There is a constant quest for knowledge about catching fish. No one has all the answers because the season, daylight, temperature, etc. is constantly changing. Even fishing instructors learn something with each fishing adventure that they may be able to use to help a novice’s confidence grow.
Ideally, the best method is for someone to teach (mentor) where to go, what to throw, and when. Some fishing education also can be located through other sources that may help get us in “the ball park.” One of the first resources is what you are doing now: a little research on the internet. Try our new fishing report feed. Just click on a state to get started.
Another source is local bait and tackle stores. One of my favorites is Ken’s, near Rimersburg, PA. I also follow Poor Richard’s on Facebook before I trek to Erie tributaries. A bait shop won’t steer you wrong. They want you to catch fish and return. The lures they stock on the shelves are there for a reason.
Fellow anglers on the water are teachers as well. Many anglers are understandably secretive, but a surprising number openly share information, especially if you are carrying a camera. A camera indicates you probably are practicing catch and release.
On numerous occasions I have seen successful anglers go out of their way to share a tip or two with someone fishing with a kid. Recently, a couple of steelhead anglers peeked in my selection of spoons as they were leaving and made a couple of suggestions on sizes and colors.
There even are fishing teachers offering lessons in surprising places.
At a fantastic little diner, Daddy’s Main Street, the proprietor learned I fished and is sharing information to help us hook up with giant brown trout. And then there is a teammate on my son’s football team. This 7th grader fishes in area bass tournaments. He wants to fish with my son and me and offered to share some tips with this fishing instructor.
Take, and be taken fishing. Learn something. Then pass it along.
Andy Whitcomb is a columnist, outdoor humorist, and stressed-out Dad living in Pennsylvania. Visit him at www.justkeepreeling.com.