Fishing is one of the oldest and most universally loved past times in the world and because of this, over the years many different fishing techniques have been developed. Some are easy and more relaxing, some are more challenging and allow the fisherman pride in crafting their skills. But one thing they all have in common is that they’re rewarding and fun to learn for anyone who loves catching fish. Here’s some of the most popular fishing techniques from around the world:
Target Fish: Trout, salmon, perch, chub, bass
Where to go: Freshwater and saltwater
Spin fishing is the perfect for first time fishers. You can spin fish almost anywhere, so long as you’ve got a licence, and you’ll rarely need super specific equipment as most lightweight fishing equipment is suitable for spin fishing. Our Beginner’s Guide To Fishing covers the spin fishing in more detail. You can spin fish almost anywhere, so long as you’ve got a fishing licence
Target Fish: Salmon, trout, greyfling, redfish, striped bass
Where to go: Freshwater and saltwater
Fly fishing is maybe one of the most famous fishing techniques, but its also one of the trickiest. Unlike most fishing technique, fly fishing doesn’t rely on the weight of a lure to pull; the line down and instead uses extremely lightweight equipment to seem as unassuming to the fish as possible. To cast a fly fishing line, you need to whisk your rod back and forth in an arcing motion until your line gains enough momentum to propel itself out into the water. Done successfully, this will cause your lure to fall into the water with enough weight to make fish think it is a natural bit of prey.
Target Fish: Tuna, marlin, salmon
Gear Needed: A heavy duty line, reel and rod, a boat, an artifical lure
Where to go: Saltwater and large expanses of freshwater (e.g. lakes and reservoirs)
Trolling involves trailing your line behind you as you move across the water; it’s a great fishing technique if you’re not so thrilled at the idea of standing in one spot all day, or if you want to see more of the watery wildlife around you. Trolling is the ideal technique for catching big game fish like tuna or salmon, and to catch these fish you’ll need lures that mimic injured or dying fish as you pull them through the water. You’ll want to keep your line and lure in the water as you sail around, a slow boat speed of about 9 knots is usually recommended, until you feel that sharp tug on your line and you know its time to reel the fish in. Trolling is a technique for larger and heavier fish, so you’ll need some robust equipment to help you out.
Target Fish: Sea perch, redfish, dogfish, striped bass
Gear Needed: A rod, a freespool reel, a line, live bait, a boat
Where to go: Saltwaters and high-current areas
Live lining is sometimes considered the ‘opposite’ to trolling. Instead of fishing from a moving boat across a body of water, live lining involves you, the fisher, anchoring a boat in an area with strong moving currents, and then allowing the currents to catch and drag your line around. This means your bait will reach areas you wouldn’t be able to reach by simply casting, such as around rocks and through holes where fish might be hiding.
Target Fish: Char, trout
Gear Needed: A long and flexible rod, tenkara line, and a fly
Where to go: Freshwater, traditionally streams
Tenkara fishing is a traditional method of fishing from Japan and has been the most popular fishing technique in Japan for around 200 years. In the last decade or so, Tenkara fishing has spread across the world, and its appeal largely comes from its lovely simplicity. The idea of Tenkara fishing is to find enjoyment in the actual fishing instead of becoming preoocupied with lots of differtent equipment, and so all you’ll need is a lightweight rod, a special tenkara line, and a lightweight fly. Traditionally, tenkara rods are made of bamboo, but a telescopic fishing rod made from carbon or fibreglass is suitable, as these will be long and flexible enough. Tenkara lines should be about the same line as your rod, and they’re furled and braided at the end to aid in casting. Similar to fly fishing, to cast a tenkara line you should whisk the line back and forth until the fly can propel itself out into the water.
Fishing is all about enjoying the moment and appreciating the natural world, which is why there’s so many different techniques! Different ways of fishing will create enjoyment in different ways for everyone, and the best fishing technique for you will largely rely on what kind of fish you want to catch, your skill level, and where you live. While you’ll probably always have your favourite method, it’s worth trying out a new technique every now and then, especially if you go fishing somewhere new!