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Advice for New Anglers

No one learns to fish overnight, but with some advice from fellow anglers, you can get a jumpstart on your knowledge base.

Ask any angler and most will agree—the sport is equal parts challenging and rewarding, for a variety of reasons. Whatever inspires you to get out on the water in pursuit of fish, remember that everyone starts at square one. No one becomes a master angler overnight, but your fellow community of female anglers is here to help. Learn from those ladies you have learned to fish before you, with ten pieces of advice from DSG fishing team members:

1. Confidence is Key

“Have confidence on the water. I was so scared to try new things because I didn’t think I was capable, but after a lot of practice and a lot of confidence I am able to do most of these things without needing anyone’s help. I was scared to fish different baits or try new techniques, I never wanted to dock or load the boat, and unhooking fish was a big no for me. Things that now seem so simple were terrifying to me because I always just told myself, “I can’t” or was too scared to try.” -Chelsea Lynn

2. Fish for the Fun of It

“Fish for fun, fish for yourself, and don’t get caught up in the negativity or competition. There are so many reasons that fishing is a great hobby: stress relief, social bonding, health benefits, self-fulfillment, food, the thrill, the challenge, and paying tribute to nature. Immerse yourself and you may just unearth a new passion.” -Melissa Lindsay

3. Prepare for Everything

“Proper preparation prevents poor performance. Fishing in tournaments requires a lot of preparation, always preparing for what could go wrong and having a backup plan. Whether it's issues with the boat, rod, reel, bait, or not having enough snacks. Always bring extra snacks!” -Dr. Jennifer James

4. Persistence Pays Off

“Stick with it, no matter how frustrating learning the sport can be! Never be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try new techniques, and most importantly, don't ever take it so seriously that you're not having fun. It is a great sport to become knowledgeable in and a fun way to enjoy the outdoors! (Also, don't forget your DSG Outerwear UPF 50+ shirts! Sunburns are never fun!!)” -Christina Robinson

5. Learn by Doing

“When it comes to locating fish on new bodies of water, you can read every book in the world and watch every YouTube or TV show, but the only way you can get better is by actually doing it… A LOT.” -Nicole Stone

6. Ask for Help

“Ask for help if you're having a hard time understanding, ask to try things hands on, ask to be shown how to do something properly. Most people love to be of service and would enjoy nothing more than to help a lady begin her intro into the sport or to learn a new aspect!” -April Willis

7. Learn How to Handle Fish

“As a newbie, I had no idea how to handle fish. I think learning how to hold and handle fish properly was one thing I wish I knew how to do earlier. I was kind of a scaredy cat and would overreact when the fish would flop out of my hands, but properly holding fish would've made all the difference.” -Jenny Anderson

8. Learn Your Lines

“Fishing line and terminal tackle can seem overwhelming to learn. Really taking the time to do my research on the right line applications for different situations and species really changed the way I fished and resulted in more success. You can have every bait and lure in the world but having the right line for the situation is critical to understand—I definitely learned that the hard way early on!” -Ana Braiedy

9. The Social Media Effect

“Don’t feel like you have to be everything you see on social media. I feel like a lot of women get into it because they see things on social media and then want to live up to that. There’s nothing wrong with striving for something, just make sure you are doing it for you. Fish because you want to, because you love it, not because you want to be the next social media star. If you love it, the following will come.” -Susan Turner

10. Take the Small Wins

“When I first started fishing, the hardest thing to learn was that I couldn't "master" it overnight. Fishing can be challenging at times, especially when targeting multiple species. No two days of fishing are ever the same. I've now learned that I'm always still learning and catching fish is the bonus. It's the smaller goals or accomplishments such as learning new skills or techniques to put in your own knowledge book for fishing and who you get to spend the day with that’s most important at the end of the day.” -Sarah Delyea

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