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Types of Freshwater Fishing for Beginners & Professionals

Types of Freshwater Fishing for Beginners & Professionals
Written by Immanuel Baranov
Last Update: July 24, 2023

You have any idea! How many people fishing each year? It’s over 40 million people. If you want to spend your time with family and friends, it can be a great way to spend it. Freshwater fishing is one of the popular leisure activity people adapted for fun. However, fishing for beginners always requires knowledge and learning. Feeling shy will not take you anywhere; instead, you came here to learn something that you never tried or haven’t done in years it’s the wisest thing one can do, and we appreciate it.

Freshwater fishing is popular, because of its simplicity in techniques; you also get the room for visiting numerous locations, like, ponds, lakes, rivers, state parks and reservoirs. The variety of fish, like, trout, bass, catfish, largemouth bass, bluegill, crappies muskellunge, northern pike, walleye, and yellow perch, all these fresh water fish are ready for you, now you decide which one you want to catch. Choose the right fishing spot depending on the weather and set up the right fishing rigs to your line, throw the line and get ready to catch a big one!

Popular Types of Freshwater Fishing

Before knowing the freshwater fishing type, you should know the freshwater definition. Freshwater is a water source where salinity is less than 0.05%, and verities of the ecosystem can form in this water source. Freshwater fish are tastier than salt-water fish; also, their food and feeding system is different.

Freshwater fishing consists of different types; each type has its own set of challenges. The certain environment has its own ecosystem and formation. Lakes and ponds have more calm and still water nevertheless river and streams have current in the water, so you have to be precise about your strategy and rigs when facing different scenarios. There are five freshwater fishing popular among anglers, and they are

  • River Fishing
  • Lake Fishing
  • Pond Fishing
  • Flowage and Reservoir Fishing
  • State Parks or Forest Fishing

We will give you detailed information about these freshwater fishing types and their “do and don’t.”

freshwater fishing types

River Fishing Techniques

River fishing considered as one of the most relaxing freshwater fishing events. It doesn’t need much gear, and a small canoe, kayak or inflatable fishing boat can do the job. When you are paddling in a quiet river on a beautiful sunny day while casting your lines waiting for a rainbow trout or a big bass to slurp your bait, that would be a dream come true moment, isn’t it?

river fishing

Basic River Fishing Gears

Certain items are basic and should always be with you when you go out for river fishing; you may add more as you gain expertise. These items are:

  • Fishing rods that can handle 8 to 15 pounds of weight and no longer than 10 feet
  • Good quality baitcasting reel or spinning reel both are good thus I prefer round baitcasting reel for better functioning
  • Try to buy the good quality line, after all these lines going to be your best friend, while catching the big game
  • Use leader weight capacity lesser than the mainline capacity
  • Glossy baits are better
  • Stay away from cheap hooks
  • Use high durable boots and all-weather jackets

Suitable Time for River Fishing

If you reach your destination too early or leave it too soon, you probably coming back home empty handed. Try to maintain the right timing while fishing in a river.

Naturally, fish has two feeding schedules, they start feeding at dawn and take their last bite in the dusk. In these times, water remains cooler than usual. The river also has another characteristic that it follows the tide. During the high tide or in a windy environment fish goes deep water and roam around the riverbeds, at this time you have a good chance of catching river monsters.

River Fishing Tips

If you wish to fish in the river, you need to be smarter than the fish. Think like them and cast your lines on those places where fish will seek refuge from high current and predators. Sunken trees, overhanging branches or along the bank, there are plenty of places where fish make their hunting ground or the hideout.

Use common sense and above tricks to get the best spot for your casting. You can use Garmin Striker GPS Fish Finder to find fish with more easy approach.

Lake Fishing Approach

From expansive freshwater  lakes to narrow mountain lakes of few acres, all these are considered as a natural lake. Receding glaciers, plate tectonics, or dormant volcanoes are the occurrences that create these lakes, though you can find many manmade lakes all over the world too.

Lakes are full of pikes and bass. They are the abundant source of marine life. Spices like largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, walleye, bluegill and lake trout all these will be at your hand reach, while you are doing lake fishing.

Lake Fishing

Basic Lake Fishing Gears

In natural lakes fishes are plenty, you just need to cast the lines and wait for some time to let the fish have your lure. However, without good lures, lines and casting rod you will be unable to fill your fish basket.

  • Ultra-light rod made of premium graphite like Fiblink Graphite Casting Baitcasting Fishing Rod will be very helpful for your freshwater lake fishing
  • Freshwater light and durable reel required for lake fishing
  • Live bait, such as worms, beetles, earthworms, or larvae is always better for lake fishing.
  • Use high durable boots and all-weather jackets
  • Kayak and inflatable fishing boat are better options

Right Time for Lake Fishing

The windy situation in a lake is an excellent opportunity for you to grab your prize. If you can get early in the morning and cast your hooks, I can guarantee you that you will score few lake dwellers with ease. In this period, the water remains warm, while creating feeding environment for big fishes.

Lake Fishing Tips

So many anglers abide by some basic tricks for lake fishing which made them more successful than others. In this segment, we will try to uphold the best tricks for freshwater fishing in lakes.

  • Try to find a natural hideout like aquatic vegetation (lily pads or reeds) and make it your casting spot
  • Rocks or log piles are also a good hideout for largemouth bass you can focus on
  • Manmade locks also have a higher production rate of bigmouth bass; you can fish there as well.
  • Soft-plastic worms, wizards, and jerk baits are good bait for lake fishing
  • Use technology like GPS devices to measure the sand bed of the lakes and cast in shallow areas.

Pond Fishing Method

Are you in a beginner level in angling? Then you can easily do pond fishing because pond fishing is an entertaining outdoor activity that can be enjoyed by different experience level anglers. The whole family can have fun to learn pond fishing and then catch bluegill, crappie, sunfish, catfish or largemouth bass from the waters of a nearby pond.

Pond fishing is restricted in some places because minor changes in the ecosystem can affect pond fish populations. If you obtain  permission to catch fish in a privately owned water body, ask the owner of the property about state regulation regarding whether you can keep the fish or not.

Pond fishing

Useful Tools for Pond Fishing

  • Spinning rod and reel is much better than other pricy tools in pond fishing
  • 10 pound tested monofilament line is good enough for pond fishing
  • If you are a beginner, then it is better, to start with live baits like nightcrawlers, minnows, crickets and wax worms
  • Hook sizes from 8 to 4 are suitable for pond fishing, depending on the fish
  • You can also use artificial lures for this kind of freshwater fishing
  • Take with you a net bag to keep the fish alive in the water after catching them

When Timing Is Everything

Ponds are not a big water source, and that’s why fish in these waters are more cautious about water movement. They adapt special ability to sense movement from long distances. So, if you want to catch pond water fish, you should cast on a sunny day with calm waters. It will produce a great rate of success.

Pond Fishing Tips

  • Avoid high noon for casting, because fishes tend to hide in deep waters to reduce heat sync with their body fluid
  • Cast your fishing line near drowning objects like broken logs; submerged tree branches, water plant, and docks
  • Walk slowly and keep your distances from the shore while casting your line
  • Also try to cast your line where is more movement than usual, like fountains or stream

Flowage and Reservoir Fishing Method

Riverbed or creek beds are the origins of the reservoirs and flowages. When a dam is built on these water sources, it creates a huge source of calm water with an abundance of freshwater fish. Fish tends to hunt or hide near the water where water depth is different. For that reason, you can find plenty of variation of fish in these waters.

Rainbow trout, brown trout, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, bluegill, crappie, and perch are the common fish that can be found in these reservoirs. You should check the regulations and take permission before fish in the particular reservoir or flowage with your family.

reservoir fishing

Flowage/Reservoir Fishing Gear

  • The average fishing rod that can deal 10lbs to 20lbs can do the work
  • The spinning reel will be better, but you can use any kind with good durability
  • To find out fish roaming area or measure water depth you can use GPS navigation or other tech gears
  • Use hooks that are barbless, in order to catch fish and store them alive
  • Small boat or canoe will be perfect but if you are with family then take a speedboat
  • Life jackets are essential in this type of fishing because you might need to go deep water to cast your lines
  • Any types of bite or lures will work in these waters

Timing for Reservoir/Flowage Fishing

If you manage to wake up early before sun rising, that will be excellent timing for reservoir fishing. In this time, fish become more active, because it is their feeding time. If you cast with any lure or bait in this water, you will not return empty-handed. You can also try at dusk to cast you your line to get better results.

Reservoir Fishing Tips and Tricks

These waters are highly active with fresh water dwellers if you are a beginner it might be the perfect place for you to hunt. The reservoir is stuffed with fish, that’ why simple tricks and little awareness can deliver great results. Few tricks from experienced angler pockets are given below.

  • Be selective while choosing your fishing reservoirs/Flowage
  • Research about your reservoirs before going for fishing in that spot
  • Look for islands, peninsula, weed beds and rock piles to set up your boats
  • Use topographic maps or sonar if needed for choosing a better fishing spot
  • During the dry season focus on creeks for a better catch
  • Use small jigs if you want to catch crappie fish
  • Try to cast your line in the cool water zone on daytime

Fishing in State Park and Forest

Freshwater fishing is one of the family-friendly activities that you can enjoy in many state parks across the country. These water sources are stuffed with trout and big bass. You can catch a handful of trout and bass if you ready to fish in this freshwater. These places might have some special regulation s and seasons. Always make sure that you are in the right park at the right time with proper paperwork.

State Park/Forest Fishing Gear

  • The spinning fishing rod that can deal 20lbs to 30lbs will be perfect
  • Bait caster reel is better, though any kind with good durability will do the work
  • To find out fish roaming area or measure water depth you can use GPS navigation or other tech gears
  • Use hooks that are barbless, in order to catch fish and store them alive
  • Small boat or canoe will be perfect but if you are with family then take a speedboat
  • Any types of bite or lures will work in these waters

Timing for State Park/Forest Fishing

At dawn before sun rising is excellent timing for state park fishing. It’s their feeding time, and they become active in hunger. If you cast with live bait, you surely get some trophy to show your friends and family.

State park fishing

State Park/ Forest Fishing Tricks

  • Carefully choose your fishing park/forest with authority’s permission
  • Use topographic maps or sonar if needed for choosing a better fishing spot
  • During the dry season focus on creeks for a better catch
  • Use small jigs if you want to catch crappie fish
  • Don’t stick in one place if you can’t catch any game in that place
  • You can use some attractive scent feed on the water spot for better output.
  • Never break any law of that park that you are fishing on or you might get kicked from that place forever

Freshwater fishing is always a fun thing to do while with family and friends. You can choose any of these given methods and start planning for your next voyage. If you are a beginner, try to focus on the small freshwater fishing spot such as ponds and reservoirs, because these waters are full of fishes and you will not get frustrated on your first tour.

However, if you are a pro in angling and want to catch some big fish than you can go for river fishing or lake fishing. Try to bring the best equipment with you, so that, any chance of catching big fresh water dwellers won’t be a sad story of how you lost your catch because of your rod or reels. Expect and wish these tips and tricks will help you to enjoy your holidays with your new hobby of freshwater fishing.

About the author

Immanuel Baranov

My life is pretty much defined by my avid outdoor activities. I’m generally obsessed with fishing, skiing and occasional hunting and whitewater paddling. I’ve been active since my early years. I inherited my passion for fishing from my father who made frequent family trips to the banks of Sacramento River. Growing up, I did a lot of fishing in the vicinity. Now that I have two sons, our weekends are full of fishing activities. I would say, you need good spots where you can go out a lot for the thing you love. I had the privilege to grow up near numerous water bodies and I’m proud to say that I made good use of them. It’s also great to do something with kids that helps them learn patience, endurance and preciseness.

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