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A Beginner's Guide to Fishing

A Beginner's Guide to Fishing

"Want to go fishing?" is my favorite question of all time, and the answer is always YES! While a complete beginner may also say yes, the thought of fishing for the first time might be intimidating.

Depending on the type of fishing that you want to start, yes there are a few types, there are a number of must have items before getting started on any type of fishing. We're going to discuss fishing license, books to read for initial research, rules and regulations, fishing gear, and in my opinion the topic that is mostly forgotten, fishing etiquette.

Fishing License

Depending on where you are located, it may be required that you obtain a fishing license. It is a prerequisite here in Ontario, whether you are a Canadian resident or non-resident, to have an Outdoors Card and a Fishing License before you can go fishing if you are 18 years and over or under 65 years of age.

Types of License

Conservation - This has reduced catch limits and is recommended for those who practice catch and release.
Sports - Has normal catch limits.

Where to get the License

Fishing license can be purchased online at In person at participating Service Ontario Locations or a local valid license issuer like Canadian Tire.

Check your local licence issuer's website for details in your area.

Books to Read

A good place to start is the Fishing: The Total Fishing Guide For A Novice Saltwater To Freshwater (Fishing Knots, Fishing Rigs, Survival, Hunting Book 1) which can be read in Amazon for Free with Kindle Unlimited!
Another good option is The Total Fishing Manual: 317 Essential Fishing Skills by Field and Stream.
Both these books offers excellent information on how to get started with fishing.

Basic Gear

First you will need a fishing rod, this will help you fight the fish. A reel to hold the fishing line and provide drag when you manage to catch a larger than expected fish. For beginners, it is recommended to get a Rod and Reel Combo which comes spooled with line, some hooks, weights, floats, and basic lures. You'll also need a Tackle Box to safely hold all your equipment in one place. Amazon has full sets that comes with all that was mentioned plus more.

A Tackle Box Photo by Susan Holt Simpson on Unsplash.

Know the Rules and Regulations

The second most important step before you fish is to know the rules and regulations. Regulations are in place to protect spawning fish at certain times of the year. Knowing the regulations will help you determine what species and which area are open at the time you want to go fishing. The Ontario Fishing Regulations Summary can be found at Following the Rules and Regulations will also prevent you from getting a fine from the conservation officers. Check our video below where we got checked by conservation officers while fishing.

Etiquette, Respect Other Anglers

Most anglers, if not all, fish so that they can time to themselves. When you see another angler in the spot you want to fish, be courteous and friendly. Do not fish right next to an angler that was there before you. Move on to the next spot where they can't see you and you can't see them. If you are fishing a river, move on to the next pool if there's an angler at your target pool. You can always check back if they have left and that will allow you to fish that pool. Also, remember to always take out the garbage that you take in with you, or better yet, pick up garbage left by other people.


In order to fish as soon as possible as a beginner, first get a fishing license. I knew some anglers that fished with an expired license or with no license at all and the fines are steep! For a small amount of money, you can fish all year (or 3 years) without the risk of paying a hefty fine and help ensure there will be fish for future generations. Second know the rules and regulations in your target area. Third get the proper fishing gear, a complete combo is recommended just to learn the ropes. Finally be courteous to other anglers and to the environment. Doing so might just earn you fishing friends that will help you level up your game.

Are there other beginner tips you think we may have missed in this post? Please let us know in the comments. Thank you for dropping by.