Five Basic Fishing Types

Five Basic Fishing Types

If you are new to fishing or want to learn more about it, then you might be interested in the different types of fishing and how they work. There are really five basic methods.

Bait Fishing

This is probably the most popular type of fishing and it involves impaling bait on a hook and then leaving it in the water for the fish to eat. Maggots, worms and sometimes bread are most commonly used for bait. Sometimes the bait might be weighted down or it might have a float attached and then the angler waits until the line of the rod moves or is tugged and they will then know there is a fish on the line. They may try lots of different types of bait to encourage fish to bite or stick with a limited few. This choice will depend on the type of fish being caught and possibly the time of year as well. The rods tend to be 6-9 feet in length and they will be gently dropped in the water and left alone until a fish bites.

Fly Fishing

Fly fishing uses a longer rod which is 7-11 feet long and it is used to cast artificial flies to attract the fish amongst other types of tackle. They tend to be made of hair, feathers or artificial materials which are all made to look like the type of things a fish will each naturally. The weight of the line will carry the hook through the air and therefore it is the line that is cast, which is different to other methods where the lure is cast. The rod is snapped back and forth to move the fly forward, but it will need to land very gently on the water or else it will scare the fish. There are different casting techniques and which is used will depend on the conditions. It is likely that the aim will be to send the fly some distance away and with practice, the angler will be able to position the fly gently on the surface at the exact position they are aiming for.

Bait Casting

This requires a specific type of reel, rod length and strength of line. The line tends to be quite heavy, at around 10 -20 pounds. It will use either live minnows as bait or artificial lures that look like fish’s natural prey. They are cast in fish rich areas and made to look like they are swimming in the water in order to attract the fish. The technique is quite difficult but once learned it can be a lot better than using a spinning reel and this is why it can be worth trying to master it.


Spin casting is similar but it uses a different type of reel and there are essentially two types an open-faced reel and a closed face reel. It has a lighter line and a 6-10 feet length of rod which has no trigger attached to it on the base. The lures are also light in weight too. It is most effective when you are casting upstream and there are different techniques that you can use such as bouncing the spinner on the bottom or jerking it with a zig-zag motion. It can be used for most species of fish.


This is when live bait or artificial lures are drawn through the water behind a slow-moving boat. This tends to be done on lakes and reservoirs or in the sea. It can cover a lot more ground and reach areas that may not otherwise be accessible. Rods are 5-7 feet in length and the lines are heavy with weights to get good depths.

The choice that you make could come down to a number of factors. You will need to think about the type of fish that you want to catch and where you want to go to fish. Also, consider the cost of the equipment and which you think will be more fun for you to take part in. Space could be a factor too, with larger rods needing more room, so a canal setting, for example, may require shorter rods if the paths are narrow. You may also want something easy where you do not have to learn a technique so that you will be able to get started right away and be more likely to see success. Perhaps then building up to a more challenging technique could be something for later, once you have mastered the basics.

Mark Bawden

I have always enjoyed writing and it is a lot of fun writing about all sorts of different subjects including fishing. Fishing is something that so many people enjoy and it can be something fun for families to do together, groups of friends or an opportunity to get a bit of peace and quiet on your own. The experience can be improved though and so I have put together some articles that I feel will be useful to help everything to have a think about what they do when they are fishing and how they can make some changes to make it even better.

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