Fishing isn’t hard, but it can be confusing to know how to begin. Here’s a step-by-step approach to get from thinking about it to doing it.
1. Start with trout and bass. bass are two of the most popular gamefish in Oregon. There are a number of reasons why, many of which make trout and bass fishing great choices for new anglers. and
2. Buy simple gear to start. The fishing section at the sporting goods store can be overwhelming, and some anglers are notorious for collecting a whole stable of specialized rods and reels.
But in fact, you don’t need much more than a simple spinning rod and a handful of lures to start bass and trout fishing. Here’s to fish for trout and bass, and for several other species as well!
3. Look for fishing close to home. No need to travel for hours to find a place to fish. Chances are, there’s some good fishing close to where you live.
If you live near , , , or in , we’ve highlighted a number of fishing spots near those communities.
Or how about ? In it we highlight family-fishing locations throughout the state.
4. Buy a license. Everyone who is 12 years or older needs a license to fish in Oregon. Kind under 12 fish for free. An annual youth license for kids 12-17 years is only $10, and includes hunting and shellfishing as well. If you’re just fishing for trout or bass, that’s all you’ll need – a license.
You can also buy a one- or three-day fishing license, which is a great option if you’re unsure you’ll like fishing or have a friend who wants to tag along.
You can If you’re buying your license online, you can print out a hard copy on your home computer, or download your license to your smart phone using the MyODFW app.
If you prefer to buy a license in-person, you can go to one of . This includes many Bi-Mart and Fred Meyer stores as well as several small independent retailers.
5. Check the regulations. The Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations are available in print and . To get a regulation booklet, go to an ODFW license vendor, or call your and they’ll send you one.
The regulations will tell you what areas are closed to fishing, how many fish you can keep and if there are any gear restrictions. It’s a good idea to check them before you go.
The regulation booklet can be intimidating, but don’t be. Here’s a simple strategy for your search.
6. Check the weekly Recreation Report. The report describes fishing conditions and angler success for hundreds of streams and rivers, lakes and ponds throughout the state. It’s updated weekly by the local ODFW fish biologists. Once on the , select the Fishing Report and then the zone you want to fish in.
7. Go fishing. After all that, you’re ready to go fishing. To help you make that leap from planning to fishing, there’s the article and video series. Much of this will apply to bass and other warmwater fishing.
To learn more about bass and warmwater fishing techniques and locations, check out , which highlights some of the best warmwater fishing in 10 zones around the state.
8. Take a friend. Fishing can be more fun with other people. It’s a great way to spend time outdoors with friends, or create some special memories as a family.
In fact, during the pandemic, more and more families are discovering fishing as a safe way to help entertain the kids. Here are some .
9. Get a photo. Many people still remember years later catching their first fish. Wouldn’t it be great to capture that moment with a photo? (This alone is a good reason to invite a friend or family member to go with you. Someone has to take the photo of you and your fish.)
If you plan to release your fish, here are some safely.
Be sure to and we may use it on the ODFW website, in brochures or on signs.
10. Clean your catch. Congratulation! You’ve caught a fish, and you can almost taste its deliciousness. But you’ll have to clean it before you eat it.
Here’s a for the pan.
Want to learn more about fishing in Oregon? We’ve got all kinds of articles and tip sheets for catching all kinds of fish. Just use the search button on MyODFW.com if you’re looking for something specific. If you’d rather browse to see what’s available, go to the articles page and use the filter feature to find How to fish articles.
Have fun and tight lines! (It’s a fishing thing.)
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