Being a Beginner Angler


SDC10407.jpg picture by jedmund614

Once the beginning fisherman decides that fishing is what they want to do, they have begun a venture that is very addicting, time consuming, and oftentimes expensive. The first few outings the beginner starts to realize how much time and effort it takes to rig tackle, tie lines, and actually catch fish. To a person who is new to fishing all of this can seem a little difficult and frustrating at times. The things that are second nature to seasoned anglers do not come standard with the purchase of a reel and rod and are not all natural instincts. They are processes that have been developed through trial and error. A beginner does not possess the traits that are learned through years of experience on the water, therefore they have to learn on their own. This can seem like a daunting task but thankfully there are limitless ways to gain knowledge on how to become a successful fisherman. If the beginner is really lucky they know someone who has a little experience on the subject and will offer some good advice; and in little time someone can become a successful fisherman.

I will use my uncle as an example. I recently put myself to the task of teaching him to be a "fisherman". Don't get me wrong I am not an expert but I have spent my fare share of time on the water, so I figured i would show him a thing or two. I finally convinced him to accompany me and a friend on a trip up the Little Manatee River. We spent the day catching small snook and snapper along with a few redfish. Although we caught fish and had fun, this type of fishing was not suited for the beginning angler. We fished docks and mangroves which can be a pain for even the best anglers. My poor uncle spent most of his time hung up in the mangroves or stuck on the bottom. The funniest part was watching as a fish would steal his bait before he could realize it. Although after a few adjustments, and advising him to keep a finger on his line to feel the bite better, my uncle was catching fish. We continued to catch fish but my uncle would lose interest quickly if more than five minutes went by without a bite. I decided next time we would try something a little different.

Our next few trips we fished in ways that appealed more to the beginning fisherman. I decided to try something that was fairly simple and provided almost constant action: shark fishing! This kind of fishing kept him interested because he had to catch our bait with hook and line, so he stayed occupied pulling on jacks and trying to get ladyfish in the boat as fast as he could. Through this process he learned how to use artificials as well as practice his casting accuracy. He even got to the point where he could cast under docks and mangroves. When we started to target the sharks more problems developed. Uncle Andy had a hard time hooking them. More often than not he would get anxious and pull the bait out of the shark's mouth before it could get to the hook. It took some time but eventually he was hooking up. Fighting the shark was another story. He had to learn how to pull in opposite directions that the fish was running so it wouldn't cut him off on the channel markers. He would lose fish by putting slack in his line, and the sharks would bite up through the leader. Little by little he was learning. It took some time but he learned a few tricks to better his success. After a few more adjustments my uncle could successfully catch a 100lbs plus shark with little help from me. Granted I still had to bait the hook and handle the sharks, but just because "that's what a nephew's for."

He still makes his share of beginner mistakes, but he has become quite a good angler. In a span of six months He has caught a legal limit slam, one of the biggest sharks ever landed on my boat, and even a silver king. Some of these things have taken many people years to accomplish. All it took was a little coaching, a lot of patience, and the time and effort to learn, and my uncle has become a fisherman. I still won't tell him that because I don't want him to become too cocky. I simply let him know that if he had started doing this 20 years ago there is no telling how good he could be. And he still claims he is the fishing king.

So the beginning fisherman shouldn't be discouraged if he/she doesn't catch fish or cant cast as accurately as they would like. They just need to simply remember that it takes time, and you don't have to catch fish all the time to be a fisherman. You just have to enjoy your time on the water and eventually you will get to where you can go out and be successful.

IMG_0184-1.jpg picture by jedmund614


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