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Fishing can be done in fresh water or salt water.

 Fresh water fishing takes place in lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams.

Fish in these waters include trout, bass, and many other species. They range in size, from fish as small as 5 lb bluegills to as large as 100 lb king salmon.

Salt water fishing occurs in oceans, estuaries, and tidal rivers.

 Fish found in these waters tend to be larger than average freshwater fish. They include snappers, bonefish, striped bass, and tuna. Fish as large as 150 lb sailfish and tarpon, and 500 lb marlin,
can be found.

 

The three most favored methods of fishing in both salt and fresh water are:

 bait fishing 
(the use of live or dead bait placed on a hook),

spin fishing
(the use of metal or plastic lures)

and 
fly-fishing
(the use of feathered lures resembling either insects or small fish)

In all three methods, a fisher chooses a rod, a reel, and line of an appropriate weight and strength.
Lures are chosen that imitate the game fish's prey.

 

 

Once the angler has walked, waded, or boated to an area where fish are found, he or she casts the bait, lure, or fly into the water and then reels it in.
If a fish attacks the bait, the angler attempts to secure the hook in the fish's mouth by
setting the hook
that is,
 The second you feel a tap on the line lower the rod tip, reel up the slack and sharply jerk the rod upward lifting the rod in a quick, powerful motion so that the hook lodges in the fish's mouth.
The fishing rod bends and the reel releases line when the fish attempts to flee, but when the fish rests, the angler can bring it closer by reeling in the line. When the fish is brought close enough, the angler captures it with a net or other tool, such as a gaff.

Related Article:
Fighting Your Fish

If the fish is not to be kept for food, an angler will examine it for a few moments (always keeping it underwater), unhook it, and release it.
see Catch and Release

 

The best fishing occurs in spring and fall, when fish are most active, either searching for prey or reproducing.
Although they may be caught during winter and summer, fish are generally more sluggish then and less apt to chase an angler's lure.

Several other factors influence fishing. 
Water temperature is important, as different species are more active at different temperature levels.
Also, if a fish's natural prey is nearby, that fish will be active. 
Some fish, particularly in salt water, move to different areas depending upon the phase of the moon and the levels of the ocean tides.
Weather affects game fish activity, as fish are more likely to search for food before and after bad weather, when the water is disturbed.

Fishing Hot Spots

Normally fish will hide around cover.
Cover can be anything from weeds, trees, logs, and rocks.
Don't be afraid to cast into this good stuff.  Most strikes will occur on the drop, when the lure passes by the cover, or bumps into the cover.
You may lose a few lures when fishing cover but you're bound to catch more fish.

Vary the retrieve speed to make the lure look more realistic.

Fish concentrate in key areas in the water.  Fishermen call these honey holes.  Below are some examples of places you may locate while fishing.  You could stumble upon your own honey hole.

WEED BEDS - Bass, bluegills, walleye, pike and muskies all love weeds growing in the water.  Weed beds provide protection and food.  The weeds are also home to minnows, crayfish, frogs, or shrimp that the larger fish feed on.  Weeds filter the water from impurities and add oxygen for the fish to breath. 
Best lures: jig and pig, plastic worm, spinnerbait, and topwaters.

WOOD AND ROCKS - Wood (sunken trees, stumps, dock pilings, etc.) and rocks are found in most fresh water or saltwater fishing holes.  Fish lurk around these types of cover for shelter and for ambushing prey.  The slimy coating, or algae, that grows on this cover attracts minnows and smaller fish. 
Best lures: jig and pig, crankbait, spinnerbait, and plastic worm.

RIVER MOUTH - The area where a river or creek flows into a larger body of water can be excellent for fishing.  The flowing water carries the food to the waiting fish.  For many fish species, the river acts as their spawning grounds (reproduce).  The fish will hold in this are in the Spring until the time is right to move upstream.  Temperature differences between the river and the large body of water meet in this location, creating a perfect temperature condition for many fish.
Best lures: Spoon, crankbait, spinnerbait, and topwaters.

DROP-OFFS - Better known as a sudden depth change.  These areas provide fish with a simple way to move from deep water to shallow water, or vice versa.  This area can be a good place to find pike, muskies, bass and many saltwater fish far from shore.

Bait and fish tend to hold to an edge or ledge (under water) as food gathers in these areas.

Best lures: spinnerbait, spoon, plastic worm, and jig and pig.

Piers - Piers and various other types of structure, offer protection for all types of fish. Structure with weeds will also attract bait fish, which in turn attract larger fish.

Outside of Bends  - Bends in a lake offer more shoreline and if there is a current, will carry fish.

Bends in a river offer fish an opportunity to get out of the current and wait for bait to come to them.

Underwater Weeds - Weeds offer food and protection for smaller fish. The smaller fish attract the larger ones.

Coves - Coves offer more shoreline, protection from wind to fish. Whenever possible, coves should be fished!

Treat coves and narrows as you would a point. After all, a cove is just the opposite of a point.

Lily Pads - Lily Pads are another great spot because bait fish eat the insects and proteins on the lilly pads. For this reason, larger fish are attracted to these areas. Lily pads also offer protection in the form of shade.

Boulders - Large boulders offer protection for all types of fish.

They also offer ambush areas as baitfish usually take cover in the rocks.

Shade - On hot days, try the shade. Fish may find this a more comfortable environment.

Overhangs - Overhanging tree limbs offers fish protection and shade.

Be sure to fish these areas well!!!

Cliffs - Cliffs offer deep water and protection

Sheer cliffs will probably continue down into the water. This causes the deep water against the cliff.

Points - Points are great ambush areas. Work both sides and the tip of these.

Points act as barriers to wind and current.

Steep Banks

Steep banks-Expect to find deeper water towards the shore. Banks may also offer cover in forms such as rocks and weeds. Look at the bank to get a good idea of what's under the water.

Islands

Islands are good spots to fish because they offer cover and ambush areas for predators.

Be sure to fish around the entire island to see if they're concentrating on one side. Use that information to guide you in fishing other structure.

When is the Best Time to Go Fishing?

Anytime!

Best times to fish are
 6 a.m. to 10 a.m.
and
4 p.m. up to 6 p.m.

 
 But if you're looking for a particular fish, here are the months that these freshwater fish are easiest to catch:

CATFISH: Mid-April to mid-October. June and July are best.

CRAPPIE: March to May

LARGEMOUTH BASS: March to June

STRIPED BASS: All year...especially November to February and June to September

SUNFISH: May to June

TROUT: November to December and mid-February to mid-April

WALLEYE: Mid-Feruary to mid April

WHITE BASS: Mid-March to May

 

When you arrive at the water, don;t just start fishing in the first place you find!

Some spots will be more likely to attract fish to feed than others. 

Scout the area and look for signs of feeding activity. 

A shallow weed-filled bay could be lurking with Pike.

A dead tree in the water may catch you some Carp or Perch

Lilly Pads and Weed beds are favorites of Bass

An island with overhanging trees could land you some Carp

Bubbles appear on top of the water could be Carp or Bream on the bottom

 

 

Bodies of water like rivers and even lakes have moving water.
The crease is the area in water where the fast water meets the slow water.  Look for the line on the surface that separates rippled water from calm water.  The crease actually goes right down into the water.

It pays to remember that water is a three dimensional object.  Fish often are found to swim in the calm water right next to a crease, facing in the direction of the water flow.  This is so that they can conserve energy and pick up any food that is brought past them in the fast flow.

 Always try casting near the crease when fishing.
You can often find some extra fish waiting there.

 

When you have found a promising site, 
set yourself up
 QUITELY!
Fish can detect vibrations of your footsteps and clanging noises of tackle boxes, etc.

Cast your bait out using the technique in How to Cast.
 Next, turn the reel crank forward until it clicks to prevent more line from coming out. To take up any slack in your line, reel the line in until the float begins to move.

Once you see the bobber move, or feel a tug on the line or your bobber goes underwater,
 be sure to set the hook in the fish's mouth by giving the line a quick jerk that's hard enough to move the float and set the hook in the fish's mouth,
but not so hard that you send the hook, bait and/or fish flying over your shoulder.

After you set the hook, keep the line tight and your rod tip up. Slowly reel in the fish until you can pick it up with your hand.

 

Now you need to decide what to do with the fish.

 Is it large enough to keep? Will it be used for food?
 First, check the fishing regulations to be certain the fish is legal to keep. If it's not, carefully release the fish back into the water, being sure to handle it with wet hands, and as little as possible. A fish that you catch and release carefully can be caught again someday when it is bigger.

Congratulations!

You are now ready to go fishing!!!!

 

          

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