As a young fisher there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of success when you go fishing.
First of all, try and find out as much as you can about where you are going – the internet, magazines, newspapers and fishing books can help steer you in the right direction.
The fishing reports in the local papers can be very useful in steering you in the right direction – your chances are improved greatly if you know what it is you are trying to catch!
Get some fresh bait (fresh is best) from your local tackle store and don’t be afraid to ask for advice – they are there to help.
Pick their brains on what you might catch, and just as importantly, how you might catch it and where.
Remember that you want to keep your gear, including your rigs, as simple as possible for starters.
There is plenty of time down the track for you to try more complicated things.
Don’t forget to take the things you might need, apart from your fishing gear and bait you may want something to keep fish in like a bucket or hessian bag, as well as a knife, some scissors and some food and drink to keep you going.
Once you get to the spot, have a close look at what is happening there. Are other people catching fish? If so, what rigs and baits are they using? Don’t be afraid to ask questions of other anglers, most will be happy to help young anglers, even if some are a bit secretive!
One good tip for a lot of species is to take some berley with you. This might be some pollard mixed with water, pre-mixed pollard bought at the tackle shop, bread or just some old food or bait. Many species of fish respond to berley, including herring and skippy, and this will help bring fish to you and put things much more in your favour.
But remember, too much berley can fill the fish up and they’ll go off the bite, so don’t overdo it!
Once you have a line in the water, be patient! Sometimes the fish will be on the bite straight away, but at other times you’ll have just to wait for them to take an interest in your bait. Some times that may not turn up at all, but that’s fishing!
Just enjoy the time you are there, take in the natural environment around you and use it as an opportunity to practice your casting, if nothing else.
If you do catch a fish or two, make sure you know the rules and regulations, so you are always doing the right thing, especially if you want to keep them to eat. If you don’t want to keep the fish to eat, then release it carefully.
When you are finished, always remember to clean up behind you. Don’t leave discarded line, bait bags, food wrappers or empty drink cans at the spot, take it all with you and put it in the nearest rubbish bin.
And don’t be overly disappointed if you didn’t catch too much – it’s just an excuse to try again!