So You Think You Want To Start Fishing

Alexandro Faria

AH enthusiast
Joined
Feb 15, 2015
Messages
312
Reaction score
273
Location
Pretoria
Media
20
Articles
4
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
SA wingshooters, GOSA,
Hunted
RSA, Namibia, Botswana
Hi guys, this week's article, for your enjoyment.

So you think you want to starting fishing

Off the bat, let me just acknowledge that starting something new is seldom easy and there’s a decent amount of bravery and humility needed to do so properly. Forcing yourself out of your comfort zone into a situation where you’re more than likely going to make a fool of yourself (at one point or another) is no small task- hats off to you! What I’m going to try and do is make this process a little easier for you- not by giving you a “how to” guide, but by sharing a few of my experiences as well as the lessons I feel were the most important on MY journey.

pasted image 0.png

(One of my first bass)

But first, some background: I didn’t exactly grow up in the most extroverted, outdoorsy family. We spent time doing outdoorsy stuff, don’t get me wrong, but there were usually multiple years between trips and we seldom (if ever) did them with other people. As such, what my father couldn’t teach me (a fair bit, owing to the fact that I had no patience) I had to teach myself through trial and error. While this helped me establish a learning method of sorts for later years, it also meant that I wasn’t aware of many of the “tricks” that most people considered to be common knowledge.

Though I grew up in dodgy Joburg, the vast majority of my childhood fishing experiences involved the numerous rock pools of Shelly Beach, where we spent many a happy day, thanks to family-owned timeshare. My mother and father would both take me down to the beach in the early hours of the morning (on their holiday- thanks guys!) and sit with me as I used a handline, bobber and prawns to catch a myriad of small, unsuspecting fish trapped in the pools during low tide.

pasted image 0-2.png

(Shelly Beach- Carlos Faria)

My fresh-water fishing was really limited and with the exception of farm trout- again, big shoutout to my rents for taking me- I think I only caught one other fish (on fly, yay me) which I proceeded to accidentally kill in my excitement to show my mother.

While my parents did their best to help me learn, going as far as to buy me a fly rod and pay for lessons, I lost interest in the sport. I was a brat- there, I said it. The years went by and I didn’t touch a rod, well, until about a year ago (10 years later) when I decided to give it another go- a decision that would change my life. This is what I learnt from the process:

First, I had been lurking on just about every local fishing forum you can think of for about 2 years before finally building up the courage to wet a line again. I spent hours reading about what rods to use, what lures to buy and where to go. While there is no substitute for time spent fishing, having someone talk you through the basics makes taking the plunge so much easier- use the forums and use youtube, they’re an outstanding resource.


pasted image 0-3.png

(Some of the awesome online resources)

Second, and most importantly, shelve your pride. A big thing for me was that I didn’t want to be taken for a ride when I eventually walked into a shop and said “I’m new to this, please help me”. You are going to be taken advantage of, to one degree or another, accept that now. You’re also going to make a fool of yourself again and again- it’s okay. You’re going to get hung up, you’re going to lose tackle and you’re going to get skunked- allow yourself to make mistakes, it’s how we learn. Proficiency comes with practice, be humble, give yourself time to get good- it will come.

Third, enjoy the process and enjoy being outside. I’ve seen things I never would have had I not been out on the water on the slow days. From a surprise visit by a Burchell’s Coucal to experiencing the best sunset I’ve seen in years, you only see these things if you get out there and it’s the slow days that invariably teach you the most.

pasted image 0-4.png

(A nice fish and a beautiful sunset)

Fourth, you need to be persistent, be methodical and don’t worry if the bite is slow (or non-existent)- you will eventually come right. Everyday (just about) should teach you something new. Even if it’s small, these “little lessons” are what count when you put them together and that’s what will help you snag and land your personal best in the days to come. My pb was landed at the end of a day where I hadn’t had a single bite, not one- it just takes one pitch into that magic spot to turn a snail day into one of the best fishing days of your life.

Fifth, and finally, you’re never too old to learn and sometimes a kid’s advice is golden. As you spend more time on the water, you’re bound to meet more fishermen (women included) and many of them will be more than happy to help you out. Listen to what they have to say and make it work for you. Yes, you’re going to come across tools, like the Googan Squad fanboys (sorry, had to), but even they have some pearls of wisdom for you. Some of the best plastics I have were given to me by other generous anglers- they really are a great bunch (for the most part) and my life has been enriched through getting to know some of them. The fish bellow was caught using a plastic -for the first time- that was given to me by a guy who frequents our local dam- there’s no substitute for experience and local knowledge.

pasted image 0-5.png

(A plastic I’d never used and a fish I’ll never forget)

Fishing isn’t only about catching fish, at least, it shouldn’t be. It should be just as much about making new friends, learning new skills and getting in touch with nature. It’s about making memories with your loved ones, early morning road trips to dams unknown and a cold beer at the end of a hot day. You don’t have to be an expert angler to enjoy the sport, nor do you need the latest and greatest thingamabob that costs a bazillion bucks- you’re GOING to catch fish on an entry level rig, don’t let anyone tell you different.

So if you’re looking for a hobby that will teach you about your local waterways, help you get in-touch with your surroundings while meeting awesome people and perhaps-now and then- catch a few fish, then I strongly suggest picking up a rod and wetting a line. You might just find that your new “hobby” quickly turns into your next lasting obsession.

pasted image 0-6.png

(My PB)

**END**
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Andrew Short

Silver supporter
AH veteran
Joined
Jul 9, 2020
Messages
104
Reaction score
51
Location
Jasper Alabama
Media
6
Hunting reports
Africa
2
Alexandro,

Very well well written and all very true points. My father and grandfather were panfishermen. I grew up Crappie fishing here in the southern United States and I didn’t pick up bass fishing until I was in my early 20s. I can totally relate to your experiences! Some days on the water are golden and most aren’t but each one is most definitely better than a day at work!
 

WebleyGreene455

AH enthusiast
Joined
Sep 21, 2019
Messages
348
Reaction score
445
Media
22
In my family, fishing is 90% sitting around and chatting, 2% reeling stuff in, and 8% getting shabla shabuir hooks out of di'kutla mir'osik stingray mouths...

Stingrays always swallow the hook. Only thing worse is a turtle.
 

Dinosaur

AH veteran
Joined
Apr 17, 2020
Messages
154
Reaction score
320
Location
Oz
Media
68
Articles
7
Hunted
Kenya
Alexandro

You are a legend, and sound advice too. :)(y)

It's nice to know that there are fisherman with similar thoughts to me, it makes the angling world a better place. I love catching fish of all species and sizes, and if decent size fish aren't available I have a competition with fellow anglers, 'a minnow match to the death' . It's so much fun doing this with children on a dead bite day, I love to see their eyes light up with excitement.

A lot of Australian anglers scoff at novice anglers when they proudly hold up a carp, the Australian anglers will swear and say it's only a carp, a useless fish.

Meanwhile I always congratulate the excited angler, as they are not always easy to land, meanwhile the carp cursing Aussie Anglers are usually fish less, not even a carp.

Over here in Australia, Carp are noted as a pest species, and are to be killed removed from the waterways. I will admit that I love catching european carp on light gear, they are a top sporting fish, and will give a trout of the same size a run for their money. If angling in shallow water for surface feeding carp, they fight so much better, in certain areas i have had them tail walk on the surface , but it's rare in other waterways.

Tight Lines and keep up the great work

Regards
Rob
 

gillettehunter

AH legend
Joined
Sep 10, 2009
Messages
3,397
Reaction score
3,118
Location
WYOMING
Media
83
Hunting reports
Africa
6
USA/Canada
3
Asia/M.East
2
Australia/NZ
1
Hunted
Namibia, Kyrgyzstan(2) South Africa(4) New Zealand Zambia(2)
I grew up fishing. I have a photo of me as a 3 yr old with a perch on the line that I caught. My father took me some and my grandfather also. I was fortunate to be raised where I go fishing after a 5 min walk....... I often fished 5 times a week in Jan, Feb, March and April if the river wasn't frozen. After school I'd put in a pair of hip boots and go screen some "hellgramites" out of the river to use for bait. Sometimes dodging the slush ice.... I was rather dedicated.
Thanks for writing your story. Very true indeed.
Bruce
 

Dinosaur

AH veteran
Joined
Apr 17, 2020
Messages
154
Reaction score
320
Location
Oz
Media
68
Articles
7
Hunted
Kenya
I grew up fishing. I have a photo of me as a 3 yr old with a perch on the line that I caught. My father took me some and my grandfather also. I was fortunate to be raised where I go fishing after a 5 min walk....... I often fished 5 times a week in Jan, Feb, March and April if the river wasn't frozen. After school I'd put in a pair of hip boots and go screen some "hellgramites" out of the river to use for bait. Sometimes dodging the slush ice.... I was rather dedicated.
Thanks for writing your story. Very true indeed.
Bruce

G'day Bruce

You are bringing back such fond memories, yes, collecting the bait is also great fun too, especially when tackling uncomfortable weather conditions. You find all sorts of things when dip netting in a creek.

Thank you for sharing

Tight LInes

Rob
 

curtism1234

AH fanatic
Joined
Apr 28, 2016
Messages
629
Reaction score
546
Media
5
Hunted
Hunted: RSA, MO, WY. Fished: MO, IL, AR, MS, FL, WI, MI, WY
6" black plastic worm with a green firetail, 1/8oz bullet weight, and #3 hook --- only 3 pieces of tackle you'll ever need to catch largemouth bass (y)
 

Alexandro Faria

AH enthusiast
Joined
Feb 15, 2015
Messages
312
Reaction score
273
Location
Pretoria
Media
20
Articles
4
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
SA wingshooters, GOSA,
Hunted
RSA, Namibia, Botswana
Cheers guys, thank you for the supportive words and I'm glad that this brought a few smiles to members.

@Dinosaur and @Andrew Short you are both exceedingly kind- I really appreciate the generosity.

Fishing is picking up nicely, prespawn bass are smacking the weightless rigs.
 
 

 

 

Latest profile posts

pamtnman wrote on Timothy Doyle's profile.
Interested in the 450/400 dies. I have PayPal. Thank you
ve7poi wrote on ZANA BOTES SAFARI's profile.
See you in May 2022
twenty days with you time seems to have slowed now after booking lol
tarbe wrote on Royal27's profile.
Current ETA to Buc-ees is 11 am or we can meet you there about 2 hrs later in the way back.
On the ocean or in the bush .
 
Top