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Scott Brands
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How to Get Started Fishing

Blog by: Scott Brands , CO 12/12/2020
Part of Series: Fishing for Beginners

How many times have you mentioned to someone that you enjoy fishing, only to have them tell you how boring it is? I run across this all the time, and I usually ask that person what their idea of fishing is. I ask “If I invited you to go fishing with me tomorrow, what do you think we’d do?” The typical response is that we’d sit in lawn chairs, cast out a worm, and wait for something to bite. I then tell them that I haven’t fished that way in years. Not that there is anything wrong with that style of fishing if that’s what you enjoy, but many people don’t realize how amazing the sport of fishing can be! I took one of those people bass fishing at a local pond throwing hollow body frogs over grass mats. We had a good time catching a few bass, and at the end of the day my guest said “I had no idea!”

That is why I decided to write a new series of blogs on the subject of how to get started fishing. As I continue through the series you will see a transition towards bass fishing specifically, but the basics of bass fishing and fishing for other species are pretty much the same. In this blog we will cover the topics of rules and regs and finding a place to fish.

The very first thing you need to consider before even picking up a pole is your local rules and regulations. Colorado’s rules and regs can be found online here. This document includes necessary information such as license costs, fishing laws, special regulations on specific bodies of water, and other general information. Make sure you read carefully to determine what your costs are going to be as licenses are priced according to age and residency. There is also the additional cost of an annual habitat stamp to consider. To purchase your fishing license, you can do so online here or visit your local Walmart or sporting goods store.

After you check your rules and regulations and purchase a license, you need to figure out where you’re going to fish. That’s where Fishexplorer kicks in. Browse the lake and river maps to determine what public bodies of water are near you, what fees there are to get into the location (if any), and what species they hold. You can also view fishing reports and talk with other anglers on the forum to get more information on current conditions and how good the bite is. Another good resource for finding places to fish is the Colorado fishing atlas. It contains much of the same information you will find on Fishexplorer’s lake map and can be found here. Finally, a relatively new resource on the scene is Fishbrain. This is an app similar to Instagram but is dedicated to fishing. The thing about Fishbrain, though, is that many people specifically post information on where they caught their fish and what they caught their fish on! Giving out this information is considered “hot-spotting” by many and can increase fishing pressure on any given lake or pond so be careful about what information you choose to share with others. You can’t always take this information at face value, however, as many people also post false information as to where they caught their fish and what they caught it on. For example, I often see posts from people who are purposely mis-identifying species, posting locations that literally hold no fish, and saying they caught the fish on some crazy bait that fish would never eat. Putting all of these resources together will indeed help you dial in a spot that you can have some confidence in for your first time.

So at this point you should have determined where you’re going to fish. But wait! You don’t have any gear yet! If you have already some fishing gear around the house and just want to get out fishing then go ahead and use it. However, I have a few recommendations on what gear I’d select for my first time to make your fishing experiences good ones. That information will be upcoming in my second blog in the series as it is too much to get into at the moment.

I hope if you’re a beginner this proved to be some valuable information to help get you started. If you have any questions go ahead and leave them in the comments section, or create a post on the forum and the Fishexplorer community will be more than willing to help you out!

Blog content © Scott Brands
Blog Comments
fishthumpre, 12/14/2020 10:51:21 AM
Good stuff Scott. We’re seeing a lot of new faces on the water, and a good experience or two early on will hopefully keep them coming back. I suspect the hardest thing about getting started fishing these days is the scarcity of baits and gear on sporting good store shelves. It’s gotten better, but still tough to find the perfect new bait or gear, a critical part of fishing. Fortunately for me, I have over the years acquired enough stuff, good and bad, to last through several more pandemics. Maybe we should start a Fish Explorer bait swap. Guess it’s too late for an FE Christmas gift exchange...

Other Blogs in the Fishing for Beginners Series

Getting ready for spring: time to study Google Earth by B. Prater 02.09.22
It appears Google Earth has updated its satellite photos of northern Colorado. Looks like most of the composite photos were taken on clear days in June 2021, giving us an updated tool to study fishing holes from a unique perspective high overhead.
Let's argue: Does size matter? by B. Prater 08.20.21
One of the many great things about ultralight gear is, it doesn't matter whether your intended catch is a Master Angler class whopper or a small over-achiever.
When (and if ) you should lie about fishing by B. Prater 06.13.21
The trouble with writing an occasional fish story is, most readers won’t even agree on what kind of fish to catch, much less what to do with it afterward. (Eat that carp? or Let It Live to Bite Another Day?
The Loveland Kids Fishing Derby is back! by B. Prater 05.09.21
Pandemic caused cancellation of last year’s derby, but volunteers led by Loveland Police are picking up where they left off, prepping for the June 5 event. Know of any other kids fishing days planned that first weekend in June?
Get kids interested and excited to fish! by J. McFarland 03.22.21
Want your kids having fun fishing and not bored out of their minds? It's up to you to make it happen and here's a way to get started. Start here and see if your kids don't want to go more.