There is something to be said for fishing with a basic stick and thread since there is no hassle or bustle involved. Those long bamboo "cane poles" were also great fishing instruments, enabling for precise hook placement (baited with worms we dug up in our humus-rich barnyard). Although cane is now used instead, they do go by other names too: driftwood, spearguns, fishing rods.
People have been catching fish with sticks since at least 400 B.C., if not longer. There are many ancient drawings that show people using their spears like fishing rods.
In the United States, early settlers used any kind of wood as their fishing rods because there was never any need for one before then. But once fishing became popular, species began to disappear from some areas because people were actually hunting them down for food!
Today, most people use synthetic materials for their fishing rods because it's much more affordable than real wood. However, there are still those who choose to use an actual tree branch because they think it looks better or they believe they can get a stronger rod that way. And yes, some people even fish with their stick phones!
As long as you don't mind being limited to what's available where you live, you should be able to find almost any type of fish caught using a stick somewhere.
Beginners' Fishing Equipment
Use a real fishing hook, such as a barbed hook, or make one out of whatever you have on hand. Tie it to a piece of fishing line or a homemade line. Many items, including paper clips, safety pins, sewing needles, and even soda can tabs, can be used to make a hook. Use caution not to injure yourself when making these hooks.
Once you have your hook, find something that is live (i.e., breathing) that will act as bait - worms, insects, etc. There are many different ways to catch bait. Some people use trotlines, which are lines with baited hooks that they drag through the water to attract fish. Others use drift nets, in which they cover an area of water with nets and wait for fish to swim into them, or they use spinners, which are small devices that rotate rapidly through the water looking for food. Still others use traps, such as crab pots or snare wires, covered with something edible like corn or oats, to trap fish as they try to eat their way out.
When you find some bait, pick a spot where there are likely to be fish, such as near an island or deep hole. If there are no obvious signs of life around, then go ahead and bait your hook. But remember: fake blood or alcohol can be used as bait too!
Now that you have your bait ready, it's time to go fishing!
Catching Fish with a Rod Tie your hook to the end of your line. Stick to a simple clinch knot while you're initially starting out. Thread the line through the hook, then wrap it around itself 4 to 6 times before returning it to the reel. Don't pull hard on the line when you first put it in the water because you don't want the fish to jump away. Instead, give it a little tug and drop the bait into the water.
If you're lucky enough to find yourself a really big lake or stream, you can use a drift net. A drift net is like a large basket that you float on the water. You tie off one end, drop in the basket full of baits and swims, and then come back later to check up on your catch. If you're going to use a drift net, make sure to get permission from both the owner of the land where you're fishing and also from the local police department because these things can be used as evidence in court cases.
Finally, if all else fails, go hiking. Fishing is about patience, and sometimes you have to wait for something to bite your bait or try another spot where there's probably more food available. Either way, keep an eye out for signs of life including birds, frogs, or anything else that might help you out.
What to do if you don't have a fishing rod?
Try fishing with barbless hooks or crimping the hook and removing the barb. The catch rates with barbed and barbless hooks are not statistically different. Barbless hooks are easy to remove and do less physical harm to the fish. They also can be used with treatments that damage or destroy teeth-such as liquid tranquilizers-so they are recommended for use on older, smaller fish.
Almost any fishing equipment or gear may be referred to as "fishing tackle." Hooks, lines, sinkers, floats, rods, reels, baits, lures, spears, nets, gaffs, traps, waders, and tackle boxes are some examples. Terminal tackle is fishing tackle that is connected to the end of a fishing line. This includes hooks, sinkers, and swivels. A leader is any length of cord or rope attached to a terminal tackle item that leads back to the main line. Leaders can have one or more knots at which they join the main line. The term "trolling" equipment refers to all of the above plus spares, such as jigs, bobbers, and live bait for catching larger fish.
Fish find many different types of fishing equipment appealing, so there's plenty to choose from. If you're just starting out, consider what type of fish you want to catch, how far you want to travel looking for them, and what kind of environment you'll be in. Will you be fishing in calm waters where a gentle current is enough to disturb the water and attract fish, or will you be fishing in fast-moving rivers full of rocks and logs? It might help if you get someone who knows about these things fishing with you so you can compare notes on what works best for each other.
Once you've decided what kind of fishing you want to do, think about what tools you need for that type of fishing.