Other Outdoorsy Stuff

The Reel Deal: What You Need to Get Started Fishing

February 12, 2018

Photo: Robson Morgan

It all starts with a fish and a worm, or it all ends that way, depending on your perspective. First off though, you need the gear. Gone are the days of a cane pole, a string and a worm. Now we have sonar, synthetic lines and enough man-tied flies to rival Mother Nature.

License Required

I used to complain because a fishing license doesn’t come with a money back guarantee. You see, I must admit I’m not the world’s best fisherman. Oh, I can fish well enough, it’s the catching part I have yet to master. Sometimes I drown a few worms but that’s about it. When you purchase a fishing license though, you are not just paying for the fish you may catch. You are helping to fund the whole fish and game industry in your respective state. License fees pay for hatcheries that supply fish but they also pay for the rangers who assist you in so many ways. Sure, if he catches you without a license he will write you a ticket but that same ranger may save your life, or at the very least assist you when in need. The money you pay and the people it employs help preserve our outdoors for everyone to enjoy today and tomorrow.

Location, Location, Location

In Colorado, if you’re casting a line into a body of water, you need a license. In some states such as Florida for example, you don’t need a license if you are fishing from on shore, or a pier or dock that is attached to the shore. If you are on a boat, you need that paper. The thing you need in coastal states like Florida though is a bit of knowledge about what you’re dealing with. Some fish must be released when they are too small, some when they’re too big. Some are in season when some are not. This can get tricky when they have such a variety of fish so you may want to read up on the rules.

Get the Gear
I really did start fishing with a cane pole but that was down south and was a long time ago. It may look quaint in the movies and sound good in songs but there are sure better ways to catch fish. In today’s world, there is no reason not to have good gear. Good gear is available for prices ranging from dirt cheap to ridiculous. Amazon lists a Shakespeare Youth Fishing kit for less than ten bucks for a rod and reel set up. You can go a bit higher and get a more adult combo rod and reel for about $40 and up.Take the High Road
Steeping it up a notch, you could get a Scott FC Fly Rod from Trident Fly Fishing which is hand made in Montrose, Co. This is for the rod only and it runs $3250 but look at what you get. The blanks are hollow built with stabilized nodes and butt swells, sections are joined with hand- made Hariki nickel silver ferrules, along with Agate guides in hand made silver nickel frames. Now, to be honest, I have no idea what any of that means but it does come with free shipping, so there you go.

Photo: Carl Heyerdahl

Tackle the Problem
Now, you have to have a tackle box. This can be store bought or a shoe-box but it carries all your hooks and lures and such. They can be found already stocked with just about everything you could need. You can even start with a kid’s tackle box from a discount store. I not only started with one, I bought one recently for about eight bucks for a last minute camping trip; and you wonder why I can’t catch fish?

Let’s Be Serious
For that extra special fisherman who needs a little spice in his life, you can sign up for a package of tackle sent to your home every month from MysteryTackleBox.com. You just pick which price ranging from $14.99-$29.99 and specify just what species you’re fishing for such as: Bass, Walleye, Catfish or Trout and you’re all set. The good folks at Mystery Tackle Box will send you a surprise selection of tackle and lures every month.

Drop Me a Line
I didn’t mention bait because once you’re anywhere within miles of any body of water, you can buy bait. They sell worms, salmon eggs and whatever else works in that locale at pretty much any convenience store or gas station nearby. Sure you may have some fancy lures in that kid’s tackle box but worms pretty much work anywhere. Besides all this, the only other thing you could use is a good book to teach you how to really catch fish and if you find out, drop me a line, literally.
Michael Ryan

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