Fishing For Dummies

Fishing For Dummies

Paperback(3rd ed.)

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The complete fisherman’s friend

The fully updated Fishing For Dummies, 3rd Edition, experienced angler and fishing writer Peter Kaminsky shows that while none of us is born to angling, we can all achieve it—and become great at it. Whether you love fishing for fun or sport, this hands-on friendly guide has everything you need to make sure that there need never be such a thing as “the one that got away!”

From trout to carp, catfish to bonefish, freshwater to saltwater, the easy-to-follow pictures and tips help you recognize and deal with what you’ll meet in the murky deep. You’ll also find out about the best times and the right spots to cast your line, as well as the right gear—which in these hi-tech days includes GPS, apps, and sonar!

  • Gear up with the right rod and tackle
  • Cast and bait effectively
  • Gut and clean your catch
  • Get hooked on new trends—kayak fishing!

Whatever your line—a quiet afternoon at the local creek, or a punishing morning’s whitewater kayaking followed by fishing the lonesome wild—Fishing For Dummies has you covered.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781119685890
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 10/06/2020
Series: For Dummies Books
Edition description: 3rd ed.
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 181,684
Product dimensions: 7.30(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Greg Schwipps, a creative writing professor and novelist, has been fishing for more than 40 years. His fishing articles have appeared in publications such as In-Fisherman, and his recent work focuses on introducing kids to the outdoors.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

About This Book 1

Foolish Assumptions 3

Icons Used in This Book 3

Beyond the Book 4

Where to Go From Here 4

Part 1: Before the Bite 5

Chapter 1: Getting Hooked on Fishing 7

Why Fish? 8

For the outdoors 9

For the enjoyment 9

For the table 10

Where Should You Fish? 10

Fishing freshwater 10

Fishing saltwater 11

What are You Fishing For? 11

Common freshwater catches 11

Common saltwater catches 12

What Do You Need to Fish? 12

Picking up fishing essentials 14

Adding to your angling arsenal 15

How Do You Fish? 15

Casting around: Basic and fly 16

Finding freshwater fish 16

Basic techniques for saltwater fishing 17

Fish On! Now What? 17

It’s not hunting: You can release fish 18

But fish taste great, and you can keep a few, too 18

Chapter 2: Gathering What You Need to Fish 19

Dressing for Fishing Success 20

Wear layers and always be happy 20

Pack your foul-weather bag 21

Pick a good hat 22

Pull on waders to wander into the fish’s world 23

Vests: Great for wading 25

Carrying Just What You Need to Fish 27

Start with your rod and reel 27

Pick a tackle carrier and load up 27

Don’t forget food and drink for yourself 28

Tucking Your Fishing License in a Safe Spot 29

When you need a license 30

Where to buy fishing licenses 30

Chapter 3: Finding Good Fishing Water 31

Knowing Where to Go 32

Fish the one you’re with: Finding fishing water close to home 33

Finding fish when you’re on the road 34

Getting the Scoop 34

From bait shops 35

From online forums 35

From guides 36

From YouTube celebrities 36

When no one knows: Walk the bank 36

Evaluating Freshwater Sites 37

Ponds 37

Streams and rivers (big and small) 38

Lakes and reservoirs 39

Where NOT to fish 40

Evaluating Saltwater Sites 41

Tidal inlets, marshes, streams, and bays 41

Surf fishing 44

Fishing piers 45

Finding the Right Time to Fish 46

Watching the Weather 47

Planning a trip around the weather 47

Reacting to changing weather while fishing 48

Chapter 4: Putting a Face on the Fins: Common Freshwater Fish 49

Sunfish 50

Bluegills: America’s spunky little sweetheart 50

Crappies: A little bigger, and a bit sportier 50

Largemouth bass: The most important gamefish in America 51

Smallmouth: The gamest fish 52

Catfish 54

Blue catfish: King of the big water 54

Flathead catfish: Denizens of the deep lair 55

Channel catfish: Prince of the pond 56

Bullhead catfish: Tough as they come 56

Perch 57

Walleye: Popular like a largemouth, toothy like a pike 57

Yellow perch: Food for everyone 58

Pike 58

Northern pike: Water wolf 59

Chain pickerel: Pike junior 59

Temperate Bass 60

Striped bass: Strong enough for saltwater, happy in freshwater 60

White bass: Little fighters 61

Wipers: A bit of both 61

Carp 62

Trout 63

Rainbow trout: High jumpers 63

Brown trout: The champ of the stream 64

Brook trout: Sentimental favorites 65

The cutthroat: Yellowstone beauty 66

Lake trout: Big macks 67

Pacific salmon: Not just in the Pacific anymore 67

Atlantic salmon: The leaper 68

Chapter 5: Familiarizing Yourself with Common Saltwater Fish 71

Bluefish 72

Flatfish 73

Winter flounder: Another snowbird 73

Fluke: Mr Dependable 74

Halibut: Like catching a doormat that fights back 74

Drum 74

Spotted seatrout (a k a specks) 75

Weakfish: Not a weakling 75

Red drum: For cooks and anglers alike 76

Temperate Bass: Stripers 77

Cod 78

Grouper 78

Snapper 79

Bonefish 80

Snook 81

Tarpon 82

Sharks 82

Tuna 83

Billfish Family 84

Chapter 6: Staying Safe on or near the Water 85

Planning Ahead for Your Trip 86

Water, Water Everywhere: Bringing Food and Drink 87

Dehydration hurts 87

Alcohol kills 87

Don’t forget the bait for yourself 88

Serious Safety: First Aid Kits and Sun Protection 88

Making your own kit 88

The sun is a fair-weather friend (sort of) 89

Safe Wading 89

Why you need a staff 90

Handling the occasional mishap 90

Danger Amplified: Boating Safety 91

It starts with life jackets 91

Your call, Captain 91

Part 2: Gearing Up Without Going Overboard 95

Chapter 7: Matching the Rod and Reel 97

Getting a Handle on Fishing Rod Basics 98

The writing on the rod 100

How slow can you go? 100

Catching Up with Reels 102

It’s a drag, but it works 103

The writing on the reel 104

Classic Beginnings: Spincast Gear 104

Advantages and disadvantages of spincast gear 105

Considering a rod and reel combo, or striking out on your own 106

If you’re limited to just one 107

So Smooth: Spinning Gear 108

Advantages and disadvantages of spinning gear 109

Spinning rods: What makes them different 110

If you’re limited to just one 110

Baitcasting Gear: Complicated, but Worth It 111

Advantages and disadvantages of baitcasting gear 112

Baitcasting rods: Time to specialize 114

If you’re limited to just one 114

Fly-Fishing Gear: Artful and Effective 114

Fly rods: Choosing the right one 115

Chapter 8: The Bottom Line on Line 119

Getting to Know the Three Kinds of Line 120

Monofilament: Best for beginners 120

Braid: For those who don’t like to stretch 120

Fluorocarbon: For serious anglers 120

Buying Line 101 121

Information to get before you leave home 121

Factors to consider when you’re at the shop 123

Spooling Up: Attaching Line to a Reel 127

Caring for Your New Line and Knowing When to Let It Go 129

Protecting your line from wear and tear 129

Saying goodbye to old line 130

Fly Lines 130

Is weight good or bad? 131

Does color count? 132

Taper tips 132

Sink or swim 132

Threading your fly line 133

Looking at leaders 134

Chapter 9: It’s Terminal (Tackle): Hooks, Sinkers, Snaps, Swivels, and Floats 137

Hooks: What They Do and Why They Matter 138

Keeping a range of hooks 141

Making a point 142

J hooks: Some things never change 143

Circle hooks: From saltwater to freshwater 145

Dehooking yourself 146

Sinkers: When You Need a Little More Weight 149

Selecting the right range of sinkers 149

Storing your sinkers 151

Adding On Swivels and Snaps 151

Floats and Bobbers: When You Need to Lighten Up 152

Chapter 10: Going Ahab: Fishing from Boats 155

Taking Advantage of Boat Fishing 156

More casting angles 156

Fishing places shore-bound anglers can’t reach 157

Finding bluer water: Humps, points, and channels 157

Choosing a Boat That’s Right for the Way You Fish 158

Great non-motorized boats for fishing 158

Ideal motorized boats for fishing 161

Considering the Costs of Watercraft 166

Licensing, plating, and fees 167

Upkeep, storage, and maintenance 167

Trailering 168

Chapter 11: 21st Century Tech: What’s New and What’s Necessary 171

Fish Finders: Can They Really Find Fish? 172

How fish finders work 173

Do you really need a fish finder? 174

Where to find fish finders 175

GPS Units: Finding Yourself 175

Waypoint fever 176

Updating your maps 177

Trolling Motors: Quiet Power for Boats 177

Pairing the trolling motor to your fish finder 178

Mounting a trolling motor 179

Underwater Cameras: Seeing Is Believing 179

What you can learn by viewing 180

What cameras can’t do for you 180

Anchormates, Lightning Detectors, and What’s Coming Next 181

Part 3: The End of Your Line: Enticing Fish with Bait, Lures, and Flies 183

Chapter 12: Real Food for Real Fish: Using Bait 185

Assessing Your Bait Options 186

Gathering and Keeping Bait 186

Support your local bait shop 187

Forget your checkbook: Gathering free bait 187

Grocery store baits 188

Storing and transporting bait 188

Common Natural Freshwater Baits 188

Nightcrawlers: Great bait by the dozen 189

Minnows and other baitfish: Little fish catch big fish 191

Grasshoppers and crickets: Hopping good bait 193

Leeches suck, but fish like them 194

Salmon eggs 195

Common Natural Saltwater Baits 196

Clams and mussels on the half-shell 196

Marine worms: Salty nightcrawlers 197

Bunker: Bait school 197

Squid: Easy and effective 197

Shrimp and crabs: Fish like them, too 197

Mullet: More than a hairstyle 198

Ballyhoo: Funny but effective 198

Eels: The ultimate slime 199

Why You Can’t Take It with You: Disposing of Leftover Bait 199

Chapter 13: It Only Looks Alive: Tricking Fish with Lures 201

Picking Perfect Plugs 202

Popping and chugging plugs: Designed for surface explosions 202

Wobblers and propbaits: A steady retrieve should do it 203

Stickbaits: For fetching a fish 204

Floating/diving plugs: Classics that work, even for beginners 204

Deep divers: Good for hitting the bottom 206

Spoons: Heavy Metal Time 207

Spinners: Easy to Fish, Hard to Miss 209

Spinnerbaits: The Masters of Bass 210

Jigs: More Than a Weighted Hook 211

Soft Baits: Plastic Worms and Beyond 213

Narrowing Your Lure Options by Asking Some Key Questions 216

How deep does the lure run? 216

Where’s the action? 216

How fast is the lure designed to move through the water? 217

How big should the lure be? 217

Does the lure raise a ruckus? 217

Does a lure’s color count? 217

Does this lure match my gear? 218

Do taste and smell matter? 218

Chapter 14: Fish Don’t Fly, But Flies Catch Fish 219

Taking a Look at Where the Fly in Fly Fishing Came From 220

Immature little buggers: The nymph phase 220

Time to shed some skin: The emerger phase 221

All grown up: The dun phase 222

Ready to mate: The spinner phase 222

Figuring Out Which Fly to Use 223

Opting for the dry fly 223

Discovering when you may want a wet fly 225

Going the nymph route 226

Picking the meatier streamer fly 226

Choosing the caddisfly 227

Getting bigger with stoneflies 229

Extra: Terrestrials 230

A Rundown of Flies That Work Everywhere 231

The Ausable Wulff 231

Clouser Minnow 232

The Compara-dun 232

Dave’s Hopper 232

Elk Hair Caddis 233

Gold Ribbed Hare’s Ear 233

Griffith’s Gnat 233

The Muddler Minnow 234

The Variant 234

The Wooly Bugger 234

Part 4: Now You’re Fishing 235

Chapter 15: Tying Popular Fishing Knots and Rigs 237

The Knots You Need 238

The Arbor knot: Getting the line tied to the reel 239

The Trilene knot: Connecting your line to hook

(and about anything else) 241

The Palomar knot: An easy classic 243

The Blood knot: For joining two lines of similar size 244

The Albright: Joining a thicker line to a thinner line 246

Snelling: How to Attach a Hook to Your Line 248

Using the Right Rig to Present Your Offering 250

Rigging most soft plastic baits: Texas versus Carolina style 250

Rigging jigs 252

Livebait Rigs: For Presenting Bait in Any Situation 252

Fixed-float rigs: Classic bobber presentations 253

Slip-floating away: How to fish a float at any depth 255

Bottom rigs: Waiting out a bite 257

River rig: For anything current 258

Drift fishing with bottom rigs 261

Chapter 16: Choreographing Your Cast 263

Casting Spincast Gear: Great for Beginners 264

Push-button reels: Casting made easy 264

Mastering the basics of the overhead cast 265

Casting Spinning Gear: A Little More Difficult, a Lot Smoother 267

Preparing to cast 267

A nice, smooth delivery: Perfecting the overhead spinning cast 268

Trick shots: The sidearm spinning cast 270

Mastering (Sort of) Baitcasting Techniques 271

Setting the reel (and using your thumb) to cast better 271

Casting overhead with a baitcaster 273

Flycasting: The Beauty of Presenting Flies 274

Striving for the oneness of rod and line 274

The forward (and sometimes sidearm) cast 276

Figuring out what you did wrong 278

Caster of Disaster: How to Handle Snags and Snarls 279

Chapter 17: Exploring Different Fishing Techniques 283

Stillfishing (After All These Years) 284

Bottom rigs: Waiting out the fish 284

Floating away 285

Casting About for Fish 285

Covering water and taking fish 286

Matching your retrieve to the conditions 286

Fishing Calm (Nonflowing) Water 287

Working the banks: A deliberate approach 287

Fan casting: Covering the bases 288

The exception to the rule: Fishing windy days 289

Fishing Flowing Water 289

Casting upriver, retrieving downriver 289

Floats: Meals delivered to a fish’s door 290

River rigs: This is where they shine 291

Other Fishing Techniques 292

Jigging 292

Night fishing 293

Drifting and trolling 294

Making the Most of the Latest Technology 296

Finding places to fish 296

Using tech on the water 297

Matching Terminal Tackle, Lure, and Techniques to the Fish You’re After 298

Popular freshwater fish 298

Popular saltwater fish 299

Chapter 18: The Fun Part: How to Hook, Fight, Land, and Release a Fish 301

Finally! How to Handle a Fish Strike 302

Starting out in the right (positive) frame of mind 303

Setting the hook with J hooks 303

Setting the hook with circle hooks 305

Fighting a Fish the Right Way 307

Savoring the most enjoyable Part of fishing 308

Letting the rod, reel, and line help you 309

Pulling up and then reeling down 310

Getting the fish pointed up 310

Using current if it’s there 310

Reacting when the fish jumps 311

Handling a snagged fish 311

Knowing how long to play a fish 311

Landing, Netting, and Gaffing Fish 312

The right way to use a landing net 312

What about a gaff? 313

When It’s Time to Say Goodbye: Releasing Fish 314

Taking quick action after landing a fish 315

Reviving an exhausted fish 316

Part 5: After the Catch 317

Chapter 19: Photographing and Preserving Fish for Posterity 319

CPR: It’s about Preservation, Not Resuscitation 320

Hurry Up and Take Your Time: Photographing Fish 321

Digital cameras: Perfect fishing partners 321

Tricks for capturing the best fish photo 322

Taking measurements for bragging rights 325

Come On, Everyone’s Doing It: Making a Fish Video 326

YouTube, here you come 326

Things to consider before becoming a videographer 327

You Want This Fish Forever: One for the Wall 327

Caution: Taxidermist at work 328

Fiberglass replicas: A win-win alternative 329

Chapter 20: Cleaning Fish for the Table 331

Taking Quick Action to Preserve Taste and Texture 332

Being a good executioner 332

Storing and transporting so your fish stay fresh 333

Cleaning: A Good Meal Starts with the First Cut 334

Scaling 335

Gutting 336

Filleting 337

Cutting steaks 338

Freezing to Avoid an Oily, Fishy Taste 339

Chapter 21: Biting Back: Cooking and Eating Fish 331

Is It Done Yet? 341

How long do I cook my fish? 342

Marinate with caution 342

Fearless Frying 343

Traditional Fried Fish 344

Reddened Blackfish 345

Crispy Fish with Asian-Inspired Dipping Sauce 346

Poaching Allowed 348

Poached Fish 349

Firing Up the Grill 351

Islamorada Grilled Speckled Trout 352

More Favorite Fish Recipes 354

Door County Fish Boil 355

Halibut Stew with Red Wine Sauce 356

Hearty Fish Chowder 357

Fish Salad Sandwich 358

Part 6: The Part of Tens 359

Chapter 22: Ten Fishing Lessons You Don’t Have to Learn the Hard Way 361

Avoid Making Bad Vibes 361

Know Gimmick Lures When You See Them 362

Cast No Shadow 362

Choose Clothing That Blends In 362

Reuse Home Items 362

Pick a Bait Cooler 363

Seek Out Advice 363

Keep a Fishing Journal 363

Be Open to Multispecies Angling 364

Take Someone Along for the Trip 364

Chapter 23: Ten Fun Ways to Get Kids Fishing 365

Plan (and Pack) for Success, not Failure 366

Tap into Bluegill Mania 366

Make Bait Fun 367

Get Gear That Works 367

Burn Up a Spinner 367

Canoe or Kayak into the Local Wilderness 368

Chum Up Carp 368

Try Fish Camping 368

Crank Up Tourney Time 369

Go Night Fishing 369

Index 371

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