Fishing is one of the most popular recreational activities around the world. And different people have found different methods to enjoy this venture. This has led to the discovery of a variety of fishing techniques.
So, let’s take deeper dive into these fishing methods and see how they work.
Freshwater fishing or angling is the activity of capturing fish in rivers, ponds, and lakes. This is what people typically think of when they hear recreational fishing.
Usually, you do not have to travel a great distance. It is more the depth that you have to consider. Some freshwater bodies can be very deep and you have to set up accordingly. Most anglers stay on the shore or near cover when casting. Some prefer to take a boat and troll the area.
Types of Gear Used
This will vary depending on the situation and your personal preference.
Typically, freshwater species are not that heavy or big. As such, they do not require heavy rigs and tackles. Rather they require more finesse and touch. Of course, the degree of this will vary based on the fish you are targeting.
Spinning reels are often employed, but baitcasters can also work. Commonly used tackles are live worms, minnows, spinnerbaits, etc.
Freshwater Fishing Techniques
In freshwater, you need to pay close attention to the depth of the water and potential areas for fish. More often than not, your target will be hiding in the cover of rocks or logs. Other times, they will be near vegetation or a deep spot of water.
You also have to be mindful of the weather patterns and time of day. Fish are not active all the time. So, you have to study the behavior pattern of individual species and learn what time they are most active.
Freshwater fishing requires more finesse and precision. You have to think carefully about the spot you are going to hit.
What Fish Can You Catch in Freshwater?
Bass and trout are probably the most well-known. You also have other popular options such as carp, bluegill, perch, sturgeon, catfish, walleye, etc. There are also various species of eels found in freshwater.
Catching fish in any saltwater body is considered saltwater fishing or angling. Typically, this involves the ocean or the sea.
Based on the location you are standing on and the depth, saltwater fishing can be divided into two types:
Inshore is when you remain on the shore or close to it. The depth is much more shallow compared to the deeper parts of the ocean.
Anglers stand on the shore with a strong footing. Then they cast their rods as far as they can and wait for a bite. Other anglers prefer to take a small skiff boat or a pontoon and hang of the coast.
Offshore fishing means to venture into the deepest parts of the sea and capture fish there. For this task, you will need a reliable water vessel that provides housing for all your tools.
And saltwater fishing usually requires a greater number of tools. The rods and baits used are also heavier compared to their freshwater counterparts. When you fish offshore, you are expected to hail in a large number or a very big species. So, your boat has to able to handle that load.
Types of Gear Used
Inshore fishing gear is more akin to freshwater setups. They are light and easy for you to move around.
Offshore is a different beast altogether. You need heavy baits or lures. You will not see people using live baits for this. You need heavy baits such as crank or jerk baits.
The fish here are also expected to be very bulky and aggressive. So, you most certainly need a rod and line that can withstand the assault. 20 lbs. fishing lines and heavy crankbaits are a common sight in saltwater.
The other thing you have to worry about is the condition itself. Saltwater can lead to the fast deterioration of your equipment. So, make sure you are using equipment that can take on this environment.
What Fish Can You Catch in Saltwater?
Saltwater fishes differ greatly from freshwater species due to the different environments. Their size is also bigger and heavier as they have more room to grow.
Sailfish, marlin, different types of tuna, roosterfish, snapper, spotted trout, etc., are some of the most popular choices. Some even travel to the deep in search of sharks.
Fly fishing is a very popular style among anglers. This style utilizes a particular type of lure called a “fly”. It is an artificial lure designed to mimic the look and movement of insects, specifically the insects found in fishing spots. Hence, people refer to this method as “fly fishing”.
Fly fishing is mainly done in freshwater such as rivers and streams. You can also try this method for inshore saltwater angling.
Types of Gear Used
Fly fishing gear usually differs to a various degree from other setups. The main distinction is the lure, which we have already mentioned. These lures are light and low-profile and require more finesse when casting.
However, the line is thick and heavy compared to something like a baitcaster setup. In most other setups, the lure or bait provides the weight that allows you to hit your mark. But fly fishing does not utilize any added weight and the fly itself is lean. So, the momentum comes from the heavyweight line used in the rod.
The other notable aspect is the use of a leader and tippet. You want to present the fly in a way that attracts the fish instead of scaring them. This where the leader comes in. It attaches the thick line to the fly and makes for a transparent transition. So, the fly seems more natural to fish.
Most people employ rods that are 7-12 feet long, depending on how far you want to cast. Fly rods are designed differently than spinners or baitcasters. They are capable of holding a heavy line but also casting a lure without much weight.
The reel is a straightforward arbor type of reel that holds the bulky line. The weight balance between the reel and rod is essential. So, make sure you get the balance right when purchasing the equipment.
Fly Fishing Techniques
If you have ever seen it for yourself, you will realize it is quite different and arguably more challenging. The key here is to add momentum through your throw. To do this, anglers constantly rock the line back and forward until they feel enough momentum has been generated. Once, the motion is set, the angler releases the line, and the fly is sent on its way.
What Fish Can You Catch Fly Fishing?
Most people use this technique to catch different species of trout. Insects are very common in trout habitats and are part of the trout diet. Other notable species include grayling, carp, pike, salmon, panfish, etc. Basically, any fish with a tendency to eat insects will bite into an artificial fly.
Here we have an angling style that is very popular among beginners and veterans alike. Many people will start their angling journey with a spinning rod and reel. This is because this style is easier to grasp and master compared to fly or baitcasting techniques.
The name comes from the type of reel it utilizes, which is easily recognizable. The spinning reel is positioned perpendicularly to the length of the pole and spins when the line comes out. So, when you cast the lure, the line will come out in a circular motion instead of straight. This also gives the lure a circular movement when it hits the water.
Types of Gear Used
Spinning rod and reel differ significantly from baitcasters. The reel is light and remains on the side of the rod. The rod does not have any sort of braking system but it does have a drag adjustment function. This reel has less line capacity but practically no chance of a backlash.
Spinning gear is commonly used with lighter lines (around 10 lbs. or less) and lures. So, it is preferred when finesse is required more than power. You will normally use lures like salmon eggs, spinners, jigs, minnows, etc.
Spin Fishing Techniques
It takes time to learn the correct of casting a spinning reel as the trajectory is quite different. The wind is a big factor that you have to consider. You want to land the lure in a place where it will eventually drift to your desired location.
People who like to use spinners do not have much need for a huge distance. So, the focus is to accurately hit the target over a short distance. This is equipment is preferred when you are using thin lines and lightweight lures.
What Fish Can You Catch While Spin Fishing?
Spinning gear is adept in catching both saltwater and freshwater fish. You can capture trout, bass, salmon, pike, chub, walleye, perch, etc.
Now, we have a more technical style of angling that has become famous among experienced anglers. Compared to a spinning setup, baitcaster implements more advanced technology and gears. So, it is significantly harder to learn and get the hang of it.
Baitcasting means angling with the help of a baitcaster rod and reel. Its main draw is that it allows greater casting distance as well as improved accuracy. Most novice anglers tend to avoid it due to its higher learning curve. But with enough practice and time, you will see that it is worth the effort.
Types of Gear Used
The most distinguishing feature of this setup is, of course, the reel. The reel sits on top of the rod which launches the line in a straight direction. This gives you more control and precision. There are also two types of brakes attached to help you prevent a common occurrence known as backlash.
Baitcasters are frequently associated with heavyweight tackles and rigs. Although it is lighter than a spinning reel, it can hold heavier lines and lures. Usually, if you are using a line that is more than 10 lbs., then you should go with a baitcaster.
Baitcaster rods are made out of graphite, fiberglass, or similar material. This provides excellent durability without making it too bulky. You will notice the difference in weight instantly when you pick up this rod.
This setup requires plenty of pre-configurations and adjustments before casting. You have to set the brakes and tension knob properly. You also have to be mindful of how many lines you are putting on the spool. And you have to do this before you make every throw so that you do not have a backlash.
The other big difference is the “thumbing the spool” technique. Again, this is done to avoid any backlash or “bird’s nest”. After you launch the lure, you put pressure on the spool with your thumb right before the lure hits the water.
The actual throwing motion and action power are the same as before. But you have to find the sweet spot when you apply manual pressure. Too little or too much will not get you the result you want. This is by far the most difficult aspect to master with a baitcaster. It is an issue even experienced anglers face from time to time.
What Can You Catch with a Baitcaster?
Because of the heavyweight tackles, baitcasters are preferred when catching large, aggressive fish. Bluefin tuna, flathead, redfish, snapper, etc. are some prime examples.
But you can also capture lighter fish such as trout, yellow or largemouth bass, perch, etc. Just remember to use lighter lures and lower the drag on your reel.
Trolling is not so different in terms of gear or tackle. Rather the contrast lies in the method used in this. The idea is to attach one or multiple lines with lures and then drag the lines across the water to draw in fish. Typically, this activity is accompanied by a vessel that has holders for your rods.
Now, you can do this manually by dragging one line through the water. The biggest advantage of this method is that it catches more fish in a quick time. This is why trolling is popular for commercial purposes as well as tournaments.
Types of Gear Used
Usually, most people troll on their boats and carry multiple rods with them. These rods have to be sturdy enough to withstand the rushing current. 6–7-inch rods with a heavy built, and slow action are ideal for this quest.
The reel you choose will depend on what are planning on catching. You also have to consider how much line you are letting off as this is not a hands-on process. Anglers these days utilize a device called a line-counting reel that tells you just how much line you are using.
As for the fishing line, you need a material that resists the moving waves and still holds on to the fish. We recommend going with the monofilament variant as it has excellent stretching capacity.
What Fish Can You Catch While Trolling?
Trolling in rivers and streams can land you salmon, trout, bass, etc. In saltwater, anglers use trolling to catch things like kingfish, mackerel, wahoo, etc. These are mostly pelagic fish that swim in groups.
Bowfishing is using specific archery-based equipment to capture fish. Here, you penetrate the target rather than just hook its mouth.
Since you are killing the fish, you are not allowed to put it back in the water. Bowfishing is prohibited in many regions. The regions that do allow this activity, implement certain laws to prevent disruption in the ecosystem.
Types of Gear Used
You will see people wielding various types of archery-based tools such as the crossbow, compound bows, longbows, etc. These contraptions fire a sharp arrow that pierces through the body of the fish, often killing them instantly. Typically, they will have a line attached so you can retrieve the fish and arrow.
Here, you stand on the shoreline and cast your lure into the crashing waves. It is a frequently used method for catching flounder, rockfish, mackerel, striped bass, bluefish, etc.
The focus here is to land the lure accurately in the waves. Distance and precision are the two biggest factors here. You need to learn how to read the surroundings and know the most likely place for the fish.
Bottom fishing is when you send your lure to the bottom of the sea or river. This will lead you to species that are not found with trolling or casting as they reside near the floor. Such species include flounder, pufferfish, black sea bass, rockfish, etc.
Bottom fishing requires the use of added weight to get the lure down. You do not have to jig the line around too much. Instead, you have to be patient and wait for the fish to bite your lure.
As you can see, there are so many options for fishing out there. Some anglers are better suited to certain styles, while some are experts in different methods. So, find the method that works for you and enjoy yourself on the water.