4 Things to Know Before Picking up Fishing

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Today, over 40 million Americans fish. After all, it’s a chance to make a delicious homemade meal, win a prize, or get bragging rights! But despite its romantic image, fishing is more complicated than simply casting a line in the water. Before you start out, you’ll need to complete paperwork, learn the local regulations, and understand the basics of landing a catch.

Get Ready for Paperwork

Before you cast into the water, you’ll need to get licensed. There are many reasons, but the most of them have to do with regulating fishing and making sure that all fishing is done legally. States issue fishing licenses by age. Every state has its own regulations. A license may be allocated for daily use, short-term use, seasonal use, or annual use. Check with your state to understand licensing requirements and possibly apply online. If you’re planning an overnight fishing trip, you might need boating and camping licenses, too.

You Have to Protect Your Gear

Like a true fisherman, you must keep your gear in prime working condition. Salt and moisture are some of your fishing gear’s worst enemies. If you put them away for the winter without cleaning them first, they might be useless in the spring. Just remember that even in storage your rods need special attention. Before storing your gear, sharpen hooks, replace those that are rusting, and check for signs of damage to your rods. Clean and organize your tackle boxes and take note of what you’ll need to replace before spring.

Catch and Release

When you catch a prize fish, you’re probably eager to bring it home. But regulations might stop you! In recreational fishing, the term “catch and release” refers to legal regulations that determine what size fish must be in order to be legally kept. If they are smaller than the legal size, they must be released back into the water. The initial goal of the catch and release program was to prevent overfishing of certain species. Today, it still has the same conservation purposes. Keep in mind that if you’re catching anything you should be conscientious of your impact up front. Many times the actions of hobby fishers can kill many fish who could otherwise have lived.

Choose the Right Bait

Before setting out to fish, you’ll need to have the right equipment and at least a general idea of what you’re doing. One of the most important things that novice fishermen must consider is bait. You can use either live bait or hooks, depending on your fishing area and the species you hope to catch. Some types of bait you might use are worms, minnows, insects, and artificial hooks. Each type of bait has a different purpose, so you should first determine what type of water you’ll be fishing in and what type of fish you want to catch.

Fishing is one of the nation’s most popular pastimes. But there are probably many aspects of fishing that you never even considered. For instance, you’ll have to do a lot of paperwork! It’s also a good idea to know the local laws and regulations concerning fishing. Before you start, make sure you have the right bait and equipment for success.

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