Different Angling Techniques For Beginners And Pros

Different Angling Techniques For Beginners And Pros
Angling is one of the best outdoor activities to pass the time and enjoy the beautiful scenery. Whether you are fishing alone or with friends and family, choosing the right method will determine your catch at the end of the day.

There are different techniques depending on where you are fishing and the type of fish you want to catch. Below is a deeper dive into these techniques and how and where to use them.

Bait fishing

Also referred to as bottom or still fishing, this is the oldest and most common global angling technique. It works by hooking bait, preferably live, to your hook, dropping it in the water, and then raising it when the fish swallows the bait.

This method is perfect for catching rough or coarse fish like barb, bream, dace, tench, and other nongame species. You can also catch freshwater fish like carp, perch, catfish, crappies, walleyes, and bass. Common baits you can use include worms, small fish, maggots, bread paste, grain, and vegetables.

If you are fishing in clear water, you can hold the fishing rod steady until you see the telltale tug from the fish. If you are fishing in a location where fish hide in places like underwater rock formations, sunken logs, or weed beds, the best way is to suspend your bait under a preferable depth using a bobber.

Bobbers are buoyant objects made from plastic or cork, making it easy for foraging fish to notice the bait.

If you want to catch fish at the bottom, ensure to use a heavier weight to keep the bait underwater. You can have it suspended a foot or two above the surface or make it like a jig where you apply motion to it to attract more fish. The best way to move it is up and down instead of horizontally. The speed you apply to it should depend on the fish you want to catch.

Jigging is another variation of bait fishing that uses artificial bait. Unlike normal bait fishing, which involves attaching one bait to the rod, jigging involves attaching many small fish-like baits that you move up and down.

Most rods used in bait fishing are normally six to nine feet long and come with a fixed-spool reel plus a monofilament line, usually about 2-25 ponds in test strength.


You use live bait or artificial lures to catch the fish in trolling. However, you use a slow-moving boat, canoe, or kayak to draw the lures or bait through the water and cover a larger area. Because of its ability to cover wide spans within a short period, this is a good method if you want to fish in a lake, reservoir, or sometimes in the ocean.

It also allows you to use different lures and baits, attracting different fish species. The depth and speed of the lures are crucial to catching fish. To ensure your bait remains deep enough, you can use downriggers and outriggers to expand your lines and ensure they cover larger spaces.

The rods used for this angling technique are usually between five and seven feet long, with heavy lines typically metallic. When inland trolling, maintain your rod at a right angle to your boat's motion to ensure you get the most out of your rod's resilience.

The most common fish you will catch with this method are salmon, walleye, striped bass, marlin, wahoo, sailfish, muskie, pike, and large trout.

Bait casting and spin fishing

When most people think about fishing, they think about spin fishing, the most common technique among beginners. It got its name because the reel on the rod spins around when you retrieve the line.

Before casting, open the bail on your reel to remove the line and send the lure over the water. When the lure lands on the water, flip your bail back and begin your retrieve.

You can find spin-casting tackle in different sizes and shapes, but the rod is usually thinner, lighter, and longer than rods used in other angling techniques.

Spinning rods are typically six to ten feet long, and the lines are usually in the six-to-ten-pound test class. This makes it ideal for small fishing grounds like rivers, flats, bays, and estuaries.

This is usually the main difference between spin fishing and bait casting. The rods for bait casting are usually five to six feet long, and the line is usually in the 10–20-pound test class. Also, instead of having a spinning reel with a bail, bait casting reels have a trigger at the reel's base to propel the line out. The line in this technique is usually parallel to the rod instead or perpendicular.

Because of the stronger lines, heavier rods, and bigger reels, bait casting is ideal for catching bigger fish. While this method started with people using live bait, it has evolved, and now you can use metal or plastic lures.


This is one of the unique angling techniques. One thing that sets it apart from other angling techniques is the longer rod, usually made from bamboo or fiberglass, usually around 7-11 feet long. They usually have a simple reel and a heavy, plastic-coated line attached to a light nylon leader.

Instead of using bait or lures like in other angling techniques, you will use artificial flies decorated with materials like hair, feathers, or string to mimic the most common prey for the fish you want to catch. They mostly imitate bugs hatching during that time of the year.

You need to ensure the fly lands on the water as gently as you can make it to avoid startling the fish. The most common fish you can catch using this method include trout and salmon, but you can also catch panfish and muskellunge.


Before going out angling, research the best place for the fish you want to catch. You should also have a fishing license for where you want to fish and read all the fishing regulations. This way, you will know if there are regulated areas and how much fish you are allowed to fish.

If you are fishing in lakes or reservoirs, ensure you have a suitable boat, canoe, or kayak, or look for a place to hire. In addition to fishing requirements, ensure you pack food, water, a first aid kit, GPS, map, sunglasses, sunscreen, waterproof clothes, spare clothes, bug spray, tackle box, cooler, pocket knife, cash, seasickness pills, and floaters.

You should also check the weather to avoid unexpected waves or heavy rain. This ensures you are safe and comfortable to fish for as long as you want.