The Dummies’ Guide to Fishing Essentials

New to fishing? I mean absolutely new to fishing?

If so, then this is the page that you were hoping someone would write. Luckily, I decided to write it :)

Fishing is one of those pastimes that can either be really easy or really complicated. But fortunately, fishing is quite forgiving when it comes to beginners.

Here’s A Funny Thing Though

When I was about ten years old, all I wanted was a fishing rod.

My Dad worked in our family business and saw loads of people from all backgrounds. One customer had been chatting with my father, and the result of that conversation was that he’d bring in a spare fishing rod that he no longer needed. My Dad could give it to me as soon as the customer remembered to bring it along to the business.

When my Dad came home and told me this news, I was over the moon!

What followed next was days of waiting for my Dad to come home from work. I’d rush to meet him on each occasion to see if he had the promised fishing rod.

Days passed (which seemed like weeks to a 10-year-old.)

Finally, the day came, and for the first time in my life, I had a fishing rod. I couldn’t have been happier!

It was decided that the coming weekend would be our first ever fishing trip. Saturday eventually came, and my Dad, my brother and myself all headed off to the river, which fortunately was very close to where we lived.

The Lecture…

At some point, before we left home for the river, my Father must have decided to make this trip an educational one as well as a fun one. We stood on the bank of the river with my Dad standing in front of us like a military commander. My brother and I stood there being lectured on safety tips. The safety advice covered topics such as: fishing hooks are very sharp, river currents are very strong, and river banks can be very slippery.

As my Dad stood in front of us talking, he was holding the fishing rod in front of himself like a flag bearer. My brother and I noticed something very odd going on, however.

As my fathers’ words were being absorbed into the minds of his two young fishing students, my Father appeared to be moving sideways.

His sideways motion didn’t stop, and in fact, it accelerated.

It was quite a surreal sight witnessing your own father moving sideways.

The next 2 seconds would be the talking point at hundreds of occasions in the future because my Dad slid gracefully straight into the river!

He was certainly correct in telling us that the banks of rivers can be very slippery!

Fishing for Beginners First Tips

I’ll start with my basic advice for fishing beginners: fishing hooks are very sharp, river currents are very strong, and river banks can be very slippery (you think I’ll ever forget those tips!) We had our very own stuntman to prove it to us!

The Dummies’ Guide to Fishing Essentials

Beginners Guide Fishing Essentials

Before going fishing for the first time, I’d recommend watching a video on how to tie a fishing hook to the line (video below.) After watching the video, practice tying on a hook in the comfort of your own home before you head off to the fishing location.

Also before going fishing for the very first time, watch a video on how to remove a hook from the mouth of a fish (video below.)

Regarding equipment, you don’t need a lot to get started. Purchase a fishing rod or a fishing pole (I’ll cover the pole in a moment), buy a hook remover (to remove the hook from the mouth of the fish), and take a towel. Yes, I said a towel. Your hands get pretty cold, wet and slippery handling wet fish, so a towel is an excellent piece of kit to have. Plus, if your Dad falls into the river then it’ll also come in handy for that eventuality :) Also, regarding the fishing rod, there is no need to break the bank with your first one.

Fishing Poles… A fishing pole is an alternative to a fishing rod. It is long (very long), and is very lightweight. It’s excellent if you think that casting the line using a fishing rod may be a challenge for you. There are many more reasons than I can explain here regarding why you may want to buy a fishing pole instead of a rod, so below is a video covering that topic also.

River or Fishing Lake? I’d recommend a fishing lake at first. The reason for this is that you’ll get a lot more practice at catching fish than a river. Plus, if you have children with you then catching fish on every trip is a must. As your experience grows, you can move on to river fishing and even sea fishing. Be aware however that each fishing location usually requires different fishing gear. You can keep costs down by covering just one type of fishing. Fishing lakes get my vote for beginners. I’ll add however that I fished at lakes for about seven years; so not just for beginners!

You’ll need bait. Fishing lakes tend to have Carp as the primary breed of fish, but I guess that depends on where you are in the world. If the fish does happen to be Carp then here’s the bait that’s always worked for me: Tinned pork (its good and firm so stays on the hook nicely). Tinned sweetcorn (small enough to slip-over the end of the hook and firm enough not to break-up in the water).

Talking of food, you’ll also need some food so make a nice pack-up for yourself.

Fishing umbrella’s may look like equipment for Pro anglers only – but buy one! You will never, ever regret it.

Wet hand wipes. Before eating your food its a good idea to clean your hands. Lake water or river water isn’t that clean so do yourself a favor and don’t chance an upset stomach. You will also find that your hands end up smelling rather fishy by the end of the day, so those hand wipes come in handy then too.

Here are The Videos I Promised You

How To Tie a Fishing Hook To The Line – Please Note: The fishing hook in this video is HUGE! For lake or river fishing your hook will be tiny in comparison. The knot used is the same however.

How to Remove A Hook From A Fish’s Mouth

How To Remove a Hook If The Fish Swallows It

An Introduction To Fishing With a Pole Rather Than a Fishing Rod


I hope that I have got you all excited about your new hobby! Fishing really is a very enjoyable pastime, and the great thing about it is that it suits people of all ages. The start-up cost can be as low as you need it to be, and the upside potential to expand your hobby is almost endless.

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