Fishing tips for beginners

Fishing can seem very challenging to those who are new to it but it does not need to be expensive or complicated. Below are some fishing tips to help you get started.

Do some research 

Before you begin, take some time to look at the wealth of information available on fishing both in books and online.

Know the basics

Understand how to add bait to hooks, cast your line and tie knots.

Rod licence and permit

To fish legally in Northern Ireland you will need to buy the following two items:

  • a rod licence plus
  • a permit or day ticket

The rod licence is for the fishing rod and the game or coarse fish you're allowed to catch.  A permit  or day ticket gives  you the right to fish in a particular fishery. Find out if special permits are needed for the waters you wish to fish as having this information before you get started will save you time and possibly being fined.


Rods and reels

Choose the right equipment  as there are many styles of rods and reels. The equipment you choose will depend on the kind of fish you want to catch.  Speak with the experts at the tackle shop as they can help you make the right choice.


You will also need to buy line which can become brittle and break easily when it has been sitting for a while. Again, speak with the tackle shop and they can help you choose the type of line you need based on the type of fish.


Almost any equipment used for fishing can be called fishing tackle.  Examples are hooks, lines, sinkers, floats, rods, reels, baits, lures, spears, nets and so on.  Gear that is attached to the end of the fishing line is called terminal tackle.


There are rules about angling methods and using bait in the 70 fisheries on the 'Public Angling Estate' managed by 'Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs' (DAERA) . For details, follow the link below and once you're on the page, scroll down to the heading 'Angling rules in Northern Ireland':

Check the weather

While you can catch fish during any weather conditions, an overcast day has been known to be one of the best conditions to have a successful trip.

Suitable clothing

Make sure you wear layers and have a waterproof coat with you as the weather can change drastically throughout the day.  Boots are highly recommended too


Make sure you have food and something to keep you hydrated as it may take a while before you catch something.


Fishing does not have to be an expensive hobby and it is a great way to relax and spend time with your family or to enjoy some quiet time on your own.  Have patience and remember - practice makes perfect.

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