Tips for beginners


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Updated: 3/27/2003 2:45 pm Published: 3/27/2003 2:45 pm


Generations of anglers learned how to fish as kids by using simple cane pole rigs. Some even used a long stick, a piece of string, a cork and a fish hook. Today, basic fishing equipment is more sophisticated, but can still be easy to use. If you’re a beginner learning the fundamentals of fishing, there are a few things you need to know. First, you’ll need a rod and reel, fishing line and some form of bait or a lure. Basic rod and reel combinations can be bought for $15 (fifteen dollars) to $45 (forty-five dollars). As for line, use light test line that’s between four and eight pounds. Most new spin cast reels come with line already attached. When choosing which hooks to use, base the size of the hook by what kind of fish you’re trying to catch. For instance, if you want to catch smaller fish like sunfish, crappies (CROP-ees), and perch, you need to use size 10, 12, and 14 hooks. For larger fish like walleye, bass, and catfish, sizes six or eight usually work well. Also, match your hook and bait to the size of the fish you’re trying catch. For bait, you can use minnows and wax worms for crappies; wax worms, red worms or mealworms for blue gills and sunfish; night crawlers, cut baits and chicken livers for catfish; soft craws for small mouth bass; and minnows or night crawlers for largemouth bass. If you choose not to keep a fish once you’ve caught it, release it by first wetting your hands, gently unhooking the fish and then immediately placing it back into the water. If you have any questions about fishing, most sporting goods stores can assist you.

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