beginner fishing

7 Tips :: Taking Kids or a Beginner Fishing

It’s as easy as — Easy. Fast. Fun.

Bobber DiagramTip 1 :: Start simple
A cane pole is a good way for new anglers or kids to start fishing. Spin-casting gear is a simple rod and reel for kids. The next step is ultra-light spinning gear.

Tip 2 :: Lighten your line
Line that is 4 to 8-pound test will do the job; “pound test” is the amount of force it takes to break the line. Unless you’re targeting monster catfish or muskies, light line is your best bet.

Tip 3 :: Bag the big bobbers
Bobbers (or floats) are used to suspend your bait in the water and to alert you when to set the hook. The harder the bobber is to pull under, the harder it will be to hook a fish. Small floats will help convince the fish to take your tasty bait and run. “Slip” bobbers work well for kids. Slip bobber rigs cut down on the amount of line needed at the end of the rod and are easier to cast. Small ice fishing bobbers can provide a light touch any time of year.

Tip 4 :: Sink it with shot
Sinkers (or weights) help get your line down to the fish. They can also create “zero buoyancy.” Ideally, you want your bobber to just barely float on the top of the water. Squeeze small BB-sized split shot sinkers onto your line, one at a time, until your bobber nearly sinks from the weight. Since there is very little resistance when the fish takes the bait, it is more likely to bite the bait and run.

Tip 5 :: Small hooks = big catches
Use hook sizes 6 to 10 (size 6 is larger than size 10). Fish won’t readily take large hooks unless they are feeding like crazy. A subtle presentation is often needed to catch wary fish. Tiny hooks also allow small fish to “inhale” the bait, rather than nibble the bait off the hook. If a fish swallows the hook and you want to return the fish to the water, simply cut the line as close to the hook as possible and release the fish. For a safer hook, smash down the barb with pliers or use barbless hooks.

Tip 6 :: Great big gobs of worms won’t do
There’s no need to use whole, whopping-big, writhing night crawlers on your hook. Live bait such as red worms, wax worms (bee moth larvae) or crickets work best. Keep the bait approximately the size of your hook, so the fish is less likely to steal your bait. You can also cut the bait to fit your hook. When you’re finished with the bait, give to another angler, bring home for the next trip, or throw it in the trash. Never dump your bait into the water.

Tip 7 :: Fish Local
The best way to make someone an angler is to show them where they can fish close to home. Regardless of whether it’s in the City park or off the nearest pier, show them where they can fish that doesn’t require a lot of travel time. You can find locations throughout the state with Google Maps, keyword “fishing places”.

Beginners Boating Tips

On this page we give a short walk-thru of Beginners Boating Tips. You can find information from Hooking up a Trailer to your Vehicle to Cruising and No Wake Zones.


It Is All In The Preparation

There are a few things to be prepared for before you start trailering your boat even just to the lake outside town.

1. Is your vehicle the right one for the job? Does it have enough power to tow? Is the ball size on your hitch correct (most are 2″)? And do you have the correct wire connections?

2. Is the trailer ready to be towed? Does it have the correct tongue size that matches the hitch on the vehicle? Are all the tires aired up? Are your wheel bearings greased? Do you have the correct wire connections? Do you have ratchet straps on back of the trailer that are secured to the boat? Is the safety chain and strap securely on the front of the boat?

Once you have all those things checked out and good to go, you’re ready to proceed. These Beginners Boating Tips aren’t just for beginners, these are things I check everytime I get ready to go out. (Of course I know I have the correct wire connections by now, but are they still in good working order?) Its a great idea to get in the habit of checking them every time, so you don’t have any silly hold-ups down the road.

Trailering a Boat

1. Back vehicle up to trailer to match up with hitch.

2. Lower trailer onto hitch.

3. Lower tongue latch and insert lock or pin.

4. Connect wire harness.

5. Attach chains to receiver.

6. Turn on lights and check all bulbs for operation.

Smooth Operation for Beginners

Practice driving in less populated areas. Making wide and tight turns, stopping and backing up. Remember to keep plenty of room in front of you because other drivers may not be aware, and can slam on their brakes or turn in front of you at any given moment!

You don’t want to show up at the dock and not know how to back up to it. A good trick is to practice at the dock early in the morning or during the week when there aren’t many boaters. However, if you get in a bind during the “real thing” most other boaters will understand and be happy to help out.

Putting in the Water

1. So its the big day and your next at the dock! Just remember to be calm and take your time. Even Veteran Boaters have their bad days. Some boat ramps are kind of steep so a helper is always nice to guide you in the water.

2. Before you get too excited, there are a few things to do before you put the boat in the water. a. Always, ALWAYS put the plug in the back bottom of the boat! (You don’t want to sink!) b. Remove the ratchet straps from the back of the boat and trailer.

c. have a few buoys attached to the side of the boat that the dock is on and one or two dock ropes, about 4 or 5 feet in length, ready for when you put the boat in the water so you can tie to the dock easily-don’t want to float away! (The buoys are so you don’t scratch or dent that shiney new boat!)

3. Back up the boat into the water far enough that it starts to float above the trailer alittle or until the back wheels of your vehicle are in the water. Every ramp is different, so the one you might be used to at home could be more or less steep than the one on that big trip you took, so be sure you’re in before unlatching the boat.

4. Remove the safety chain and start to winch the boat the rest of the way out – SLOWLY.

At the Dock

Once the boat is in the water, tie it to the dock. It’s nice to have a helper at this point-if you do, have one person in the boat to do these small tasks while the other person drives the vehicle out of the dock area and finds a parking place-thus getting out of the way of other boaters waiting to put their boat in.

1. Turn on the boat fans to remove any fuel vapors from the engine compartment.

2. Lower the trim and start the engine. If the dock is busy and you have other people with you that may be a few minutes, go ahead and pull the boat away from the dock and wait in the water. You can come back and pick them up when they get to the dock. This way other boaters can still get in the water and everyone can enjoy their day quicker! If no one else is waiting to put their boat in the water, just wait for your buddies there!

Departing the Dock

1. Push away from the dock, put the boat in reverse and back out slowly, far enough to turn around.

2. Once turned around, put it in forward and idle away from the dock area.

No Wake Zones

No Wake Zones are usually marked by a buoy. It is always No Wake near the dock because if it there are waves, the people at the dock have a hard time either backing their boat in the water, putting the boat on a trailer or trying to keep the boat from hitting the dock. There is plenty of time for “Wide Open Throttle” (W.O.T.) once you get past the buoys.