of a variety of spe-

cies of fish that resemble the shape of a frying pan, thus the name. Often applies to sunfish, crappie, perch, other small fish or small sizes of other species.

Night crawler: A common type

Panther Martins: A brand name

Night-fisherman: An angler who

Parr, parr marks:

of worm used in fishing. fishes at night.

Nongame fish:

Include all the species of fish except the game fish (see game fish entry). nonnative fish – A fish that is not native to Arizo:.

Open-faced reel: A typical or

standard spinning reel in which


of in-line spinner.

Small juvenile of the trout or salmon family. Characterized by parr marks, which are pronounced, wide, vertical bars on the sides of these fish until they mature.

Pencil Poppers: A brand name topwater lure that is long and thin. Often used for catching striped bass.

Fishing terminology

Ramp: Also referred to as a boat Salmon eggs: A type of egg bait ramp or launch ramp. It is the launch-retrieve area for a boat.

typically used for trout fishing.

Rainbow trout: A member of the

salmon/trout family. Rainbows are not native to Arizona.

net designed to hang vertically in the water, the ends being drawn together to encircle fish.

Rapala: A brand or lures.


Seine net: A rectangular fishing


A member of the shiner family often used for bait. The most common in Arizona is the gold shiner.


Shoal: A submerged ridge, bank,


A brand of lipless

An individual nest or depression in the gravel excavated by trout other members of the trout and salmon family for depositing eggs. Multiple redds make up a bed.


Artificially created lake where water is collected and stored; also called an impoundment.


The practice of releasing hatchery-reared fish from the hatcheries into ponds, streams, rivers, or lakes.


A man-made stretch of rocks or material of a hard composition that usually extends above and below the shoreline.


A thin piece of land that extends out (sometimes an extended point) from the shoreline and connects to an island (sometimes underwater), reef or a hump. Submerged saddles can hold lots of fish.

or bar.

Short strike: When a fish hits at a lure and misses it.

Slack line:

The loose line from the tip of the rod to the lure. This can be a slight bow in the line to an excess of line lying on the water. The opposite is fishing with a tight line, such as when using a drop shot outfit.


A long, narrow stretch of water such as a small stream or feeder tributary off a lake or river.

Sunfish: Any of a dozens of members of the sunfish family.

Suspended fish:

Fish at midlevel depths, neither on the surface nor on the bottom.

Swim bladder:

A gas-filled sac found in the upper part of the body cavity of many bony fishes. (see game fish entry).


Proper Bait.


Compact, leadbodied lures with one or two spinner blades attached to the tail and a treble hook suspended from the body.


Marking or attached a tag to an individual or group of individual fish so that it can be identified on recapture. Tagging is used by a biologist to study the movement, migration, population size or activity patterns of fish.

Take-out: A term describing the

point where boats are taken out of the water at the end of a float trip.

Tight-action plug: A lure with

Ultralight: Lighter than standard fishing rod and/or tackle.

Ventral fin:

The paired fin located on the front of a fish’s abdomen.

Warmwater: Refers to fish habi-

tat or fish that are warmwater species, such as largemouth bass, sunfish, and catfish, as opposed to coldwater species such as trout, grayling and salmon or cool-water species such as northern pike and walleye.

Water column: Vertical section of the lake.

short, rapid side-to-side movement. Typically used when fish are more active in spring, summer and fall.

Water dog: Any of several large

Tiptop: Line guide at the tip end


of a fishing rod.

Topwater: The technique of us-

ing topwater lures for catching fish, especially bass at the water’s surface. Topwater lures are floating hard baits or plugs that create some degree of surface disturbance during the retrieve, typically mimicking struggling or wounded baitfish on the surface.


fishing term that means to float down a river, stream or using a float tube in a lake while fishing.


salamanders (the larval or aquatic stage). They are popular as live bait.

A protective device on fishing hooks to prevent picking up weeds.


A description of a lure designed to be fished in heavy cover with a minimum amount of snagging. Various strategies are often employed to make a lure weedless. (the larval or aquatic stage

Weed line: Abrupt edge of an aquatic weed-bed caused by a change in depth, bottom type, or other factor.

Fishing terminology

Weigh-in: Term typically applied to the weighing in of fish at a tournament.

Wet fly: A fly fished underwater. Westy Worm: A brand name of

plastic worm with a leadhead that has two exposed hooks already rigged.

White bass: A type of true bass

that is only found at Lake Pleasant in Arizona. White bass are related to striped bass and yellow bass. None of these bass are native Arizona fish.

fish in their first year of life, often referring to immature fish. Zara Puppy: Brand names of topwater lures.


Animals (mostly microscopic) that drift freely in the water column.


A brand name of heavy spoon typically used in trout fishing.

Zug bug:

A type of wet fly or fly pattern commonly used by fly fishers in lakes.


The act of using worms, either natural or manmade, to catch fish, although the term worming typically refers to the act of using artificial worms to catch fish.

Wooly worm: A popular type of

wet fly often used by fly anglers fishing lakes.

Year class: Fish of a given spe-

cies that were all spawned in the same year or at the same time.W yellow bass – A specific species in the true bass family. In Arizona, yellow bass are found in Apache, Canyon and Saguaro lakes along the Salt River.

Yellow cat: a flathead catfish. Young-of-the-year:

refers to


Proper Bait.

Setting up your rod Setting up a fishing rod and line for freshwater or saltwater fishing is not particularly complicated or difficult to do. If you’re new to the sport, it’s likely you’ve selected a rod and reel combo that’s been recommended by a friend or experienced salesperson. As long as the outfit is balanced and feels right in your hands, you’ll enjoy learning different methods for casting bait and lures. Whether you’re using a light freshwater rod or heavier saltwater rod, the test line that’s best is usually specified on the rod.

Step 1:

Step 3:

Engage the free spool lever on a casting reel so that the spool rotates when turning the handle. If you’re using a spinning reel, flip the bail open so it’s in a standing position and perpendicular to the reel. Turn the handle of the casting reel slowly until the small metal peg on the spool is facing up. This is not necessary with a spinning reel.

Pass the end of the line over the top of the spool on a casting reel and pull it out below the spool. Make an overhand knot in the end of the line and leave a small loop that will fit over the peg on the spool. For a spinning reel, make an overhand knot with a loop that’s large enough to fit over the flange on the upper end of the spool.

Step 2:

Step 4:

Pull enough new line from a bulk spool until you have a length that’s several feet longer than the length of the fishing rod. Pull about 10 feet of line off the bulk spool. Insert the end of the fishing line through the outside of the smallest guide at the tip of the rod. Insert the end of the line through the next guide and continue to thread it through, working away from the rod tip and toward the fishing reel.

Slip the small loop over the peg on the casting reel spool, or the larger loop over the spool on a spinning reel. Take several turns on the handle to start the line on the reel. Grip the line between your thumb and forefinger to create light tension as you turn the reel handle and wind fresh fishing line onto the spool.


Setting up your rod

Step 5: Continue to fill the reel spool until the line is 1/8 inch from the outer edge of the spool. Overfilling past this point will affect the casting performance on either type of reel. To provide free line to conveniently attach a fishing rig or lure, stand the rod on end and pull enough additional line from the fresh spool to reach from the rod tip to the reel and cut the line at this point.


reel foot


drag adjustments


line roller line spool

grip hook keeper


fly reel reel seat


Proper Bait.

Fishing rod power Also known as “Power Value” or “Rod Weight” usually shows you what types of fishing, species of fish, or size of fish a particular fishing pole may be best used for. Power simply describes the overall stiffness of a blank, and the blanks ability to React. The reason for power rating is because there are big and small fishey’s. Ultra-light fishing rods are best for catching small bait fish like panfish. Extra-Heavy rods are used for heavy fish in surf fishing, deep sea fishing. Any fish can be caught

Heavy power

Medium power

Light power


with any rod, but catching panfish on a heavy rod offers no fun at all, and successfully landing a large fish on an ultra-light rod requires highest rod handling skills at best, and a fun you got is the best fun you can have but more frequently it ends in broken tackle and a lost fish. The best if rods are matched to the type of fishing they are intended for. The smaller the fish you target, the lighter the rod you will need. Panfish should be fished with either an Ultra Light or a Light rod, while you better use Heavy or Extra Heavy rod to cast

Setting up your rod

large lures and fight some powerful and heavy fish like big musky. The lure weights and line sizes that a rod can handle determine its power. Ultra-light rods are designed for 2-6 pound line and lures weighing from 1/32-ounce. Rod blank power is simply a rating. Based upon the design characteristics of a particular blank model.

Power catagories are as follows: UL - Ultra-Light L - Light ML - Med/Light M - Medium MH - Medium Heavy H - Heavy XH - Extra Heavy UH - Ultra Heavy Rod power is the rod's strength or ability to lift weight from the tip; it is the amount of force needed to bend the rod. The thickness and type of rod material will determine this. Power ratings are mostly reflective of the rod's application, a heavy power rod would be suited for offshore trolling and a medium power rod might be designed for surf casting. Power describes the strength of the rod or its lifting power. Power is closely related to the line strength Power

(to recommended line weight); heavier power rods will handle heavy line weights and lighter powers will be good for light lines. It is fairly important to keep your line test within the limits printed on the rod since a heavy power rod will snap light lines too easily and heavy lines can snap a light rod. Power ratings vary by the type of rod described; a heavy bass rod and a heavy offshore rod will definitely not feel the same. One might be rated for 25lb line and the other for 80lb line. The type of water you're fishing will help determine the power of the rod you should select. Thick, heavy cover will require a strong rod to get the fish out before it can tie you up. Clear, open water will often require thin, hard seeing lines in order to get bit, meaning you will need a lighter power rod. Power refers to the blank's resistance to flexing under load. The Newton's third law: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Resistance to flexing is a natural design characteristic based upon the taper and wall thickness of the blank. The power for blanks may range from Ultra-Light to Heavy to even Extra Heavy. The power of a rod is simply a rating, which describes the overall stiffness of the blank. Action and Power are not the same


Proper Bait.

Learn to tie fishing knots Learn about some of the basic fishing knots which are best used in fishing. It has been seen that an average angler needs to know perhaps not more than three or four basic fishing knots. But one must remember that these knots are directly related with the mode of fishing he/she is prone to. But it will make the game of fishing more interesting if a fisherman knows more than what he needs to know. There are few knots described here in this text piece which are regarded as fundamentals & one should know how to tie as well as use them. Each knot has got its own definite and prescribed purpose. The knot that you are using can make all the difference between baiting a big fish or losing it. It has to be properly tied or formed. As a matter of fact, the more one will practice tying or using them, the more they will become second nature to you. It is most important that you use knots that can be tied in an easily remembered manner. The basic knots that are described here come under “tackle fishing knots”,” basic loop fishing knots” and “basic fishing knots for joining two loops” categories. This uni-knot is one of the best basic fishing knots that help to withstanding sudden jerks better than other knots. This knot is very


strong in nature and can be used in a number of applications. This one is most commonly used for tying fishing line to terminal tackle. The uni-knot works with both braided lines as well as mono filament fishing lines. The most interesting part of uni Knot is that it can be tied directly to the hooks eye in the traditional manner or it can also be tied as a loop. To tie it properly one needs to slide the knot all the way to the eye simply and make the loop to the size as desired. Then, grip the loop just forward of the hook eye and pull firmly on the tag end. This will lock the knot around the standing line.

Fishing knots

1. Pull the line throught the hoop

3. Pull the loose string tight creat-



and loop around the back of the fishing line.

Loop the line from the hoop around the two adjacent straight lines 8 times and pull from under the large loop.

ing an adjustable knot.

Pull both end of the strights tight untill you have a strong knot.


Proper Bait.

Salmon: Salmon is the common name for several species of fish in the family Salmonidae. Salmon live along the coasts of both the North Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and have also been introduced into the Great Lakes of North America. Salmon are intensively produced in aquaculture in many parts of the world. Fisherman catch millions of salmon each year. Most of the fish that are caught are one of the five species in the coastal waters of the Pacific Northwest. The Atlantic salmon is not closely related to the Pacific Salmon. Salmon are born in freshwater and spend half their life in saltwater they return to freshwater to spawn. After they spawn they usually die. Atlantic Salmon may spawn three or more times. Most salmon spawn in the summer or autumn. They swim as far as 2000 miles from the ocean. It may take them several months. The female lays her eggs in a shallow stream with a gravely bottom. The male stands guard while the female digs a saucer shaped nest. Then the female lays her eggs and the male fertilizes them. They repeat this many times. The female lays anywhere from 2,000 to 17,000 eggs. The eggs hatch in about four months; they lay under the gravel for many more months. Some leave the freshwater immediately for the ocean. Others spend three to four months in freshwater. Some are eaten by


other fish and birds. When they reach the ocean they live from 6 to 7 years. They feed mainly on fish, shrimp, squid and small fish. Salmon can travel thousands of miles to the lake of stream they were born in. They stop eating when they reach freshwater. They live off stored food and fat. As they travel upstream their bodies start to change. For example males grow a hooked snout. Many fish don’t complete their spawning journey because commercial fisherman catch enormous amounts of salmon. There are six kinds of salmon. The Amago, the Atlantic, the Cherry, the Chinook, the Chum, the Coho, the Pink, and the Sockeye. After salmon enter freshwater their flesh loses flavor and color. Most fisherman catch salmon as they leave the ocean as they enter freshwater.

Where the fish are


Proper Bait.

Trout: Trout is the name for a number of species of freshwater fish belonging to the genera Oncorhynchus, Salmo and Salvelinus, all of the subfamily Salmoninae of the family Salmonidae. The word trout is also used as part of the name of some non-salmonid fish such as Cynoscion nebulosus, the spotted seatrout or speckled trout. Trout are closely related to the Salmon, the Whitefish, and Chars. Most species live in freshwater streams and lakes. All trout have strong teeth and streamlined bodies with small scales True Trout have dark spots on their bodies. The best known is the Rainbow Trout. It has black spots on it’s upper body and a reddish band on each side. They are also known as Steelhead. The Cutthroat Trout get it’s name from the reddish-orange slash on each side of the lower jaw. Other species of True Trout are Golden Trout, Apache Trout,Gila Trout, Brown Trout, and Brook Trout. Most Trout spawn in streams or rivers, but some spawn in lakes with gravel bottoms and good water flow. They spawn in spring and fall. The Trout move up to a spawning area. The female chooses a good spot. (usually in a shallow, gravel area) Then she beats her tail up and down to make a nest called a redd. The male fertilizes the eggs as the female releases them. Then


the female covers the eggs with gravel. The eggs hatch in about two months. Trout feed on other fish and crayfish.

Where the fish are


Proper Bait.

Bass: Bass is a name shared by many different species of popular gamefish. The term encompasses both freshwater and marine species. All belong to the large order Perciformes, or perch-like fishes, and in fact the word bass comes from Middle English bars, meaning perch.

Black Bass:

They are members of the sunfish family. It’s a freshwater fish. There are six species of Black Bass: Largemouth, Smallmouth, Spotted, Redeye, Guadalupe, and Suwannee. They all have long yellowish-greenish bodies.

Redeye bass: live in streams of

Largemouth Bass: live in lakes,

Temperate Bass are silvery fish with two fins on the top of the back. They have six or seven bold stripes along their body. There are four species in North America, White Bass, Yellow Bass, Striped Bass, and White Perch. White and Yellow Bass live only in freshwater but Striped Bass and White Perch are native of the Atlantic Ocean. Both have been forced to live in freshwater because people damned inland waters. Striped Bass are common in the Atlantic regions and in the south. They weigh anywhere from 2-20 pounds.

ponds, and rivers of the U.S. and Canada. It’s a favorite fish of fisherman. They are very strong and make a good meal. They’re famous for their fighting ability. Adults usually weigh from 1-4 pounds, but they can grow to 20 lbs. and two feet long.

Smallmouth Bass: are especial-

ly strong for their size. They only weigh 1/2 to 4 pounds. They live in streams and large lakes of the United States and parts of Canada, Europe, and South America.

Spotted Bass:

are also known as Kentucky Bass live in southern regions of the United States. They are found in deep clear reservoirs. They’re usually smaller than smallmouths.


the southeast.

True Bass: are divided into two

categories temperate bass and sea bass. Most species live in the ocean.

There are over 370 species of Sea Bass the Jewfish is the largest. It can grow to 8 feet long and 700 pounds.

Where the fish are


Proper Bait.

Pike: The northern pike (Esox lucius, known simply as a pike in Britain, Ireland, most parts of the USA, or as jackfish in Canada or simply “Northern” in the Upper Midwest of the USA), is a species of carnivorous fish of the genus Esox (the pikes). They are typical of brackish and freshwaters of the northern hemisphere. Pike is the common name of a family of freshwater fish known for their greedy appetite and fighting quality. Members of the Pike family have long, skinny bodies and a duck bill shaped snout. Two other members of the Pike family are the Pickerel and Muskellunge or Musky. The Northern Pike and Muskellunge are the two most important fish in the Pike family. They are often displayed as trophy fish. Northern Pike live in the northern waters of Europe and Asia, in the Great Lakes , smaller lakes in Canada, and in the upper Mississippi Valley of North America. They can grow to be four feet long and weigh more than 40 pounds. But they usually weigh 2 to 10 pounds. It has a bluish-greenish body, with irregular rows of whitish or yellowish spots. The Northern Pike’s flesh is good to eat. Muskellunge is the largest fish in the Pike family. It may reach a length of six feet and weigh 100 pounds. Most Muskellunges are from 3 to 4 feet long and weigh anywhere from 5 to 36 pounds.


The life span of a Muskellunge is about twenty five years. They look much like the common Pike, but the Muskellunge has no scales on the lower half of it’s head. They may be brown, gray, green, or silver. Most have dark bars on their side, but some are plain. The Muskellunge lives in the lakes and quiet rivers of southern Canada. It is also found in the upper Mississippi Valley, the Great Lakes, and the St. Lawrence and Ohio Rivers. Many people consider the Muskellunge among the best eating fish. Pickerel is the name given to three small members of the Pike family. Like all Pikes, Pickerels have large mouths and greedy appetites. They fight stubbornly when caught on a hook. Pickerels are a freshwater fish. They usually eat smaller fish. The three kinds of Pickerel are the Redfin Pickerel, which lives from Maine to Florida; the Grass Pickerel, which is found in the Mississippi Valley; and the Chain Pickerel, which lives from Maine to Florida. The Redfin and Grass Pickerels hardly ever grow to be more than a foot long but the Chain Pickerel grows to be

Where the fish are


Proper Bait.

Sunfish: The sunfish, Mola mola, or common mola, is the heaviest known bony fish in the world. It has an average adult weight of 1,000 kg. It resembles a fish head with a tail, and its main body is flattened laterally. Sunfish can be as tall as they are long when their dorsal and ventral fins are extended.


Found throughout the United States. If you’re an inexperienced fisherman, it’s a good fish to start with. It’s a member of the sunfish family. It travels and feeds in schools. So, if you find one, you’re probably in for a good day of fishing. The best times to catch bluegill are during sunrise and sunset, when they will eat any kind of small bait. A tiny piece of worm and a small hook are your best bet. Bluegill have a very tender mouth area, so you don’t want to set the hook too hard. They are among the largest in the sunfish family and can weigh a pound or more. It’s freshwater fish. They have a gold underbelly and the rest of the body is a bluish-green color. Dark bars appear on the dull parts of the body. The reason they are called panfish is because they will fit in a pan. Bluegill are a very thin fish.


Common sunfish are also called Pumpkinseeds. The males build nests in the shallow


water and guard the nest until the eggs hatch. Their long dorsal fin is spined in the front. Ocean sunfishes belong to a different family. They have a huge head with large fins on the top and bottom of the fish, and can grow to be 11 feet long. They float near the surface of the water and appear to be sunning themselves. Males become very bright during mating season. Pumpkinseed is another kind of sunfish found from Maine to Missouri. It is bright orange in color, and grows up to 8 inches. It’s a good fish to catch, because it bites so often. Pygmy sunfish are smaller and only found in marshy areas in the southeastern U.S. They only grow to about 2 inches long, are never eaten, and are not very closely related to true sunfish.

Where the fish are


Proper Bait.

Remove the Hook Right Fish caught in shallow water can inju足 re themselves thrashing around on rocks. So if you're in a river angling for a nice brown trout, try not to land it in shallow water. Look for a deep pool nearby. Once it's time to get the hook, see if you can do it with the fish still in the water. If you need to get the fish out of the water, wet your hands and lift it, holding it firmly by the tail and supporting it gently under the belly. Avoid touching the gills or squeezing the fish. Use needle-nose pliers to remove the hook. Grasp the hook by the stem and, while holding the fish in the water, twist and pull gently, backing the hook out the way it came in. Don't ever wiggle the hook or pull with too much force if it's snagged. If the fish is guthooked or the hook is too deep into the throat, it's best to cut the hook as close to the body as possible and leave it in there. Many times the hook will simply dissolve and get spit out. The fish has a better chance at living than if you struggle to free the hook. Once the hook is out, you need to revive the fish. "Tossing a fish" back into the water should remain an expression. Never throw a fish into the water. If you're bass fishing, you can hold the fish by the lower jaw and ease it back into


the water. If it's a trout or another non-bass, lower the fish headfirst with both hands the same way you handled it out of the water, supporting the belly. If it's a river catch, point the fish with its head upstream in a slow current. You may need to help it out some by moving it gently back and forth to allow water to flow into the gills. The same holds true for lake fish. Once it begins to come around and tries to swim away, simply release your grasp. Larger fish may take a little longer to revive. If you plan on catch-and-release fishing, be prepared ahead of time. Get the proper tackle, have your pliers within easy reach and the camera ready. Fish can only live for a few minutes out of the water, but you should never even come close to using this amount of time. Try and keep the time out of the water to less than 30 seconds. Experienced catch-andrelease fishermen never allow the fish to leave the water at all.

Removing the hook

Make sure to keep the fish in the water for minute intervals so it does not die. One minute out of the water equals one minute in.

needle-nose pliers hook

It may be necessary to cut the line with the hook still in the fish. This is not a sure-proof way to get your hook back.