Four Tips for Fishing

If you decide to take a break from your gardening chores this spring and spend a relaxing day catching fish, follow these tips for fishing and it should also be a productive day.

| March/April 1981

Now and then we all encounter those "perfect" days when the only sane thing to do is hang up a sign (on the front door, at the shop, or even in the barnyard!) that says, "Gone Fishin'. I've heard many an old-timer proclaim that a few hours spent at the lake or stream will keep a person away from psychiatrists' couches and doctors' offices, and even I know that the piscatorial pastime can also provide some of the most delicious food ever to land on your plate. After all, no matter how "fresh" the iced fish at your local market may profess to be, it can't compare with the flavor of a straight-from-the-stream fillet!

There's a good bit more to fishing, of course, than simply catching fish ... but a stringerful of tasty eating is bound to make a woodsy afternoon spent by, on, or in the water a mite more justifiable and a darn sight more exciting. And the following tips for fishing are calculated to help even the "never tried it before" fisherperson be successful!

I. Find a Friendly Fishing Fanatic

The quickest — and most enjoyable — way to learn how to fish is under the guiding "fin" of a friendly, successful "pro." Anglers, you see, are a gregarious lot ... most of them love to hang out in bait shops, sporting goods stores, cafes, coffee shops, bars, or anywhere there's a gathering of folks to listen to their fish tales. So your task is to locate such a gathering place, then take aside the person who tells the best-sounding lies, and inquire whether he or she would mind (perhaps in exchange for a cup of coffee or a bottle of beer) showing you the ropes.

Good fisherfolk are an almost universally friendly and helpful bunch (particularly when properly flattered and bribed). And chances are your chosen guru goes fishing so often that he or she is continually looking for partners ... especially since many experienced anglers may shy away from accompanying real "catch 'em every time" folks for fear of being outfished!

II. Equipment and How to Use It

Today — regardless (it seems) of how much or how little money you have to spend — it's more difficult to find a fishing rig that won't work than it is to locate one that'll do a good job. There are, however, large differences in quality among various rods and reels, and I recommend that you pick the best equipment (within your budget) that'll meet your specific needs.

There are four basic kinds of reels: fly casting (manual and automatic), bait casting, spinning, and spin casting. Rods are built to work best with one of these four types.

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