Tips And Gear For Fishing With Family & Friends
If you’re a beginner angler wanting to catch fish with family and friends, this blog is for you. Below are suggestions on fishing spots to try this summer, easy-to-use lures that catch all kinds of fish, and tips for choosing rods, reels, line and other essentials.
Where To Fish - The Big Picture
Fish can be caught from many places in lakes and rivers. One area worth trying extends from the shore to where the bottom drops into deep water, typically 20 feet or more. This entire zone is important habitat, supporting all kinds of life, and generally produces good angling for bass, panfish, walleye, trout and more.
Good Spots To Fish
Have you ever noticed how ornaments and plants in an aquarium attract fish? This is because fish like structure and cover. In nature, fish relate to rocky reefs, points, islands, docks, boat launches and fallen trees. Current from tributaries and culverts also appeals. As do changes in depth or bottom composition (e.g., sand to rock).
Aquatic plants also provide cover and support the food chain. From floating lily pads to deep plants, wetting a line around vegetation is a good strategy.
Tip:Anglers can catch fish all day, but early morning and evening are particularly productive times.
Baits That Get Bites
Selecting tackle for fishing can be daunting. Here are some great, easy-to-fish baits for those getting started.
This shallow-running lure has been catching fish for decades. Steadily reeling or slowly trolling gives the Original Floating its legendary Rapala wobble fish can’t resist.
Use 3 and 5 sizes for panfish and small trout. The 7 to 11 sizes catch bass, walleye and more.
This crankbait comes in two sizes, diving to either 3 or 6 feet. Swim it over openings and along vegetation edges. Grinding it across bottom also catches fish. It has a modified V bill for deflecting off rocks, logs and bottom.
360GT Searchbait Shad
The 360GT Searchbait is a versatile, sinking swimbait with an irresistible action. It’s great for covering water to find groups of fish. Try the 3.5 and 4.5 inch versions. Fishing it couldn’t be easier. Cast it out, then steadily reel it back.
Hopping a jig along bottom catches all sorts of fish. Move the rod from 10 to 11 o’clock to lift the jig off the floor, then let it fall. Lower the rod, reel in the slack line and repeat.
Ultra Light Series
Yellow perch, crappie and sunfish can’t resist the Ultra Light Crank, Ultra Light Minnow and Ultra Light Shad. Swim and twitch these lures along vegetation edges and over pockets in growth, beside sunken wood, over sand patches and around docks.
VMC Panfish Jigs
Reliable Rod Combos
Fishing using a spinning reel is a relatively quick skill to learn. These combos are recommended over baitcasters for beginners.
The Ambition Spinning Combo has several features seen in high-end rods, but is specifically designed for junior anglers. Rods come in 4’6”, 5’ and 5’6” lengths, perfect for youngsters. For fishing the above lures, teens and adults will do well with a 6’6” to 7’1” medium-light or medium power spinning rod, like the Code Black, Code Silver, Creed K and Defy White combos. Or, make your own combo, pairing a 13 Fishing spinning rod and Creed series reel.
Many rods come in 1- and 2-piece versions. Beginners often favour a 2-piece rod. They’re easier to store and transport.
Sufix Advance Monofilament in 6- or 8-pound test is a great performing line on spinning gear. Use 4-pound if you’re exclusively after panfish. Advance Mono is subtle, easy to manage and durable. It’s sensitive, too, so you’ll feel when a fish bites.
More Essential Gear
Polarized sunglasses cut down on water glare, making it easier to see fish habitat and avoid hazards. Lenses block harmful UV rays and provide some impact protection.
Those learning how to handle fish may want a fish gripper for landing and holding a fish while removing hooks using Fishermen’s Pliers.
Carrying clippers or scissors is a good idea for cutting monofilament when tying on a lure. Beginners often benefit from a snap swivel. Tied to the end of the line, the snap makes it easy to change baits. The swivel reduces line twist, which leads to tangles. And the last item that all anglers must have is a trustworthy set of fish pliers!
We hope the above helps you get on the water this season. Remember, catching fish is always fun, but spending quality time with family and friends and making memories in the great outdoors is what the angling experience is really all about.