Freshwater Fishing Tips

This page is put together to educate you on freshwater fishing. It doesn't matter how experienced you are with fishing, the information and tips below will be useful to you. We first educate you on the basic information about freshwater fishing, along with some of the best tips for freshwater fishermen. At the end of this section, you'll find some safety information that every fisherman should know. Hopefully, you'll find this page educational and share it with your friends, family, co-workers, and other fishermen.

Basic Information on Freshwater Fishing

Freshwater fishing is when a fisherman fishes in a body of water that has less than 0.05% salinity. You can find freshwater in ponds, lakes, streams, and rivers and they can be both man-made and naturally occurring. Freshwater fishing is different than saltwater fishing because the species of fish are entirely different. However, there are some fish that can transition from salt water to freshwater. Salmon is a perfect example of a game fish that can do this. They are born in freshwater, then spend a few years at sea and return to spawn in the same freshwater body of water they were born in. Freshwater fishing can be done on every continent across the globe.

If you enjoy fishing from a boat then you'll enjoy freshwater fishing. As long as the body of water is big enough and it's allowed you can take a boat out on it. Unlike ocean boating or extremely large lake boating, you can use a small inflatable boat or kayak. By using a boat when you're fishing in freshwater you can reach areas and depths that you couldn't from shore. Unless you live on or near the coast you'll most likely only be able to fish in freshwater. Freshwater is vital to many organisms and is a requirement of life. While water covers 70% of our planet less than 3% of that water is freshwater.

Freshwater Fishing Tips, Tricks, and Tactics

Do you plan on going fishing in a body of freshwater? If so then you need to review our tips located below. These tips will give you the knowledge you need to improve your fishing skill.

  • Use the Map - When fishing in a freshwater lake or pond you'll want to get a topographical map of that body of water. This will let you know what and where the different depths of the lake or pond are. In addition, the map may also show you locations of sunken man-made fish cribs.
  • Use a Slip Bobber - A slip bobber is a common and easy-to-use setup when fishing in freshwater. It's basically a bobber with a hollow hole going through it. This allows you to tie a knot and a stopper above the bobber. The knot allows you to decide where on your line the bobber stops, thus allowing you to set any depth you want without having to sacrifice casting quality. For a specific brand, we recommend the Thill Wobble Bobber.
  • The Best Bait to Use - The best types of live bait to use in freshwater are worms, minnows, wax worms, and soft shell (crayfish). Ultimately you'll want to use whatever live bait is best for the species of fish you're trying to catch. Some other types of live bait that are also used are leeches and frogs. For artificial bait, there are a variety of different types that work. Two brands we recommend are the Yakima Bait Rooster Tail Spinner and the Strike King Square Bill Crankbait.
  • Wash Your Hands - When fishing in water with little salinity you'll really want to make sure you keep your hands clean. Fish have a good sense of smell and any foreign scent on your bait or lures can turn them off.
  • Temperature is Important - The majority of freshwater fish species have specific water temperatures and weather that they prefer. You'll want to research the specific fish you're trying to catch to figure out the best times and water depths to catch them.

Safety Information for Freshwater Fisherman

Fishing is a great hobby but like many hobbies, you need to follow specific precautions to keep yourself safe. We recommend that you crush the barbs on hooks, this will make removing a hook from the skin much easier, and unlike what people might say it won't affect the ability to reel in a fish. You always need to have the proper fishing license and/or stamps. If you're caught fishing without them you could get a steep fine. If you plan on wading in a pond, river or lake then make sure to use a wader belt to prevent water from rushing into your waders if you stumble. Always use life jackets when fishing on a boat and don't forget the sunscreen since water can magnify the effect of the sun.

Additional Resources on Freshwater Fishing

About The Author
Pete Danylewycz
Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Pete grew up fishing on the Great Lakes. Whether he's casting a line in a quiet freshwater stream or battling a monster bass, fishing is his true passion.