The Fishing Portal - fishing tips and practical advice

Tips and advice about fishing trips, fishing methods, good fishing spots, species and sustainability. Do you miss something? Contact us, so we can add it.

Bottom fishing (or legering) is a common technique used to catch fish species near or on the bottom of the water. Bottom fishing can be done both in fresh- and saltwater, from shore and from a boat.
You use a weight to cast out the bait and get it to the bottom of the water.

What to catch
In freshwater, you can catch for example carp, bream or predators like pike and catfish. In the sea, you can fish for many species, including cod and different flatfish species.
Bottom fishing is an effective way to catch all kind of bottom feeding fish species.

Technique
A weight is used to cast out the bait and hook to get them to the bottom of the water. The weight is also needed to hold the bait in position, so fish will see it and will be tempted to bite.
As reeling in costs time and energy, it’s best to gain some experiences with casting, as you want to do it only once. ?
After casting, you usually put down the rod and don’t hold it. Different bite detection methods exist, like using the tip of the rod or a bit alarm system.

Bottom fishing is also suitable for beginners and it’s a very popular technique. For example, nearly all carp anglers use it.  Bottom fishing is often the most effective method in case of deep water, long distances, strong wind or current.

Equipment / tackle
Bottom fishing can be done by using rod or hand lines.
Target fish, local conditions and personal preferences all influence the choice of the used equipment. During sea fishing, heavy weight is often used to let the bait and hook reach the seafloor.

Do you want to improve your skills? Book a professional guide and learn the finest tricks of bottom fishing: https://www.guideforfishing.com/en/search

Feeder fishing is usually done in freshwater, at shore. You use a (with bait filled) device called feeder (a cage, container), which you bring to the bottom of the water.
A special rod with a quiver tip is used to indicate the bait. The tip moves (quivers) when a fish takes the bait.
It’s a sensitive technique and it’s very popular and effective for certain species, especially white fish.

method feeder fishing equipment

What to catch
Feeder fishing is an effective method for catching white fish like bream or tench, but also few carp anglers are exploring it. Actually, you can catch almost every fish species by using this method, except from very active or careful species, like pike and zander.

Technique
This technique is suitable for beginners as well. Many anglers enjoy it due to its sensitive character. Fishing in a lake, river or a channel is also possible.
You put the bait into a feeder (cage) and onto the hook, which will go to the bottom of the water. You cast with a special feeder rod, which enables you to cast long distances. With a little practice, you will be able to cast to the same spot again and again, which increases your chances.

To detect a bite, the fisherman shall watch the tip of the rod, which is flexible and sensitive.
After the feeder reaches the bottom, the main line shall be tightened up to get a slight bend in the tip. When a fish takes the bait, you will see the tip bending further, quivering or dropping back; depending on whether the fish moves away from the angler or moves towards him/her.

fishing rod with red bending tip

Equipment / tackle
A feeder (cage, container) is filled with bait and attached to the main line. There are different feeder types depending on shape and design. The three main ones are the block end feeders, the open end feeders and the method feeders. All types will bring the bait to the bottom and are available in different sizes and weights.

To detect a bite, a special rod with a quiver tip is used. You should imagine the quiver tip as a flexible extension of a fishing rod. As a rule of thumb, fishing with a light and flexible tip is preferable as it’s more sensitive and accurate. Longer feeder rods enable casting the bait far away.

The casting distance, target fish, local conditions, amount of bait wished to use and personal preferences all influence the choice of equipment, which shall match with each other.

Many people use a float during their first fishing experience. Float fishing is a common technique and easy to learn. It basically means fishing with a float, which, in theory, can be done everywhere.
We often hear from anglers that there’s no better way to catch a fish. Warning: it’s easy to get addicted to watching the float and waiting for the action.

Fishing float in the water

What to catch
If you do it the right way, float fishing can be done to catch almost every kind of fish. In freshwater, white fish and carp are one of the most common targets, while it’s also effectively used to catch predators like pike.

Technique
Calm waters with no or almost no current are a good place to start if you are a beginner. Whether you are fishing on a river, on a lake or at sea, the basics are similar.
You normally cast to a place close to you, with a float and hook attached to the line. Using a float has more advantages. For example, you can define and change the depth of the bait. Usually, the best is to start with placing the bait just at the bottom, which shall be determined carefully. Besides, due to the buoyancy of the float, currents can bring the bait to an otherwise inaccessible place. The float serves as a bite indicator and you should constantly look at it to detect a bite.

Bites vary and depend on the fish species: the fish can pull it straight under water, move it without sinking or lift it. After getting some practice, you will be able to determine when and how to strike, which also depends on the target fish. We advise to hold the rod and not to be lazy and put it down :) You might miss the fish due to a late reaction.

Equipment / Tackle
There are different kind of floats to choose from. Usually, the floats are made of (balsa) wood or plastic.
A small weight usually ensures that the float stands vertically in the water. Just a few millimeters of the brightly colored tip is advised to be visible – if the weather enables it. A sensitive rod shall normally be used, like a pole, light spinning or a match rod. The reels tend to be small and the line is thin.

The following factors can all influence the choice of equipment: target fish, local conditions like wind, current or weather, casting distance and personal preferences.

Fly fishing is one of the oldest, but also one of the most exciting fishing techniques that exists. Fly casting is an art itself, it’s fun to do and very addictive.
Fly fishing is a technique where a (handmade) artificial bait is used to lure fish and to provoke fish to bite. This bait must look like a kind of fly or other small animal that lives on (dragonflies, grasshoppers, mosquitos), near (frogs, mice) or in the water (insects, small fishes, crustacean). Therefore, knowledge about insects and other small water species can be very useful.

Modern fly fishing started in Scotland and northern England, to catch fish in fast flowing, rocky rivers.

fly casting in a river
What to catch
Fly fishing can be enjoyed in fresh- and seawater as well.
In the past, fly fishing was used to catch mainly trout and salmon. Nowadays, this fishing technique is used for catching pike, perch or carp and saltwater fish species as well.

Technique
Fly fishing requires some practice and patience to be able to fully enjoy it. Please take into consideration when booking a trip. The more you do it, the better you get :)

The fly (bait) is cast using a rod, reel and a fly line. Move the line backward and forward through the air. You need to get most of the energy, provoked by the swinging, in the tip of the fishing rod. You use your wrist to get the line as far as possible. By repeating this movement, you can get the line farther.

The hardest part of fly fishing is to cast and retrieve the line, because you need to imitate the natural movement of the bait and the lure is often nearly weightless.

Trout caught by fly fishing
Equipment / tackle
The fly rod is normally longer and lighter than most other rods. At small rivers, usually you use a rod with a length of 2-3 meters; at lakes, big rivers and seas, the rods you need can be 5 meters.
The line can either sink directly, float or sink partly, and is often coated with plastic and heavy enough to get the bait to the place you want.

Flies are nowadays mostly made of artificial materials to make the bait look as real as possible. In the past, they were made of (horse)hair or feathers. The size can variate from millimeters to a few centimeters.

Local conditions, target fish, type of the fly and personal preferences all influence the choice of equipment. The rod, line and fly shall match and harmonize to make fly fishing effective.

fly fishing handmade flies

Do you want to learn fly fishing?
Go fishing with one of our professional guides and learn all aspects of fly fishing, for example casting or tying flies.

Check the fly fishing guides here: https://www.guideforfishing.com/en/search

Handline fishing (also called handlining) is one of the oldest fishing technique: it was already practiced by the ancient Egyptians. Nowadays, it’s still common and regularly used throughout the whole world.
You need to hold a single fishing line in your hand. It is often used for fishing near the bottom of the water, but fishing near the surface is also possible.
The technique can be practiced in both salt water and freshwater. Handlining can be done from shore and from a boat and if you fish from a sailboat, this technique is very popular. Ice fishing anglers use this technique as well.

handline fishing on the sea

What to catch
In salt water, handline fishing can be used to catch groundfish species (like snapper and grouper), squid and species that live in surface waters (like mackerel, tuna, mahi-mahi).
In freshwater you can also target various fish species with this technique.. (e.g. silver/coarse fish).

Technique
Handline fishing will test your skills: you will feel the power of the fish as there is nothing between you and the fish but a line.
Casting might need some practice before you are able to get the line into the direction and the distance you want to get it. From a boat, one possible option is to slowly unwind the line into the water while you are floating on the water.

You will feel the bite right away, which is an advantage of handline fishing. Bringing in a fish, however, is hard and this part shouldn’t be underestimated. You need to be very quick and get tension on the line as soon as possible. Otherwise, the fish might steal the bait. You need to keep tension continuously and roll the line back.

Equipment / tackle
A good thing about handline fishing is that no expensive gear is required. You don’t need to carry much with you.
The rig consists of a line with one or more hooks or fishing lures and can have a weight or a float on it. The fishing line is relatively heavy/strong.

The further you want to cast, the more weight you will need. A spool is needed to store the fishing line. You can use anything you want as a spool, even a stick or a block of wood. Wearing fingerless gloves can be very useful, as this makes fishing more comfortable.

Jigging and drop shot fishing are two different methods, but the basics are almost the same. Both can be done in freshwater and in the sea.

Jigging means fishing with a jig, which is normally a sinking lead with a hook molded into it. You can use different lures, “body” to cover the jig.
When drop shot fishing, you fish just above the bottom of the water. A special dropshot lead is attached at the end of the line, the hook and bait are above it. The hook is directly knotted on the (bottom) line.

You can use these techniques for fishing from a boat or from the shore. However, if you want to go drop shot fishing from the shore, the water right next to the shore should be deep enough. Good spots for drop shot fishing are overflows of canals, harbors and bridges. Jigging can also be done on open waters.
 

a drawing to explain the setup of a drop shot fishing rig

What to catch
Both techniques are commonly used to catch a lot of (predatory) fish species, like perch, pike, pike-perch and bass. Actually, they can be used to catch all kind of fish species.

Technique
If you are a beginner, jigging or drop shot fishing can be a perfect option for you! You will cast and retrieve the line continuously, so the rod is always in your hand and you have direct contact with the fish!

For jigging, you need to cast and move the jig vertically through the water. You need to watch your line constantly, even when it’s falling down, as a fish can also bite at that moment. When a fish bites, you’ll have jolt on the tip of the rod.

When drop shotting, the weight is at the bottom and small movements on the lure attract the fish. One way you can do drop shot fishing is by moving the rig slowly over the bottom while tapping on the rod with you finger. This is because when you are doing that, the bait will move a little bit, which increases the change that the fish bites.
Another method is after casting retrieving line very slowly, with taking breaks. So, for this technique, patience is required.

Two advantages about these techniques is that you won’t get stuck that often and that the bait is striking, so there is a good change that the fish will notice it.

perch caught with a jigPerch caught with a jig

Equipment / tackle
The rod should have a sensible tip, so you can easily register a bite. A small light reel is suggested as you are holding the rod in your hand for a long period.
When jigging, you use a fishing lure called jig. At drop shot fishing the weight at the end of the line (with the hook and bait just above it) enables you to fish at the bottom. The hook is directly knotted on the line. Normally softbaits (made from plastic) are used for both techniques.

Would you like to learn the best tips & tricks for jigging or drop shot fishing?
Book a trip with a professional guide! Check the guides on our website: https://www.guideforfishing.com/en/search

Match fishing is a special type of coarse fishing, which is usually done in freshwater. A casting rod (match rod) and a float (waggler) is used for this fishing technique.
Many fishermen try match fishing after pole or feeder fishing. However, some people will give up match fishing after trying it once, because of its relative difficulty.
Match fishing often happens between 15 and 25 meters from the shore and you can also fish using this technique in a river or in current.

fishing with a waggler

What to catch
The target species are mostly silver/course fish like bream, white bream or roach. Fishermen often catch using his technique bigger course fishes than the average size.
Also, the match rod is often used to catch (smaller) carps, which are normally between 1 to 2 kilogram and therefore they are a perfect target fish of this method.

Technique
Match fishing is a technique that allows you to fish with a float, also called waggler, at a greater distance. The difficulty in course fishing is the correct balancing of the float with leads or other weight. A small weight usually ensures that the float stands vertically in the water.
In match fishing, the waggler is not attached with rubbers on the line, it is attached by only the bottom “eye” of the float (the line goes through it). The float is fixed with rubber beads or leads.
The main rule of thumb of balancing:  2/3 of the weight shall be placed directly under the float, and 1/3 of the weight shall be spread over the line.

Equipment/tackle
For match fishing you need a sensitive rod. Back in the days feeder rods were used for match fishing. Nowadays there is a wide range of match fishing rods available at the fishing shops, with an average length of around 4 meters. As normally silver/course fish or carps are the target fish species, a line (depending on the circumstances) with ~2-kilogram power is more than enough.
By pole fishing, to be able to land bigger fish, the poles have a built-in special elastic in the tip. By match fishing you can use the slip on the reel to absorb power.

Pole fishing is very popular and most probably it’s the most used fishing technique (in the Netherlands). That’s not without a reason!
With pole fishing you can catch many fish species. It can be very simple and most of the time, it’s the first technique that beginners try. Pole fishing is the best way to learn the basics of fishing.

There are fishermen, who specialize in pole fishing and take it to a higher level. There are European and world championships pole in fishing.

children fishing with a pole

What to catch
Pole fishing is usually done in fresh water. Most of the pole fishermen fish for coarse/white fish, small carp and little predators like perch.
As always, there are exceptions: a few pole fishermen fish for big carp, sturgeon and massive catfish. We don’t think pole fishing is the best way to fish for those fish, but it will give an adrenaline kick for sure!

Technique
As the name says, a pole is used for pole fishing. There is no option to connect a reel onto the pole. A line with a float, some weights (shots) and a hook is attached to the pole. When you want to start fishing, you have to find first your fishing spot, then to choose the depth and the distance where you want to fish. You need to take the target fish and local circumstances into account.
Once the choice has been made, the feeding and fishing can start. It isn’t always needed to land the fish with a net. Only the bigger white fish species and other big fishes need to be landed with a net. During pole fishing, you can learn a lot about the behavior of a fish and how to present your bait.

Material
The material used for pole fishing can be very simple and compact. The basic materials are one pole, small equipment (line, float, hook), bait and a small chair to sit on and relax while you’re fishing.
Only when you want to perfect your pole fishing skills and want to participate in tournaments, shall you buy extra equipment: for example, there are special seats for pole fishing, with rod supports and a lot of good organized storage. Besides, one pole is often not enough anymore too. You can buy poles over sixteen meters, but for a beginner, a three-meter pole is good enough :)

Spinning and popping are two different fishing techniques, but the basics are the same. Both techniques can be used in freshwaters and in the sea or ocean, from both a boat and from shore.

Spinning (or spin fishing) is one of the most popular fishing methods (in the Netherlands and Belgium). The key of spinning is the usage of an imitated, artificial baitfish. This baitfish is moved through the water, so it will look exactly like a real baitfish.

For popping, you do the same, but with using a popper and by moving it through the surface of the water. A popper is a hollow shaped lure which is designed to float. To the target fish, the popper will appear like a distressed fish or a predator fish, so it will either come to attack or to eat it.

spinning rod and lure, wobbler in the grass

What to catch
Spinning is used for centuries to fish for predatory fish, like pike, perch and pike-perch. It’s a popular method to catch (big) trout.
Popping is a very effective way to fish for e.g. bass and tuna.

Technique
The key of both techniques is that you need to cast the line with the popper/artificial bait into the water and wind the line back right after it. When spinning, the artificial bait will move and look like a real bait. When popping, the popper will make a “pop”-sound and it will make bubbles and splashes. These actions of both the artificial bait and the popper, will attract fish.

Both techniques are an active way of fishing. When popping, you can see and feel the fish biting into the lure. A fight will follow which makes popping an exciting technique with a lot of interaction between you and your catch.

fiisherman stands in the water and casts with his spinning rod

Equipment / tackle
You need a spinning rod, a spinning reel and the artificial bait.
The artificial bait is knotted at the end of the fishing line. There are a lot of artificial baits which can be used only for spin fishing. This can be an advantage of this technique over other ones. Some of these baits can move “automatically” (shaking, vibrating, turning) when winding back the line on the reel. These moving baits will get more attention from the fish.
Lures / poppers can variate in size and weight.

Do you want to learn spinning and popping or improve your skills?
Go fishing with one of our professional guides and learn all aspects and the best tricks of trolling and popping!
Check our guides here: https://www.guideforfishing.com/en/search

Trolling is about drawing a fishing line with an artificial bait through the water. This technique is mainly used in larger waters, so you can travel a great distance and explore a lot of water to find out where the fish is and how to catch it. This is an advantage over other fishing methods, like casting.
Trolling is mostly done behind a moving boat. You can go trolling on the sea, on open waters, but also in canals.

Trolling fishing on the sea

What to catch
Trolling is a good way to fish for e.g. pike, especially in the time of the year when they are hard to find. But you can catch many species when using this technique. A few examples are pike-perch, salmon, trout, mackerel, billfish, kingfish, tuna, merlin, walleye and different kinds of bass.

Technique
There are two important factors by trolling: the speed of the boat and the position of the bait. When trolling, you need to choose if you want to fish shallow or deep and if you want to have a fast or slow speed.

The speed of the boat affects the bait: when changing the speed, the bait will move slower or faster or it will go deeper or less deep. The optimal speed changes every day. It can occur that you won’t catch anything during the whole day with a certain speed, so you need to find out what speed is the best.

Besides, the speed of the boat and the depth of the bait depends on the kind of fish you want to catch. For example, if you fish for pike, you need to get your bait halfway down into the water, but when you want to catch a pike-perch, it is better to fish on the bottom. If you want to catch billfish, then you need to get your bait near the surface (shallow fishing) and let it imitate a flying fish.

Equipment / tackle
For trolling, you use rods, reels, lines and lures or baitfish. The lures must be of good quality, as they need to stay straight behind the boat and stay on the same depth, even when the boat has a high speed.

The lures can look like injured or fast-moving fish. Some lures barely make movements, but others will make the end of the rod shake. These ones can have your preference, as this makes it easier to follow the bait and to see if the bait is doing well.

Lures can be designed to run either deep or shallow. This means that if you want to fish deep, you don’t necessarily need a weight to get your bait below the surface.

Do you want to learn trolling or improve your skills?
Go fishing with one of our professional guides and learn all aspects and the best tricks of trolling!
Check our guides here: https://www.guideforfishing.com/en/search

Wreck fishing means you go fishing over a wreck that lies on the seafloor. This allows you to go fishing in the (deep) sea. Wreck fishing is exiting and requires a lot of action!

Wreck fishing is about catching fish close to and on the wreck.  A wreck is a perfect place for the fish to hide. The wreck can be located in various places: far away from or close to the shore. When you choose a trip, you should keep in mind that if a wreck is far away, you will spend a lot of time on getting there. Wrecks can be found at different depths; usually you go fishing in deep water, but that isn’t always the case.

Wreck in the sea with a barracuda

What to catch
Various fish species can be caught, for example cod, pollack, sea bass, ling or mackerel.

Technique
Wreck fishing is an exciting technique, not meant for those who want to spend their day being lazy on the boat. You constantly need to bring the rig up and down, after arriving to the location of the wreck. The drifting of the boat is an important factor, which needs to be taken into consideration.

When you catch a fish, there is a good chance that a fight will follow, e.g.: a cod is very powerful and a pollack is a fast diver.

Equipment / tackle
The following factors can all influence the choice of equipment: target fish, local conditions like current or depth and personal preferences.

Wreck fishers use artificial lures or live bait e.g. lugworms and sandworms. A line with a low diameter is preferred, as it is less affected by the current and offers you a good contact, so you can feel a bite better or when the rig reaches the wreck.