List of Fishing Skills

List of Fishing Skills

Fishing has been done for thousands of years as a way to gather food and for sport. There are many different reasons people like to fish, from the appeal of the scenic excursions, the thrill of the sport, or as a source of income. Below is a compilation of skills to improve your fishing abilities at any level.

Fishing Skills

  • Patience
  • Reading the water
  • Casting
  • Stealth
  • Reeling
  • Baiting


 While fishing can be a lot of fun, it requires a lot of patience. Fishing usually takes hours and therefore requires patience and persistence. It is important to have patience while fishing because every body of water is different. Fishing is a sport of trial and error. All the time and patience it takes to have a successful yield makes catching a fish that much more rewarding.  

Read the water

When fishing, use the surface of the water to determine where the fish may be located. Ripples, color changes, standing rips, and visible structure are all characteristics of what to look for when trying to find fish.


The difference between catching a fish versus coming away empty handed can come down to a matter of inches. To make a perfect cast, the fishing rod must be gripped correctly. Start by placing your thumb on top of the rod grip. The objective in casting is to bend, or load, the rod. A common tendency for beginners is to flail their arm while casting. Make sure to keep the arm movement strict, similar to the movement of hammering a nail into a wall. 


Similar to hunting or playing hide-and-go-seek, when fishing it is important to keep noise at a minimum as to not scare away the fish. Keep boat noise low as well as voices and avoid slamming things like hatches and coolers. 


After casting the line and getting a fish to bite, reeling the fish in is an important skill to have control over. Keep the fishing rod up at a 45-degree angle and be calm, only reeling in when the fish stops dragging. To reel in the fish, crank the handle that is on the fishing pole so that the line shortens and pulls the fish towards you. Don’t reel in the fish too fast or else it will let go and swim away. Let the fish run until it tires, this will make reeling it in easier as there is less resistance. 


Having the right bait will grant an advantage while fishing. Live bait is often more effective than artificial lures as the wiggling of a worm, minnow, or shrimp is more appealing to a fish than a still lure. To put a worm on the hook for bait, you can not be afraid to get your hands dirty. Seriously, putting dirt on your hands masks the human scent which can drive away fish. Cutting the worm in half is more appetizing to the fish as it presents a more approachable prey. Be careful not to keep the worm in too long because it may drown. Every 15 minutes or so bring the worm back up to give it some air and make sure it is still on the hook.