Fishing For Beginners…..Welcome to The Beginners Fishing Guide!
Are you new to fishing? We have EVERYTHING you need to get started and be successful!
If you are new to fishing and looking for beginner fishing gear, pointers, advice, or recommendations on the fishing essentials, we’ve got you covered! We are going to walk you step by step down one of the greatest paths know to man (and woman)…..the world of fishing!
Our goal is to help you, the beginner fisherman or fisherwoman, equip yourself with the right knowledge, gear, and equipment to get you on the water as soon as possible. Fishing is truly a wonderful sport and if we can do anything to get more people fishing, we are going to do it!
Fishing for beginners and how I got started….
Many people often ask me why I enjoy fishing so much or wonder how I can spend day after day on the water and not get bored. My answer is always the same.
I can still remember the beginning of my fishing journey like it was yesterday. I was my grandfather’s biggest fan and often times would do all I could to convince him to let me stay over at his house. See, he lived on a lake in my hometown and overnights meant fishing trips! Some of my greatest memories to this day were made in those early years of my life when I was a beginner at the mercy of the experienced fisherman. In fact, I remember casting Texas rigged soft plastics around my neighborhood, often times getting snagged in the neighbors trees, or how when I received my first casting plug I tossed it over the neighbors house, hitting their car parked in the driveway.
Some 25 years later and these memories have stuck with me like they happened yesterday. Fishing gave me an escape from the couch and the electronics, it gave me an opportunity to stretch my wings as a young child and let my imagination wander. Fishing put me front and center with nature and I am forever grateful for that.
I was fortunate to grow up in a fishing family. My father, his father, and even his father were all avid fisherman. I was lucky enough to have those influences in my life when I was just a young boy, however, I realize many aren’t as fortunate. My goal with this article is to help the people who may not have someone to show them the fishing basics, such as where to start or what to buy, things I consider the fishing essentials.
The Fishing For Beginners – Fishing Guide is aimed at getting a beginner out on the water fishing. Someone who doesn’t know where to start, and give him the opportunity to dive into the sport of fishing just as I did as a young boy. Enjoy the reading, and please if you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you. And with that being said, your beginner fishing guide…. Tight lines!
Note: This is not a review or recommendation of the best available fishing products on the market. This is a recommendation of products aimed at fishing for beginners, based off of price, quality, and functionality.
Fishing For Beginners – The Fishing Basics
Assuming you are completely new to fishing, lets take a look at what I would consider the “fishing essentials”. Each topic on the list will be covered below in detail.
- Picking the right beginners fishing rod/reel.
- Purchasing your first tackle box/bag.
- Choosing the right landing net.
- Purchasing the right fishing tackle.
- No boat? No problem.
Fishing For Beginners – Rod and Reel
This is a big one. In fact, probably the most important step for any person wanting to start fishing. I still remember my first fishing rod and reel combo like I got it yesterday. It was a bright red Medium Light Shakespear Rod with a Zebco press button reel on it. That thing wasn’t winning any awards, but it was my beginner fishing pole so it was special to me. My top two choices paired together will cost you about $70 total. I challenge you to find a better combo for a better price! Fishing for beginners is all about finding GOOD products and GOOD prices!
Remember, this is not a recommendation or review for the best rods or reels on the market. This is my opinion on the best beginner fishing rod and beginner fishing reel options based off quality and priced for a beginner.
Top Rod Choice
Sure, there are cheaper rods out there and most of them will handle everything that a beginner level fisherman will use it for. That doesn’t change the quality of the Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Rod. I would recommend a 6′ medium action rod for your beginner fishing pole. This will handle most every freshwater fishing situation and allow you to determine if you want a heavier or lighter action rod in the future. And the price of right at $40 makes this an affordable option. If I were to make a small upgrade, I would stay with the Ugly Stik brand and check out the Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod.
- Graphite and Fiberglass construction.
- Lightweight EVA grips.
- One-piece stainless steel grips to eliminate reel from popping out of place.
- 2-piece rod for easy breakdown. (6′ medium action option).
- Very durable and Lightweight
- Multiple of rod length and action options
- 2-piece rod for breakdown
- Affordable price point
- Trusted brand
- Lacks some of the sensitivity and backbone of the more expensive rods.
Top Reel Choice
Again, there are cheaper reels out there. There are reels out there that will handle the casual fishing trips of most beginners. That doesn’t change my opinion on buying the best reel at the best price, regardless of whether you are an experienced fisherman or a beginner. The Trion by Pflueger is just that, the best reel at the best price. And that price of right at $30 is what makes this my top choice for a beginner fishing reel. If I were to upgrade, I would stay with the Pflueger brand and give the Pflueger President a hard look.
- Graphite body and rotor
- 4-7 stainless steel ball bearings depending on size of reel
- Aluminum spool and handle
- Stainless steel drag
- On/off anti-reverse
- Lightweight graphite and aluminum body
- Little play in the handle
- Very smooth
- Lots of sizes available to suit your needs
- Affordable, priced as low as $30
- Trusted brand
- Cheaper options available
Fishing for Beginners – Fishing Tackle Box/Tackle Bag
In my opinion, aside from your fishing rod and fishing reel, the purchase of your first fishing tackle bag or tackle box would qualify as next most important task on the list of fishing basics. Your tackle bag or tackle box is going to be your personal safe, full of your latest treasures. At the age of 30 years old, I still find myself collecting, organizing, and admiring my trays of lures I have collected over the years. Every new fisherman or fisherwoman will remember their first tackle box for many, many years. Choose wisely!
Top Beginner Fishing Tackle Box
The Plano Weekend Series tackle bag would be my number one beginner fishing tackle bag. I actually really like this bag for a handful of reasons.
It offers a decent amount of storage space for it’s size with room for 4 tackle trays. It is loaded down with zipper pockets on both ends as well as the front of the bag. These are nice for fishing pliers, a small fishing scale, tape measure, or extra spools of fishing line. Equipped with a carrying strap and multiple d-links for accessory attachment, this bag covers all the fishing essentials. Fishing can be expensive and when I am talking about fishing for beginners, one of the more important things is to keep it INEXPENSIVE. The bag retails for less than $20 and comes with 2 tackle trays.
- Dimensions: 12″L x 7″w x 6″H.
- Room for 4 tackle trays (Include 2 – 3500 series trays)
- 3 zipper pouches and 3 mesh pockets for extra storage
- Carrying strap
- Awesome value – priced at $20.
- Plenty of storage space
- Extra zipper and mesh pockets for easy storage/access
- Trusted brand.
Fishing For Beginners – Your First Landing Net
Further down the list of fishing essentials is a Landing Net. I would rank this behind The fishing rod and reel, tackle bag, and fishing tackle in terms of importance. I only say this because you can definitely get by just fine without purchasing a landing net, however, the first time you lose a BIG FISH due to not having one, you will make the purchase, guarantee it! So for that reason, it is included in the “fishing basics” section of our beginner fishing guide.
Top Beginner Fishing Net
Keep this choice simple and most importantly inexpensive. At this point in your fishing journey, any landing net is a luxury. Make this decision based off of price and ease of use. Take into consideration whether you are fishing from shore (portable net), boat (easily stored net), etc. I would get something that is small and easy to use one handed, something you will be doing frequently especially if you are or will be fishing alone. My top choice is as follows:
Plusinno Collapsible Fishing Net
I like this option as a beginner fishing net for a few reasons. Most importantly it is inexpensive, as I stated before that any net at this point in your fishing journey is icing on the cake. This net really covers all the fishing basics. It is easily packed in and out of fishing locations, it is inexpensive, it is collapsible, and offers a telescopic pole handle for extended reach. Really a nice option for a beginner.
- Waterproof nylon mesh
- Lightweight collapsible pole with belt loop attachment
- Multiple sizes available
- High density carbon fiber/fiberglass material
- Telescopic pole for adjustable reach
- Telescopic pole for extended reach
- Lightweight and portable
- Collapsible for easy storage and transport
- Not ideal for large fish
- Higher quality options available, but fitting for price point.
For a more in-depth review on some of the top landing nets on the market, check out our full review here!
Fishing For Beginners – Buying Fishing Tackle
This is one of the more important steps when beginning the fishing journey. As a beginner, picking the right fishing tackle can be a very overwhelming and baffling process. There are literally tens of thousands of options available when talking fishing lures.
I still remember going to the trade shows as a kid and picking the most random lures because they looked cool, many of which I never fished or caught anything on because they are impractical or just simply weren’t effective. Although finding the right beginner fishing tackle can be overwhelming, it can also be very enjoyable if you have a little direction on where to start. Lets get you headed in the right direction!
What you NEED to know…..
First, I would start with the fishing basics. Bluegills and crappies, or panfish, are abundant in most reservoirs and small lakes/ponds. They are relatively easy to catch and can be done from shore fairly easily, almost year round. I would start here.
After you select a few lures to get you fishing, I would take a look at a few options for bass. Bass get larger, are also fairly easy to catch, and provide a little added excitement in terms of aggression and fishing opportunities for a beginner. One of my favorite types of fishing is topwater for largemouth bass, VERY EXCITING STUFF.
After selecting a few bass lures, I think every fisherman should be equipped to do a little catfishing. Most states provide excellent channel catfishing opportunities. Although this can be a little more challenging when you start fishing river systems and creeks, lake fishing for channel catfish is very simple and straight forward and provide excellent beginner fishing opportunities. Lets take a look at each section and get you catching fish!
Purchasing your first fishing lures is a very exciting time for any beginner fisherman or fisherwoman. There are literally tens of thousands of options available so getting started and knowing what the purchase for your beginner fishing tackle collection can be a daunting task. Lets take a look at what I have the most success with and what I use the most in my tackle box in terms of panfish fishing lures. These will be aimed at catching bluegill, crappie, and perch.
Every fisherman targeting panfish should have a solid variety of jigs in their tackle collection. My number one option for panfish jigs is probably some sort of maribou jig. My favorite color would probably be white in the maribou jig option. Here are a few of my favorites:
A close second for panfish lures are small tube baits. These are often very effective in the spring and early summer period, but can be very effective year round for a variety of panfish. I like bright colors for these. Here a few of my favorite tube bait options.
And last, but not least, every fisherman needs a good variety of plain jigs. These can be used with different tube baits shown above, but can also be used in live bait rigs with minnows, wax worms, or night crawlers. In my opinion, smaller jigs work best for panfish as they fit into the mouths of smaller fish easier and increase your hook set.
Bass fishing can be a ton of fun and you can really run wild with all of your bass tackle purchases. I remember years where I had trays and trays of bass fishing lures, many of which I never used. They are fun to accumulate that’s for sure. Here are a few of my recommendations.
Spinnerbaits are one of the easiest bass lures to use. They don’t require any special action or retrieve, just cast and retrieve lure making it a great beginner fishing lure. All colors have their time and place, but if i had to name my favorite colors, it would be white and chartreuse. Here are a few good examples:
Next on the list for bass lures for a beginner fishing lure choice would be topwater. Topwater bass fishing is what really got me hooked on bass fishing at a young age. It is easy to do and the excitement of a largemouth bass visibly crushing a top water lure is something you won’t ever get tired of. I like fishing topwater frogs because they are weedless and can be fished over vegetation where bass typically hang out. Im also a big fan of the popper style topwater bass fishing lures. Here are a few good options for both.
And lastly, I like to fish soft plastics for bass. These allow you to slowly work a bait, further under the water’s surface. They can be easily rigged weedless, weightless, or with a jighead or weight to reach the deeper fish. Here are a few of my favorite soft plastic baits when I am bass fishing.
Catfishing offers excellent beginner fishing opportunities across most states and water bodies. It is very relaxing, offering a more laid back, sit and wait approach. Catfish can also grow very large offering the opportunity at a very large fish. It is relatively easy on the beginner level and offers great table fare if you are a fan of eating fresh fish. Here are the fishing essentials for equipping yourself to catfish.
Lets take a look at the best hook options first. Remember to choose your hook size based on how big of bait you are using.
Next you will need some weights to keep your bait on the bottom of the water you are fishing. I like to use enough to keep my line tight when the wind is blowing. Keep in mind that if fishing any sort of current you will need more weight to hold your bait in place.
And lastly, you will need some sort of bait. Catfish are predators of a wide variety of water creatures, both dead and alive. Often times a person can have great catfishing success using stink bait options. Catfish, especially channel catfish, seem to be attracted to smelly baits over fresh bait. Your flathead catfish will prefer live bait over anything else, and blue catfish are typically caught with the most success using fresh dead cut fish as bait. For the sake of this article, lets look at some of the better channel catfish baits available. Note: If fishing a dip bait or stink bait, you will need a dip bait worm or sponge lure to hold the stink bait on your lure.
Skip the Boat, Get a Float Tube
Sure, this might be more of an intermediate fishing recommendation, but I have to recommend this when talking about fishing for beginners. I decided to add this to the beginner fishing article for the simple fact that I remember as a new fisherman, I quickly grew envious of the guys in the boats as I fished from shore.
Shore fishing can be very productive, its cheap, and its easy to do. However, it is inevitable, after a period of time, the shore fisherman grows tired of not being able to access a large majority of the lake and fishing opportunities. My first “watercraft” was a float tube. Float tube fishing changed the game for me at a young age. And it is cheap and easy to do.
Float tube fishing is a much cheaper option for someone looking to get offshore a bit and explore a lake. Fishing for beginners can be tough, simply due to limit fishing access. One of my favorite things about float tube fishing is it allows you access to many bodies of water that are not accessible by boat. In my opinion this is one of the more important moves I made that changed my fishing game. Always be safe, legal, and be sure to check your local regulations before fishing.
To get started, select your float tube that fits your needs. I prefer something with easily accessible zipper pockets on top of the float tube. These are nice for pliers, tackle trays, tape measures, camera, etc. Maneuvering in a float tube can be a little tricky until you get the hang of it, but fighting a good sized fish in a float tube is quite the rush!
After you select a float tube, you really only need a life jacket to strap to the tube to stay legal and safe, and a good set of flippers for your feet. For the flippers, I personally like a pair that can slip over a set of water shoes. This prevents rubbing and allows you to wade into the water with shoes on your feet prior to applying to fins. Fins go on easier when wet and are very difficult to walk in so applying in the water is definitely the way to go. Here are a few options available on Amazon.
Thanks for checking out our Fishing for Beginners – Beginner Fishing Guide! As always, we would love to hear any feedback from you. If you would like to see a specific product reviewed or see us add to our current article, send us an email! Also, be sure to check out our Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube Channel for the latest from RYG! Good luck on your fishing journey, be sure to take lots of pictures and let us know how you are doing!