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Getting Started




How to Get Started in Fishing

getting started in fishing

Before heading out to fish in British Columbia there are a few essential steps every angler needs to follow:

Buy a fishing license
Fishing licenses are required for all fishing in BC by anglers over the age of 15, except for the Free Father's Day Fishing Weekend. Buying one takes minutes—they’re available for purchase online or at many outdoor and variety stores.  Fishing licenses are sold annually and they’re one of the best bargains in outdoor recreation for British Columbians—under $36 for freshwater fishing and under $21 for saltwater fishing. You may also need to purchase a special conservation stamp in addition to your license when fishing for certain species, the money from the stamps goes to fund programs to enhance the stocks of those species.

Know the rules
BC fishing rules are designed to ensure that fish and shellfish populations are not depleted. Fishing rules specify when and where fishing is allowed, what fish species  anglers may harvest, and how many fish or shellfish they may keep.  These rules are enforced with fines and other penalties.  As a beginning angler, take time to review  a copy of the current regulations and guides available online or in hardcopy form.

Keep safety first
Fishing is a great way to make memories, but make them happy ones by staying safe.

  • Before heading out, check the weather forecast and tide charts.

  • If you plan to shellfish, check the shellfish safety advisories to be sure your intended harvest is safe to eat.

  • Pack along patience and ettiquate if you’re headed to popular fishing spots—docks and boat launches can be crowded, especially during holliday weekends.  

  • Use caution and required safety devices near water. Young children should wear life jackets anywhere near the water.

Getting Kids Started


Introducing kids to fishing and hooking them on the sport ideally takes place on the same day. Here are some tips for introducing kids to the sport of fishing in BC;


In General:
Keep the kid-to-adult ratio low, you shouldn't try to take out more than two kids at a time and it's best if it's one-on-one in a good spot. Let them fish for whatever bites, even if it's just bullheads or Northern Pikeminnows. Trout parks are an ideal place to intoduce kids to fishing, the guaranteed quick catches in a comfortable setting are a sure way to get them hooked on the sport. Be prepared to stop when they want to do something else, kids generaly have short attention spans and too much of a good thing could spoil it.

Toys and Friends:
It's common for a kid to want to bring a toy or friend on their first fishing trip. It's not a big deal if they want to bring some toys to ease the outdoors transition, and bringing a friend or two after a kid has had a good introduction to fishing, can help kids have more fun on the water (especially once they get a little older).

Keeping Fish:
Some kids want to let every fish go, some kids want to keep every fish, and some kids just want to keep one or two.
As long as the fish are of legal size and limits are adhered to, kids should be able to keep some fish and not be judged for which fish they choose to keep. It's ok if they spend the rest of the day looking at the fish.

Teaching kids to fish requires commitment from adults who are willing to put their own fishing on hold.
It's so important that they catch something, those are the life-changing events. If they catch fish, that's what they associate fishing with, rather than being cold or hot or getting sunburned. It comes down to you taking one kid to your best spot and letting them catch-or at least reel in-all the fish.


Fishing Methods

methods of fishing

Still-fishing simply means baiting a fishing hook, putting it in the water and waiting for a fish to find it. This method can be used from a boat, a dock, through ice or from shore. Depending on water depth and what you’re trying to catch, you may want to still-fish near the surface, at a mid-water depth, or right down on the bottom. Using a float, or bobber, makes it easy to fish near the surface; adding sinkers to your line to fish deeper.

Casting your bait with a fishing rod and reel can be used both to catch fish that chase their food or to fish in a particular spot where fish hang out, such as next to a submerged stump or under a tree that’s leaning out over the water. Casting is usually done with an artificial lure, to coax fish into striking. Lures such as spinners, wobbling spoons, plugs and spinnerbaits are commonly used for casting.

Trolling is simply dragging a lure, bait, or a bait-and-lure combination through the water, using a boat rather than casting and retrieving to provide movement. Many of the lures used for casting also work for trolling.

Jigging means moving your bait in an up-and-down motion underwater. Lifting and lowering the rod is what provides the jigging motion. Leadheads are the most common kind of jigging lure or “jig”, but for some fish species, especially saltwater salmon and bottomfish, the jig might be a long, thin, slab of lead or other metal in the shape of a herring or other baitfish.

Fly fishing:
Casting small, very light-weight artificial flies that simulate insects and other fish food requires weighted fishing line from very flexible rods and hand-controlled reels. The casting is different from other kinds of fishing because the weighted line is usually extended through a series of both forward and backward casting motions.


What to put in a Fishing Tackle Box

Before you head out to the ol' fishing hole, make sure you've checked your fishing tackle box.  Believe us, you want to be prepared with the right stuff once you're out on the water.

Of course, the contents of your tackle box will vary, depending on the type of fish you plan to catch, but this is a typical tackle box for you (or a loved one) to get started.

Tackle-Box Checklist

  • Extra fishing line
  • Bobbers (or, floaters) 
  • Swivels, to keep fishing line from twisting
  • Leaders
  • Sinkers (or, weights)
  • Different sizes of hooks (for different types of fish)
  • Needle nose pliers, to help remove hooks out of fish (and maybe you!)
  • Stringer or container, to hold all the fish you catch
  • Sharp 4"+ knife (such as a Swiss Army knife)
  • Ruler/scale or tape measure
  • A small flashlight
  • First-aid kit (with basics just in case a hook gets stuck in your thumb)
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunscreen and Sunglasses
  • Toilet Paper
  • A copy of the fishing regulations for the area you are planning to fish
  • Your fishing Licence

More Equipment Tips:

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