Guide Fishing without a Hook: Catching Moments at Work

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In cooler weather, waterproof boots are a good idea. We all want children to respect our natural environment. Kids need to see that our aquatic resources belong to all of us, and that we all need to take care of them. It is pretty easy to see that if we don't take care, we may not have fish to catch in the future. What may be harder to get across is the basic respect that all living things deserve, even those, perhaps especially those, that we may kill to eat.

Perhaps the best way to instill this attitude is to model this behaviour yourself as a caring adult. Good planning, practice and preparation are essential, but the act of fishing can only be done on site. Following the steps below will assure you that your trip will be fun, and that your chances of catching fish will be as good as they can be. Remember, the point of being there is to help and guide the young angler. In Ontario, children below the age of 18 can fish without a licence and take home a full limit of fish if they wish.

Adults between 18 and 64 are required to have a licence. If the young angler needs a lot of help, or you want to do a little fishing too, consider a Conservation Licence. It costs much less than a regular licence since it allows you to take reduced limits of most fish species. Fish are not distributed evenly throughout a lake or stream.


Proper site selection may have more to do with fishing success than anything else you try. Ask your fishing friends, Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry office, local Conservation Authority, or bait and tackle dealer for good panfish e. Small lakes or ponds that have public access are probably better places to start than streams.

When you get there, walk along the shore. Look for what is called structure: places where fish might hide or find food. Structure includes rock piles, drowned trees, the edges of weed beds, places where the shallows drop quickly off to deeper water and dock pilings. Also try stream or creek mouth areas.

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Please remember to respect private land. How you fish will depend on what fish you are after.

With bait, rig a float for sunfish, or fish the bottom for catfish, carp or suckers. That first cast can be truly exciting, so much so that all else is forgotten. Your job is to remind your child to: look behind before casting, when to release and where to cast. When fishing with bait, keep it still.

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Don't move the bait around, or jerk the rod tip. Keep the line fairly tight a direct line to the bait or bobber; little of the line coil showing without pulling on the terminal tackle. Keep the rod at about a 45 degree angle. Unless a fish hits almost immediately, young eyes tend to wander. By keeping your eye on the line or rod tip, you can bring that attention back when things start to happen. This is a skill which will come with experience. When using bait, remember to wait a bit until the bobber goes under, or the line begins to move off. Set the hook by firmly snapping the tip of the rod back over the shoulder.

With most lures, remember to set the hook right away. Treat artificial worms like live bait. Reel in steadily, keeping the rod tip up. Avoid the temptation to rush, or to increase the drag a knob or dial on the reel which increases or decreases the resistance to pulling line out if the fish takes off. Just hold the tip up and let the fish tire. Increase the drag slightly only if you can't reel in at all. With too much drag the line may break. Quickly reel in any slack.

Be ready for another short burst when the fish becomes aware of you or sees your net. Landing is easiest with a net. Keep the net stationary, below the fish in the water. Guide the fish over the net and then raise it up. Panfish can be lifted straight out of the water, but may flip off the hook as they come up. Bass can be lipped — grasp the lower lip firmly between thumb and index finger and lift the fish out of the water. Support the fish with your other hand under its belly if you hold it out horizontally.

Landing the fish is something that you can do at first while the child keeps the line snug and the rod tip up. More experienced children can land the fish themselves. All fish should be handled carefully and with respect. Take particular care with fish that will be released. In many cases, they don't even have to come out of the water as you work the hook out.

If you want to take the fish out of the water, e.


Carefully grasp the fish from one side, folding down the sharp dorsal fins catfish have spines by their front fins as well. Put the fish back before you need a breath. For good eating quality, you must either keep fish alive or cold. A few sunfish can be kept in a bucket with a frequent change of water, or in a wire mesh live basket. Fish can also be kept under ice in a cooler. Kill the fish first with a sharp rap between the eyes, using a sawed-off bat handle or other round piece of wood.

To make sure your catch is within the law, you must be able to identify it. In addition, learning together about each type of fish can be fun, and will help in deciding where and how to fish for it. The following information describes the fish you are most likely to catch as a beginning angler. These colourful little scrappers are abundant in many Ontario waters. They usually weigh. They are very flat, almost in the shape of a hand. Aggressive feeders, sunfish take bait readily, fight well on light tackle and are considered to be very fine eating. They can generally be found in the shallows of warmer lakes, ponds and slow-moving streams.

Try fishing near rocks, weed beds, floating docks or anything else that would give them a place to hide. Rock bass, as the name implies, prefer rocky areas. Stillfish using a bobber and worms, adjusting the depth of the bait until you find where they are. You can also try small plugs, spinners or jigs. Black crappie in particular seem to like live minnows.

Catching Catfish - Everything You Need to Know About Catfishing!

Their mouth tissues, however, are fairly thin, and hooks may rip out unless played with a delicate touch. This smaller cousin of the walleye is a very popular panfish, and is often found with the sunfish. However, they aren't as tied to structure, and will travel in schools looking for food. So cast widely, and if you find one, chances are you will find lots. Perch take all sorts of live bait particularly minnows and small lures try spinners and jigs 'sweetened' with worm pieces and are fine eating.

Average size is about. As the names imply, the easiest way to tell these two fighters apart is the size of the mouth. In largemouth , the jaw hinge extends beyond its large, distinctive eye. In the smallmouth, it doesn't go beyond the centre of the eye.

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And while the two fish sometimes overlap territories, largemouth are more commonly found in warmwater weed beds. Largemouth like to hide in the weeds and ambush their prey, so drop your lure or bait near the edges of the beds. Worms — real or artificial — often work best. Work your bait around any logs, boulders or other potential hiding spots.

The largemouth averages. The scrappy smallmouth bass lives in cool, clear water across much of the province, preferring the rocky and sandy areas of the lakes and rivers. Look for rocky points, shoals, slopes and submerged logs. Fish deeper during the hotter parts of the summer. Almost any bait or type of lure may work, but crayfish are often a preferred food.