The Young Angler’s Guide: Fishing Fun After School & On Weekend

Cody with a small redfin perch.

The Young Angler’s Guide: Fishing Fun After School & On Weekend

Greetings, future masters of the angling arts! If you’ve ever gazed out at a tranquil lake or a gently flowing river and felt the call of the wild you’re in the right place. Fishing isn’t just a pastime; it’s a journey into the heart of nature, a quest for that elusive catch, and a way to forge memories that last a lifetime. With nothing but a 7 ft telescopic rod, a trusty spinning reel, and the spirit of adventure, you’re ready to tackle the waters. Let’s embark on this voyage together with a guide that’s been crafted with the wisdom of seasoned fishos.

Gear Up for the Adventure

Telescopic Rods: Picture this: a rod that slides down to nearly the size of your arm, yet extends out to a full 7 feet of fishing prowess. This isn’t just any rod; it’s your telescopic ticket to fishing freedom. Its design is a marvel of modern engineering, allowing for easy transport on your bike’s handlebars or slung across your shoulder as you trek to your local fishing haunt. The balance and flexibility of this rod make it perfect for casting those first lines into the water where dreams and fish are waiting to be caught. It also makes it easy to take it in your backpack, on your bike, or on the bus.

Spinning Reels: The spinning reel, a masterpiece of fishing technology, sits beneath your rod ready to unleash your line into the depths with precision and grace. Its design is easy to use and an ideal choice for anglers at the beginning of their journey. The reel’s mechanism is built for smooth, effortless casting and retrieval ensuring that your focus stays on the fish not on fighting your gear. It’s your steadfast companion in the dance of lure and catch.

Monofilament Line: The unsung hero of your fishing setup is the monofilament line. Your silent ally beneath the waves. With its strength and near-invisibility it’s the perfect medium between you and the aquatic world. An 8 to 12 pound line strikes the perfect balance offering enough might to battle the spirited fish while maintaining the finesse needed to fool them onto your hook. Later you can move on to braid and fluorocarbon when you get better at casting.

Bait and Lures 101

Bait Fishing Basics: Delving into the art of bait fishing is like learning the language of the fish. Prawns, those succulent morsels, are the words that speak most clearly promising bream and drummer an irresistible feast. Hooking a prawn requires a blend of science and art ensuring it appears both natural and enticing as it dances in the current whispering tales of easy prey to the fish below. Or, you can pinch off a small bit pf prawn and chuck it out there.

Soft Plastics and Jigs: Enter the realm of soft plastics and jigs where the mimicry of life becomes your strategy. The Bottom Bug and Sea Bug, alongside the Slice jig from Reprobaits tackle, are more than just lures; they are your underwater actors playing roles that entice and deceive. Mastering their use is akin to directing a play in which you and the fish are the audience and the curtain call is a successful catch. You don’t need a thousand lure types. A few proven fishing lures and some knowledge about fish behaviour is all you need.

Knots, Hooks, and Sinkers

Knot Tying: The foundation of all fishing endeavours, the knot, is both a bond and a promise. The improved clinch knot is your handshake with the deep and a pact sealed with twists and turns of the line. It’s a skill that, once mastered, becomes as natural as breathing ensuring your lure or hook remains steadfast in the face of the aquatic ballet. You should also check out the Palomar knot as it is a fast and strong knot that is easy to learn and tie.

Choosing the Right Hook Size: Selecting a hook is a decision that speaks volumes about your intentions. Each size tells a story of the fish you seek from the humble size 6 or 8 for the delicate bream to the larger gauges that whisper tales of bigger quarry. The right hook cradles your bait presenting it not just as food but as fate to the unsuspecting fish. rememb er the old adage, big hook big fish small hook all fish.

Sinker Types: The sinker, your unseen anchor, draws your bait to the stage where the fish await. The sliding ball rig is a masterpiece of subtlety allowing your bait to glide through the water with a natural grace that belies the hook that awaits. It’s a dance of shadows and light where the sinker leads your bait to the perfect depth inviting the fish to join in the dance. The sliding ball sinker is a great rig that produces the goods. A #2 ball sinker and a #2 beak hook is a deadly combo for Drummer and all sorts of wrasse species. It hangs up less, too! Downsize for finisky fish or to catch a wider variety of smaller species.

Safety First

After-School Fishing Safety: The call of the water is strong but the voice of safety is paramount. Always embark with the knowledge of your return letting guardians or friends know of your journey. The water’s edge is a place of beauty and danger requiring respect and caution, whether you’re adorned with a life jacket or standing firm on the shore. Never turn your back on the ocean! We don’t recommend youngsters fishing off ocean rocks and platforms because it is a safety concern. If you do only do wo with your parents or responsible adults who know about rock fishing safety! We don’t recommend adults to rock fish ocean platforms alone if they don’t have experience.

Equipment Care and Handling: Your gear, from hooks to lines, demands respect. It’s a toolkit that asks for mindfulness in its use and storage ensuring that the only memories you carry are of the joy of the catch not the sorrow of carelessness. Hooks are sharp and can cause permanent injuries if mishandled. They should be always under your control. Each cast you should check behind you for people or obstacles. Every single time! One mistake can last a lifetime.

Let’s Go Fishing!

Planning Your Fishing Trip: The adventure begins with a map, a moment, and a measure of anticipation. Local knowledge is your compass guiding you to waters where fish tales are born. The dawn and dusk are your allies, when the water whispers secrets of fish on the move. Google Maps can be a useful place to scout out new fishing spots. You can also check out The Northern Beaches Angler if you live in the Northern Beaches or a similar local website where you live.

Catching Your First Fish: The moment of the catch is a symphony of sensations from the initial tug to the final triumph. It’s a story written in the bend of the rod, the spin of the reel, and the splash of the water. The catch and release is the epilogue, a gesture of respect to the fish that played its role in your journey. be mindful that some fish have an extremely painful spike. There are some venomous spines on some fish, and Australia also have electric sting rays so be careful handling fish especially if you don’t know the species. Never keep fish that you cannot identify as there may be size restrictions or it may be protected.

Becoming a Responsible Angler

Respect for Nature: The angler’s path is one of harmony with the environment. Each piece of litter retrieved and each regulation followed is a verse in the greater song of conservation. It’s a legacy of care ensuring that the waters that nourish our souls will continue to teem with life for generations to come. Even though Big Corporations may pollute the waterways or Big Ag mayh have fertilizer runoff it is still best to pick up rubbish that may find its way into the water, even if it isn’t yours.

Joining a Community: The fishing community is a tapestry of tales, tips, and camaraderie. It’s a place where the size of the fish may grow with each telling but the truth of the joy in the catch remains constant. Engaging with fellow anglers whether in person or online weaves your story into the larger narrative of those who answer the call of the rod and reel.

Fishing is More than a Hobby

Fishing is more than a hobby; it’s a passage into a world where patience, skill, and respect for nature converge. It’s a journey that begins with a single cast and evolves into a lifetime of adventures. So, young anglers, as you stand on the brink of your fishing journey rod in hand remember that each cast is a new chapter, each catch a memory, and each release a promise to the future. Welcome to the world onf angling; the water awaits.

Additional Resources

Dive deeper into the art of angling with online tutorials (check out our blog posts), local fishing guides, and community forums. Remember, the journey of a thousand casts begins with a single knot. Tight lines and happy fishing!