Fishing For Beginners, How To Do Lake Fishing
Lake Fishing For The Total Beginner Angler
Lake fishing can be done easily by first-time anglers, and just about everyone in the U.S. has a fishing lake or two in their area. These might include lakes in state, national, or regional parks, of reservoirs that are open to the public. Of course, if you have a friend with a private lake that experiences little fishing pressure, that's even better!
Fishing in a lake can be done in several different ways. You might fish from a boat, a canoe, or a kayak; from shore; or by wading. Many large lakes have fishing piers or docks, too.
Lake Fishing Gear
You won't need any fancy equipment for lake fishing. Any spinning rod will work, as will fly rods, cane poles, and telescope poles. If you're fishing from a boat or kayak, shorter rods are easier to manage. If you're wade fishing, a longer rod will enable you to make longer casts. The size line you'll need depends largely on what size fish you're angling for. The same goes for hooks.
You'll also need weights or sinkers. Since most lakes have little current, small sinkers should be sufficient. If you're planning on float fishing, include several bobbers in your supplies. Throw in a pair of pliers or a hook remover tool to unhook your catch.
What Baits Should I Use
For most lakes and most freshwater fishing, natural baits like worms, leeches, cut bait, crickets, mussels, and minnows work well. For catfish, try chicken livers or special blood dough made just for catfish.
A wide variety of artificial baits is also effective for most lake species. For large predators like bass and stripers, try spoons, buzz baits, plugs, and soft plastics. Smaller species like crappie and bream will often take small spinner baits.
For the kids it's even easier than that and for them just as much fun to use the old "go to baits " like bread and corn. If you fished in a lake as a kid, maybe your local neighborhood lake then you may have fished with corn, rolled up bread, or other house hold foods that the usual crappie or bluegil would attack.
And for your children this is a great way to get them hooked on fishing, when they catch their first sunfish or bluegill they will have the biggest and brightest smiles you can imagine. This can very well lead to a new hobby or even obcession as they grow older when they may want to venter into deeper waters and catch bigger fish. And parents don't worry, fishing is a great wholesome sport that will teach them conservation, sportsmanship, and respect for their environment.
Lake Fishing Strategies
The key to success lies in knowing the underwater landscape of the lake. Fish are attracted to structure and to different currents. Some larger lakes and reservoirs might have wrecks or artificial reefs on the bottom, which are excellent places to find fish. Also, look for deep holes, channels, stumps, vegetation, and submerged brush. Locate the mouths of any feeder creeks, too. Larger predators will often lie in wait near these, waiting for a meal to swim by.
If you're fishing from a boat, try trolling deeper areas of the lake with artificial baits. This will allow you to get your bait in front of a large number of fish. You might also want to anchor the boat near some bottom structure and fish over and around it by casting. You can also bottom fish successfully from a boat by anchoring near a deep hole or drop-off and leaving a natural bait on the bottom.
If you're fishing from a dock or pier on a lake, try bottom fishing under the structure or around the pilings. Do the same with casting.
During the hot months of summer, wade fishing is a refreshing way to keep cool and to reach deeper areas that might not be otherwise accessible from shore. With wade fishing, you can use a cast-and-retrieve or bottom fishing.
Night fishing on a lake can be very productive, especially during the hottest part of summer. During the daytime, most fish head to deep water on hot days. After the sun goes down, however, the temperature drops, and the fish become more active. If you have a boat, one of the very best forms of lake fishing is done around lighted docks at night.