Learn To Fish      In 5 Steps

I thought it might be helpful to give you a easy 5-step guide on fishing basics. it will get us on the same base. This will help you understand more of the information we cover so I hope you enjoy!

Fishing is a continuous act of learning. You never stop learning more and getting better at the sport. Nevertheless there are basics that you have to learn. In this guide you will learn the 5 steps to catching your first fish.

The Basics

By the basics we mean setting up your line, rod, catching the fish, holding it, and how to get more bites.

Tying On Your Bait

This step is important you do right to ensure the fish does not get off your line. There are many different types of ties you can choose from, but there is one basic tie every fisherman should know. You start by tying a basic knot at the end of your line about 1/2 an inch from the end of the line. 

Now run your line through the “eye” (the hole at the end of the hook) of your hook or bait. 

Then go to do another knot, but before you pull it tight wrap the string through the loop three times.

Then pull tight, making sure this triple knot is behind the first knot. Lastly pull tight on your bait or hook (make sure not to grab the tip of the hook) if done correctly the bait will slide down to the know and stay there. Pull hard enough to make sure nothing will pull your bait off. If the bait is sliding down just a hair because you are pulling very hard then your tie is good. As long as it does not come right off then it will hold. Note: if your bait did come off then cut the end piece of your line off that is not straight, then tie the knot at the end, and if you think it is too small to hold, double knot it. It might be slipping if your triple not and bait got tied below your first not. Make sure it holds good so you don’t lose your baits.


 To cast you must hit the big button on your reel (closed reel) or flip the metal bar up (open reels) to let your line have slack. You can also do this to get more line out for tying baits. Once you do that you carefully and slowly (so you don’t hook people) swing your pole back, then you cast forward by throwing the tip of your pole foreword (keep a tight grip on your pole so you don’t throw it in the water). Knowing when to stop your pole in the air is something you will learn by practicing. You can practice on land by tying some weights on your line (no hooks) and casting out. When your line flies out and hits the water you can let it sink (depending on what you are fishing) or hit your reel right away. Turn your reel until you hear the click (closed reels) or hit the metal piece down again (open reels) this will stop your line from being pulled out far by fish.

Tying Bobbers And Worms

For a bobber you need to know how far down you want your hook. Pull you line out to the desired length. To tie the bobber on you press down on the white (or yellow) side in the center. This holds down the metal piece so you can press down on the other side. Press down on the side of the sticking out pice on the top (don’t press down on the metal piece on top) if you hold down on the other end, the metal piece on the red (or orange) side should be sticking out. This side is the bottom. Put the inside of the hooked metal piece on the line. Wrap the line around it 3-5 times then let go. It will clamp down on the line. Next press down the bump on the red (or orange) side pushing out the other metal piece. Put the inside of that piece on the line and wrap around 3-5 times. For taller (not round) bobbers pull down the spring and wrap line around the inner part about 5 times. For worms run the hook directly through the center of the worm for most of the hook, at the end run the hook up through the worm leaving a piece on the end hanging off. This will attract the fish. You do the same thing for fake worms making sure they are stuck on the hook good. If your bobber is tied on right the top should float on the top of the water and it won’t be on its side. Note: a bobber will be on its side if it is in a patch of weeds or too shallow water so just move it out of weedy patches.

Making Your Bait Lifelike

This step is made to intice the fish. For most weedless worms and grubs you cast the bait in and let it sink a bit. Then you jerk it up and down a little bit, stop, reel and jerk it, stop, and continue this until you have reeled it in. For worms and bobbers you let it just sit, watching the bobber. You can move it in a little bit which may attract the fish. For other baits suck as top-of-the-water frogs and poppers, you contently reel it in only stopping a little at a time. A couple times during the reel you can jerk back a little. You do the same thing for diving baits (make sure it’s not weedy water). 

Setting The Hook And Reeling In The Fish

You will get used to knowing when the fish is on your hook by experience. But for now the best way to tell is when your line starts getting pulled out fast and when you yank back it tugs often. When a fish is on the line it does not pull constantly, instead it pulls and jerks fast tugging on your line. When a fish first come to bite it may just nibble on your hook. If you feel that don’t yank back yet. Ether make very small movements on the line to make your bait attract the fish more, or wait for it to bite. All of the sudden you will feel your bait get pulled very hard in a direction which means it grabbed your hook. Fish too small for you hook or not fully on will get off your hook quickly. Make sure your tension is not too high so the fish can pull back. Keep your pole tip town always after your bait is in the water, that when when a fish bites you can yank back and set the hook. When a fish is actually on you line quickly jerk your line back (not out of its mouth). This sets the hook meaning it won’t slip off your line. Then you can start to reel. If the fish is big be careful no to just reel non-stop, instead let it tire out then reel. If it’s small you should not have to worry about it breaking your line and you can “swing it” or reel it in and pull it up to you quickly and grab it. If a fish is bending your rod a lot move the tip of your rod down to stop it from breaking your rod or your line. Keep the line of of edges or sharp objects. If the fish suddenly stops fighting it is tired out or stuck on weeds. Whatever the case keep reeling it in. I’ve had them be so covered in weeds you pull out a giant 2ft wide ball of weeds and when you pull it apart there is a fish inside it. If the fish is too big to reel out of the water use a net or reach down and grab it. For bass to get the hook out you grab the bottom jaw with you thumb and index finger. Put your thumb on top (inside its mouth) and your index finger sideways on the opposite side of your thumb. Grip firmly and it will stop the fish from jumping around. For small fish slide you hand from its head down over the spiked top fin to push them down. Hold that and the bottom spines tightly down. For toothed fish use pliers or the metal hook removers. You can use a glove for all of these if you are unsure how to hold it.  

Congratulations, you now know the basics of fishing. Go out and try these tactics for yourself and learn some new techniques perfect for you!

The Fishing Journey

Come join the journey and learn how fishing is really meant to be! Let’s discover everything about fishing.

Like This Guide?

Be sure to join Focal Fishing’s email list to recive more like it, along with tips and tricks to become a better fisherman.

Come Join The Journey!


Have Questions Or Comments?

Feel free to contact us with any questions about site information, fishing, fish, or any comments you have!