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 fishing line. Basic equipment includes a 7-foot rod, a spinning reel and 6 to 10 pound test line for casting 1/16 to 3/4 ounce lures. You can use an open-face, closed-face or spin-cast reel for spin casting.

  1. Hold the rod at about waist level, grasping it so that the reel is below the rod, and the stem of the reel feels natural between your fingers. The bait or lure should be hanging 10-18 inches below the end of the rod.
  2. Hook the line with your forefinger, and open the bail, continuing to hold the line.
  3. Pull the rod tip back so the tip sweeps over your dominant shoulder, and then bring it forward swiftly pointing the rod tip at your target. As the rod comes forward of your shoulder release the line with your finger so the weight of the lure pulls line off the reel.
  4. Close the bail with your hand, and you’re ready to reel using a retrieve technique.

Source : www.takemefishing.org

The drag is simply a pair of friction plates inside of fishing reels. If the fish pulls on the line hard enough, the friction is overcome, and the reel rotates backwards, letting line out, preventing the line from breaking.  You want to set the drag on a fishing reel before your first cast of the day. Adjusting it while fighting a fish can be difficult. Also fishing reels are not designed to be adjusted while fishing, so doing so could cause damage.


  1. The easiest way to set the drag on a spinning reel is to first test it by pulling on your line directly above the reel.
  2. Tighten the drag a few clicks to the right, if the line pulls out too easily. If it’s too hard, loosen it one or two to the left.
  3. If you don’t feel you can judge the force accurately, a small spring scale can help, such as the ones used in Boca Grips or other fish handling devices used in catch and release.
  4. It’s better to have your drag too loose, and have to fight a fish a little longer than to have it too tight, and break off a big one

Source : www.takemefishing.org

A good rule of thumb when learning how to set the hook, is to wait and feel the weight of the fish before setting it. If the fish is cautious and just tapping your fishing line and bait lightly, and not biting it, it’s best to wait. Let the fish take the bait, and then set the hook after you feel its weight.


  1. To help you better know how to set the hook, look for common signs a fish is biting such us: your bobber is pulled under water, you feel a “thump” on your fishing line or your fishing line starts moving.
  2. Reel in slack and keep your line tight with the bait or lure. This helps increase sensitivity so you can feel the fish bite and be in a better position to set the hook.

The motion of setting the hook is relatively simple. But it can sometimes be difficult to tell if you have a bite or if you’re just feeling the current or a fish bumping into the bait. The more you know about the fish species you’re after, and the more time you spend on the water practicing, the better you’ll get.

Source : www.takemefishing.org

When a fish feels the hook, it struggles to get free. This might involve jumping, making a long run, swimming back against the line or swimming around obstacles. Each species of fish reacts differently. Fish hooked in shallow water are more likely to jump and behave more frantically than those hooked in deep water. Deep-water fish often seek the bottom.


Bigger fish pull harder, and can be more challenging to reel in. You will know it is a big fish if it starts to take line off of your fishing reel while you are holding it tightly. You’ll know this is happening by the sound the reel makes when it goes into reverse. An important part of learning how to play a fish is knowing not to reel while the fish is swimming away.

  1. Relax and let the drag and rod do the work. Just keep the fishing rod up at about a 45-degree angle to the water, aim it straight towards the fish, and be ready to reel when the drag stops moving and buzzing.
  2. When the fish slows down and stops taking line off your reel, it’s time to go to work. When learning how to reel in a fish of greater size, a great technique to try is the pump and reel.
  3. Without reeling the fish in, lift the tip of the rod up like you’re trying to point it skyward to about 90 degrees. A stronger, or heavier fish will often put a major bend in your fishing rod, but don’t worry this is normal.
  4. Then reel as you lower the rod tip back down to about 45 degrees, keeping even pressure on the fish.
  5. Repeat this process.

Source : www.takemefishing.org


  1. As your fish gets closer to the boat, drop your entire rod and reel to your waist.
  2. If the fish goes under the boat, get your rod tip in the water and follow it.
  3. If you can see the fish, you’ll know when it’s tired. It’ll roll over on its side to let you know it’s ready to be landed. And if you can’t see the fish, you’ll be able to feel it.
  4. For smaller fish, such as crappie simply lift them by hand or by a fishing net from the water quickly then cradle the fish around the belly to remove the hook.

Source : www.takemefishing.org

You might be asking yourself, “How do fish survive catch and release after being handled?” Whether or not they do largely depends on if the angler understands how to handle fish and how to release fish in a conservation-friendly manner. Below are the steps you can take when handling a fish to help promote fishing conservation.

  1. Use wet hands when handling a fish or a knotless rubberized landing nets and rubberized gloves. This helps maintain the slime coat on the fish, which protects it from infection and aids in swimming. Anglers that know how to practice proper catch and release never use a towel of any kind when handling fish since a towel can remove this slime coat.
  2. Hold the fish horizontally whenever possible since this is the way fish naturally swim through the water. Do not drop the fish onto hard surfaces!
  3. Keep your fingers away from the gills and eyes of the fish.
  4. If needed, use a release tool (dehookers, recompression tools) to minimize handling.
  5. Time is of the essence! Release fish as soon as practical and do not keep them out of the water longer than necessary. Always release your fish head first into the water. When you release a fish head first into the water, it forces water through the mouth and over the gills, which helps to resuscitate the fish. Revive exhausted fish by placing the fish in the water, facing the current if possible, with one hand underneath the belly and the other hand holding the bottom lip or tail.
  6. Know the current fishing regulations that apply to the state where you are fishing and learn how to accurately measure fish in order to abide by the regulations. By following fishing regulations you are building and conserving our state fish populations for future generations of anglers.

Source : www.takemefishing.org

If you are planning on cooking your fish whole or if you are going to steak it, rather than filleting it, cleaning your fish is a must.

  1. To begin, rest the fish on the table or cutting board. Insert the knife tip into the fish’s belly near the anal opening and move the blade up along the belly, cutting to the head.
  2. Keep the knife blade shallow so you don’t puncture the intestines.
  3. Spread the body open and remove all of the entrails, locate the fish’s anus and cut this out in a “V” or notch shape.
  4. Some fish have a kidney by the backbone. Remove it by scraping it out with a spoon or your thumbnail.
  5. Rinse the cavity out with a good stream of water and wash the skin. Some fish have a dark tissue lining the abdominal cavity that can be scraped off to prevent a strong, oily flavor.
  6. Remove the head if you like, trout are often cooked with the head on.
  7. Clean your fish-cleaning table immediately, collect the guts, heads, and scales, and discard them properly.
  8. Your clean fish is now ready to be cooked.

Source : www.takemefishing.org

  1. Have an adult help as you learn to fillet. A fillet knife is dangerous and must be handled safely. If you have any slime on your hands or the knife handle, wash it off to prevent slipping. Always keep your hands in back of the blade. For added safety, wear metal-mesh “fish-cleaning” gloves to protect your hands.
  2. To fillet a fish, lay it on its side on a flat surface. Cut the fish behind its gills and pectoral fin down to, but not through, the backbone. Without removing the knife, turn the blade and cut through the ribs toward the tail. Use the fish’s backbone to guide you. Turn the fish over and repeat the steps.
  3. Next, insert the knife blade close to the rib bones and slice the entire rib section of each fillet away. Then, with the skin side down, insert the knife blade about a 1/2-inch from the tail. Gripping this tail part firmly, put the blade between the skin and the meat at an angle. Using a little pressure and a sawing motion, cut against – not through – the skin. The fillet will be removed from the skin.
  4. Wash each fillet in cold water. Pat dry with a clean cloth or paper towel. The fillets are ready to cook or freeze.

Source : www.takemefishing.org