When the fishing bug really bites hard, a beginner’s thirst for knowledge is immense. They want to know it all and want that information right now. While time on the water is the best way to learn, there are a number of shortcuts out there. Where once it was books, fishing magazines, videos and DVDs — and these still remain an excellent source of reference material — the Internet these days has any number of informative fishing how-tos that can be accessed. These might not have all the answers, but it will point a rookie in the right direction.
For instance, putting a bait on a hook might seem a fairly obvious skill, but there’s a right way and a wrong way that makes that pilchard, nipper, worm or squid strip look natural and keeps the point exposed.
Knot tying can be seen as a black art to many, and the increasing use of gel spun polyethylene or ‘braid’ lines has seen a rise of ever more complicated knots to combat this line’s slippery outer coating and fine diameter. There are some excellent YouTube clips, as well as some really cool animated step-by-step demonstrations available now.
So you’ve caught that great fish and you’re unsure about how to prepare it for the table — whole, fillets, or cutlets for example. Some fish are almost inedible when cooked whole, so it’s important to know the best way to prep a fish for the table given the species. There will be filleting demonstrations for a variety of species on the Internet somewhere.
Clubs are another excellent source of fishing how-to information. The active, clued in ones run tackle and information nights with guest speakers on a regular basis, or they drag a member who has had success with a particular technique out the front to explain to the members how it all works.