Types Of Fishing

Bait Casting

Bait Casting ReelBait casting is primarily used to catch large fish, such as bass, pickerel, and pike, which prey on smaller fish. In this method of fishing, a lure or bait is cast into the water and its weight pulls the line from the reel. The bait is retrieved by rewinding the line on a reel with a moving spool.

Bait casting and spin casting differ essentially only in the type of reel used and the rod length. Spinning rods are generally 7–10 feet long, while the usual length of a bait casting rod is 5–6 feet. As with fly fishing, bait casting originally used live minnows but grew to use lures in imitation of fish (sometimes crippled fish).

Bait casting is a style of fishing that relies on the weight of the lure to extend the line into the target area. Bait casting involves a revolving-spool reel (or “free spool”) mounted on the topside of the rod. Bait casting is definitely an acquired skill. Once you get the hang of the technique (check out the casting animation), you will be casting your lures right on target into the structures where fish are feeding and hanging out.

With bait casting, you can use larger lures (1/2 to 3/4) and cast them for longer distances. To get started, you’ll need a rod with good spring action, a good quality anti-backlash reel, 10–15 pound test line and a variety of specific bait casting lures.

Bait casting equipment consists of four pieces: rod, reel, line, and lure.


The rod, made of tubular or solid glass, sometimes bamboo or metal, is from 5 to 6 ½ feet long, and is classified by “action” (weight) as medium, light, and very light. The reel houses a spool operated with a right-hand crank, which turns the spool, winding the line. Reel capacity for holding line varies by brand, size, and price. The line may be either braided silk, nylon, or monofilament, and it is available in a variety of breaking strengths, from 4 to more than 20 pounds.

Casting lures are classified by the way they behave. They are called floating, diving, or sinking baits. Made of wood, plastic, metal, rubber, or hair, lures are also known as “plugs,” spoons, or spinners. They vary in weight from ¼ to 5/8 ounce.

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Spin Casting

Spin Casting ReelWe won’t say it’s foolproof, but spin casting is an ideal fishing method for beginning anglers. Spin-casting equipment is easier to use than bait casting. You can use it to cast both light and heavy lures without tangling or breaking your line. Basic equipment includes a 6 - 7 foot rod, a spinning reel and 6–10 pound test line for casting 1/16 to ¾ ounce lures. You can use an open-face, closed-face (pictured) or spin-cast reel for spin casting.

Spin casting gives great aim for the novice user, although with time and practice you can have a pretty good aim no matter what your using. Most of the "bass Shows" on TV the angelers are using closed faced Sin casting reels. For the younger angler, they will tend to have a harder time learning this technique with a closed face reel, but as the mentor, you will probably spend less time "untangeling" line and more time fishing!

Spinning is a method of fishing with artificial tackle , however you can use live bait. In spin fishing, a weighted lure is cast with a line, which unwinds from a spool that does not turn. The line is rewound by a “finger” that turns around the stationary spool as you crank the wheel.

Spinning bridges the gap between fly fishing and bait casting. With spinning tackle, you can cast a fly, a tiny lure, or a live bait three or four times farther than you can with a fly rod or cane pole, and you are less likely to lose live bait off the hook because there is typically less snap in the line.

Spin casting is different from spin fishing in that the spin-casting reel is mounted on top of the rod, and the spin-casting rod is essentially the same as the casting rod. The line on this type reel (spin casting) is controlled with a thumb device.


Also, you can cast smaller lures with spinning tackle and cast it farther than you can with bait casting tackle.

One disadvantage, however, is that you may not land a big fish from water filled with fallen trees, stumps, or bushes. The average fresh-water spinning line ranges between 4 and 8 pound breaking test. There is a brake on the rod, which you adjust to “slip,” to prevent snapping the line. Therefore, a big fish may pull off line while you are frantically cranking your reel to bring him in, but this light-test line is an advantage because you can cast more accurately and farther with it than you can with heavy-test lines.

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Fly Fishing

Fly FishingFly fishing is a distinct and ancient angling method, most renowned as a method for catching trout and salmon, but employed today for a wide variety of species including pike, bass, panfish, and carp, as well as marine species, such as redfish, snook, tarpon, bonefish and striped bass. There are many reports of fly anglers taking unintended species such as chub, bream and rudd while fishing for 'main target' species such as trout. There is a growing population of anglers whose aim is to catch as many different species as possible with the fly.

In fly fishing, fish are caught by using artificial flies that are cast with a fly rod and a fly line. The fly line (today, almost always coated with plastic) is heavy enough cast in order to send the fly to the target. Artificial flies can vary dramatically in all morphological characteristics (size, weight, colour, etc.).

Artificial flies are created by tying hair, fur, feathers, or other materials, both natural and synthetic, onto a hook with thread. The first flies were tied with natural materials, but synthetic materials are now extremely popular and prevalent. The flies are tied in sizes, colours and patterns to match local terrestrial and aquatic insects, baitfish, or other prey attractive to the target fish species.

Unlike other casting methods, fly fishing can be thought of as a method of casting line rather than lure. Non-flyfishing methods rely on a lure's weight to pull line from the reel during the forward motion of a cast. By design, a fly is too light to be cast, and thus simply follows the unfurling of a properly casted fly line, which is heavier and more castable than lines used in other types of fishing. The angler normally holds the flyrod in the dominant hand and manipulates the line with the other close to the reel, pulling line out in small increments as the energy in the line, generated from backward and forward motions, increases. The mechanics of proper rod movement are commonly described as "10 to 2", meaning that the rod's movement on the forward cast is arrested at the 10 o'clock position (12 o'clock is rod straight up, 9 o'clock flat forward, 3 o'clock flat backwards) and the backcast at 2 o'clock. In proper casting, loops of line unfurl completely before the angler throws his rod in opposite direction. The effect resembles sending a wave along a garden hose to remove a kink. Newer casting techniques promote minimal wrist movement, a very open stance and movement of the arm parallel to the ground, discouraging the rigid boundaries of the 10 to 2 technique. Proper casting, regardless of technique, requires pauses in both directions (forward and backward) to allow the entirety of the line to unfurl parallel to the water's surface. As additional line length is desired for farther casts, the angler allows momentum generated by the forward and backcasting to carry slack line previously pulled free from the reel to glide forward through the non-dominant hand without bending the wrist. Flyline speed and orientation in three-dimensional space, in both the forward and back cast, yield a tighter or looser unfurling of the "loop” of line. As rhythm and line control improve, longer and more accurate casts can be achieved. Poor casts typically lead to tangled lines that pile up on the water's surface in front of the angler as he attempts to allow the fly come to rest.


In broadest terms, flies are categorized as either imitative or attractive. Imitative flies resemble a natural food items. Attractive flies trigger instinctive strikes by employing a range of characteristics that do not necessarily mimic prey items. Flies can be fished floating on the surface (dry flies), partially submerged (emergers), or below the surface (nymphs, streamers, and wet flies.) A dry fly is typically thought to represent an insect landing on, falling on (terrestrials), or emerging from, the water's surface as might a grasshopper, dragonfly, mayfly, ant, beetle, stonefly or caddisfly. Other surface flies include poppers and hair bugs that might resemble mice, frogs, etc. Sub-surface flies are designed to resemble a wide variety of prey including aquatic insect larvae, nymphs and pupae, baitfish, crayfish, leeches, worms, etc. Wet flies, known as streamers, are generally thought to imitate minnows or leeches.

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Still Fishing

Still FishingThe term still fishing refers to the technique of catching fish without moving from one spot--an anchored boat, a bridge, a dock, or a bank. It is perhaps the most common method followed. Because the fisherman waits for the fish to come to his bait, more patience is required in this technique than in any other. At the same time, it is one of the most delightful and relaxing methods of fishing because it offers the fisherman an opportunity to enjoy the outdoor scene around him, visit with a companion, or nap in the shade of a tree along the bank, and still be fishing.

Fish commonly caught by the still-fishing method in fresh water are bullheads and catfish, sunfish, yellow perch, walleyed pike, and crappies; in salt water, flounders, sea bass, drum, and a host of others While any of the more elaborate rod-and-reel combinations can be used in still fishing, the most common is the cane pole, a few feet of green cotton line, called hand line, a cork bobber, and a single hook baited with worms or small minnows. Cane poles are the cured stalks of bamboo, 8 to 12 feet long, available in most hardware stores. An even simpler pole can be cut in the woods from a green sapling.

A piece of cork, sometimes painted different colors and called a bobber, is strung on the line and held at the desired place by a wooden jam plug or a tension spring. The bobber floats on top of the water, holding the baited hook at any desired depth. When a fish bites, the bobber bobs and gives the sign for the fisherman to lift his pole quickly, or set the hook, as it is called.

The hook, basic in all types of fishing, is made from tempered steel wire, with a barb on one end. Once hooked, a fish has difficulty in pulling free. There are many shapes and sizes of hooks. The larger the number applied to it the smaller the hook. A No. 6 or No. 8 hook with a long shank is commonly used in still fishing for pan fish, such as perch, sunfish, and crappies.

Sinkers are soft lead weights attached to the line to carry the bait down in the water. They are of three types: split shot, pinch-on, and dipsy. Each type comes in assorted weights and sizes.

A split shot is simply a round ball of lead partially split open. It can be squeezed on to the line with the fingers. A pinch-on sinker, on the other hand, is oblong in shape. It has a groove down the middle in which the line rests and a flap at either end that is pinched over, holding it in place. A dipsy sinker has a small wire ring embedded in one end through which the line is allowed to run free. It is used principally in still fishing for catfish.

A wide variety of small animals are eaten by fish and are used in still fishing. They are called live bait. The most common are worms, minnows, frogs, crayfish, and assorted insects, from grasshoppers to cockroaches. Each is impaled on the hook in a different way, and where possible in such manner as to permit natural action and thus appear more attractive to the fish. Night crawlers, popular as bait in still fishing, are large earthworms that come out of their holes at night on lawns and can be collected with a flashlight and a quick hand.

The most important factors for success in still fishing are locating the fish and fishing at the right depth. Since pan fish are most commonly sought with this technique, the still fisherman tries his luck along the edge of submerged weed beds, lily pads, brush piles, or docks in both lakes and slow-moving streams. Nearly any unpolluted small country stream is the home of bullheads, and often sunfish and perch as well. In such waters, the fish like the deeper pools or holes. The best method is to send the bait close to the bottom and watch the bobber carefully for the slightest unnatural movement.

It will often be nothing more than a slight wiggle. When this happens, the pole is raised sharply to set the hook in the fish's mouth. Then the fish is hoisted out of the water. Care should be taken not to disturb the water more than necessary. Most of the pan fish caught by this method travel in schools, and where one is caught others are likely to be nearby and should not be frightened away.


Patience is a prime requirement for the still fisherman. He can rest assured that if there are any fish in the water and he is using the right bait, properly presented, sooner or later a hungry one will take a bite. The alert fisherman watching his bobber knows when this happens and is ready for action.

Still fishing is a versatile way to go. You can do it from a pier, a bridge, an anchored boat or from shore. You can still fish on the bottom or off the bottom in ponds, lakes, rivers and streams for a variety of species. You can still fish during most seasons and during any part of the day. Your equipment and the size of the hooks and bait you use depends on what kind of fish you're after. But your best equipment for still fishing is patience. You have to wait for the fish to bite.

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Surf Casting

Surf CastingSurf casting is a specialized form of bait casting, developed for salt-water fishing. Special surf-casting, rods and reels are used to enable the surf fisherman, who wades in the ocean from shore, to heave his lure out over the pounding surf. A typical surf rod is 8½ to 9 feet long over all, with a 30-inch butt, or grip. Both hands are used in casting with such a rod.

Surf-casting reels have star drag and free spooling mechanisms that enable a fish to take out line at the same time that the fisherman is reeling in. Tension, or drag, on the spool is set by means of the star-shaped nut underneath the reel handle.

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Commercial TrollingA technique in fishing where some form of bait is used to lure the fish or using a live fish to catch other fishes is called trolling. Trolling is also a well-known freshwater angling technique. With a help of a boat that uses a special trolling motor, you can start trolling. You would require a boat, trolling motor, rod and reel, and a lure to go for trolling. You can start fishing once you are sure that the troll and lure are inside the water and is working. This is one of the effective fishing techniques, which can be used in lake or pond to catch fishes because fishes follow you for the reason that you have a food for them. If you use the right trolling technique in a lake where you have a good catch of fishes, you definitely can get hold of a lot of fishes very easily. Shape of the blade is also equally important as it determines how fast the blade can rotate or propel. During propelling, it makes a sound, which would bring the fishes near to your boat. People go for trolling for relaxing too. There are certain areas where fishes are found in abundant. If you know this area, it is not only very easy to catch fishes but also saves a lot of time as you do not have to search for them by using trolling technique.

Trolling is the term applied to a technique of fishing in which the bait or lure is towed through the water behind a moving boat. Because a large area of water can be covered, it is a very successful method of taking fish when all others fial. Trolling from a motor launch or from a specially outfitted sport fishing vessel is particularly popular for big game ocean fish, such as tuna or sword fish. In fresh water, cane poles, bait-casting tackle, fly rod and spinning outfits can be used to troll.

Special trolling rods, often called boat rods, are made for trolling in deeper or larger lakes for salmon, lake trout, muskellunge, and large northern pike. These rods are heavier, stiffer, and shorter than other rods because heavy weights and long lengths of line are frequently used and because a more limber rod would cause many missed strikes. Fishermen troll with lures as well as with live bait.

  1. First and foremost is to troll slowly. To do so, you can use oars instead of motor. You should ensure that the bait can be caught by the fishes easily. Slow does not mean that you have to drive always slowly. It just means that according to the situation, you will have to adjust your speed.
  2. Secondly, it is essential that you vary your speed. This is because it will create vibrations in the lake and it will imitate a real prey, which will help you in catching fishes.
  3. Finally, the boat must be trolled in an S-curve. This is because when you troll in this pattern, the troll and the lure will drop deeper and hence slows down during the inside turn and will speed up during the outside turn. This will signal food for the fishes.
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Spear Fishing

Spear FishingSpearfishing is a form of fishing that has been popular throughout the world for centuries. Early civilizations are familiar with the custom of spearing fish out of rivers and streams using sharpened sticks as a means of catching food.

Spearfishing today employs more modern and effective elastic- or pneumatic-powered spearguns and slings to strike the hunted fish.

Spearfishing may be done using free-diving, snorkeling, or scuba diving techniques. However, spearfishing while using SCUBA or other artificial breathing apparatus is frowned upon in some locations and is illegal in many others. Because of the belief of lack of sport in some modern spearfishing techniques, the use of mechanically-powered spearguns is outlawed in some jurisdictions.

Spearfishing in the past has been detrimental to the environment when species unafraid or unused to divers were targeted excessively. However, it is also highly selective and has extremely low amount of by-catch; therefore with education and proper regulations spearfishing can be the most ecologically sustainable form of fishing.

The very best free-diving spearfishers can hold their breath for durations of 2-4 minutes and dive to depths of 40 or even 60 meters (about 130 to 200 feet). However, dives of approximately 1 minute and 15 or 20 meters (about 50 to 70 feet) are more common for the average experienced spearfisher.


Spear fishing is an ancient method of fishing and may be conducted with an ordinary spear or a specialised variant such as an eel spear or the trident. A small trident type spear with a long handle is used in the American South and Midwest for gigging bullfrogs with a bright light at night, or for gigging carp and other fish in the shallows.

Traditional spear fishing is restricted to shallow waters, but the development of the speargun has made the method much more efficient. With practice, divers are able to hold their breath for up to four minutes and sometimes longer; of course, a diver with underwater breathing equipment can dive for much longer periods.

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JiggingJigging, not to be confused with gigging, is the practice of fishing with a jig.

A jig is a type of fishing lure consisting of a lead sinker with a hook molded into it and usually covered by a soft body to attract fish. Jigs are intended to create a jerky, vertical motion, as opposed to spinnerbaits which move through the water horizontally. The jig is very versatile and can be used in both salt water as well as fresh water. Many species are attracted to the lure which has made it popular amongst anglers for years.

In a general sense, the term “jigging” refers to fishing with a jig lure. Jigs encompass a broad family of lures that are used on a wide variety of saltwater game fish. Almost all jigs feature a single hook and weighted head molded together into one unit. Many are dressed with a soft plastic body or a combination of feathers, fur, thread or yarn. Jigs are also frequently “tipped” with live bait such as shrimp, baitfish or cut bait, which are either threaded onto a “bare” jighead or used in addition to a jig body.

“Jigging” also refers to the fundamental fishing technique whereby the angler lifts and drops the lure (almost always a jig) at various intervals that produce a quick rise in the lure, followed by a slow flutter. While this describes the basic “jigging” motion, jigging is not limited to the continual lift-and-drop motion. As mentioned above, anytime a jig is being used, an angler is technically jigging or “jig fishing.” (Note: the use of jigging spoons is considered jigging, even though jigging spoons are technically not jigs.)


Unlike other artificial lures, such as plugs, spinners, surface lures or flies, jigs have little or no “action” on their own. At times, that subtle nature is what makes them so effective. In fact, sometimes letting a jig lie motionless on the bottom is all that’s needed to produce a strike. In other situations, a violent upward snap of the fishing rod may be required to make the jig appealing. Whether the retrieve technique is fast, slow, subtle or aggressive, it is up to the angler to produce the right action and fish-attracting movement that will result in a strike.

Jigs - an artificial lure with a metal head molded to a single hook. The hook shank may be dressed with fur, feathers, rubber, soft plastic, pork rind, other synthetic materials, and occasionally with live or dead natural bait. Jigs are very popular in ice fishing.

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Ice Fishing

Ice FishingIce fishing is the activity of catching fish with lines and fish hooks or spears through an opening in the ice on a frozen body of water. Ice anglers may sit on the stool in the open on a frozen lake, or in a heated cabin on the ice, some with bunks and amenities.

Icefishing gear is highly specialized. First, an ice saw or auger or chisel is required to cut a circular hole or larger rectangular hole in the ice. Power augers are sometimes used. A strainer is used to remove new ice as it forms and to clear slush left from making the hole.

Three main types of fishing occur. Small, light fishing rod with small, brightly colored lures or jigs with bait such as waxworms, fat heads or crappie minnows. Tip-ups, which carry a line attached to a flag that "tips up" when a strike occurs, allow unattended or less-intensive fishing. The line is dragged in by hand with no reel. In spear fishing a large hole is cut in the ice and fish decoys may be deployed. The fisherman stands over the hole while holding a large spear attached to a line. This method is often used for lake sturgeon fishing.


Becoming increasingly popular is the use of a flasher, similar to its summer cousin the fish finder . This is a sonar system that provides depth information, as well as indicates the presence of fish or other objects. Underwater cameras are also now available which allow the user to view the fish and observe their reaction to the lure presentation.

From Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia Deluxe © 1998 The Learning Company, Inc. and WikiPedia

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Noodling (You know I had to put this in!)

Noodling is a southern US practice of fishing for catfish using only bare hands. Many other names, such as catfisting, grabbling, graveling, hogging, dogging, tickling and stumping, are used in different regions for the same activity. Noodling is currently legal in eleven states.

The term "noodling", although today used primarily towards the capture of flathead catfish, can and has been applied to all hand fishing methods, regardless of the method or species of fish sought. Noodling as a term has also been applied to various unconventional methods of fishing, such as any which do not use bait, rod & reel, speargun, etc., but this usage is much less common.

Although the concept, catching fish with only the use of the arm in the water, is simple enough, the process of noodling is more complicated. The choice of catfish as the prey is not arbitrary, but comes from the circumstances of their habitat. Flathead catfish live in holes or under brush in rivers and lakes and thus are easy to capture due to the static nature of their dwelling. To begin, a noodler goes underwater to depths ranging from only a few feet to up to twenty feet, placing his hand inside a discovered catfish hole. If all goes as planned, the catfish will swim forward and latch onto the fisherman's hand, usually as a defensive maneuver in order to try to escape the hole. If the fish is particularly large, the noodler can hook the head around its gills.

Most noodlers have spotters who help them bring the catfish in, either to shore or to their boat. When a catfish bites onto a noodler, it holds on for quite a while.

With some of the biggest fish caught weighing in at up to 50-60 pounds, very few noodlers are strong enough to attempt noodling by themselves. Although carrying the fish after they have been subdued is not difficult, trying to secure a fish and remove it from one's hand at the same time can be a challenge.

Noodling can result in superficial cuts and minor wounds to the noodler. This can be reduced by wearing gloves and other protective clothing. Losing fingers is also a risk, whether from the bite or infection. Most holes are deep enough that diving is needed, so there can be a danger of drowning. A person with confident swimming abilities may be caught off guard by the sudden added strain of carrying a large fish to the surface. Spotters can alleviate this danger, but it is still present. A wounded noodler ten to twenty feet underwater might not be able to return safely to the surface, and drown. Clothes may get tangled or snagged on roots or rocks, so some noodlers wear only shorts.

The largest danger posed to noodlers are other forms of aquatic life found in catfish holes. Far more dangerous than catfish are alligators, snakes, beavers, muskrats and snapping turtles, who will take over abandoned catfish holes as homes of their own. These animals are always on the mind of experienced noodlers.

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Don't Go Noodling in the Guangdong Reservoir!

(Pictured: Whale Shark)

Huge Catfish

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