How to Catch a Fish? A Step by Step Guide

How to Catch a Fish
Photo by Sticker Mule

Catching a fish requires a lot of procedures, and that can be done in many ways. Knowing how to catch a fish can help establish a stronger bond with those you love.

This is possible during trips to the lake house you’ve always wanted to take your family to during the holidays. 

This piece is for you if you’ve always wanted to know how to catch a fish but have no idea how. In this article, detailed information is provided to help prepare you better.

4 Ways On How To Catch a Fish

Do you really want to know how to catch fish? Then constant practice is required to hone your fish-catching skills.

Thankfully, there’s more than one method of netting a fish, and they include the following:

  • Hand gathering 
  • Spearfishing 
  • Netting
  • Trapping

Hand Gathering

Are you aware that you can harvest seafood with your bare hands? The hand gathering technique is not hard to implement and is as easy and less stressful as picking up trout or shellfish.

In this aspect, there are different ways of practicing hand gathering, and they include:


This process involves catching catfish with your bare hands. However, it is done by finding a catfish under the water, putting your arm into its mouth, and pulling it out with your hands. This simply means that you are using your hands as bait, thus easily luring the fish in.

Pearl Divers

Pearl diving, also known as pearly hunting, is the act of removing pearls from wild mollusks in fresh or saltwater.

The majority of the time, diving or the use of a tool is required to enter the depths where the pearl-bearing mollusc habitats are. This is because they are inaccessible by hand from the surface. 

Mollusks have historically been brought up by freediving, a technique in which the diver lowers to the bottom gathers what they can, and comes to the top in one breath. 

The diver’s ability to see underwater is enhanced by the diving mask. After it was made available for underwater work, pearl divers began to use the diving helmet that was used on the surface.

Flounder Tramping

A flounder is a flat fish dwelling in the waters of the Solway Firth. This is a type of fishing where people catch fish by putting their bare feet into the shallow water to stand on them. Then, the fish is then raised by the fisher by sticking a finger inside the fish’s gill opening.

Trout Binning

This is a method of catching trout by thumping rocks in a stream. The fisherman does this to lure fish out for collection.

Trout Tickling

This is the process of massaging the belly of the trout. If done for a long time and properly, it will go into a half-conscious state for a minute. After this, it can easily be tossed onto dry land.  


Spearfishing is an ancient way to fish that involves using spears, harpoons, and arrows. Individuals who adopt this method of fishing using different tools to push the spear forward. It’s not uncommon to find some using rubber, slings, and loops. 

There are different ways of spearfishing, and they include:


Many people have avoided bow fishing for many years because they believe it is only for archery enthusiasts. This fishing technique has made several outdoor lovers take an interest in fishing for more than a decade. 

This is the process of fishing with the use of a bow and arrow, as you have guessed from the name. Fish are caught with a crossbow or bow and an arrow that is made to catch fish and has a stronger thread.

Grass carp, tilapia, alligator gar, and bowfin are some of the species that are specifically bred for this type of fishing. Interestingly, sharks and rays are also caught using this technique in salt water.


A long pole attached to a spear that has several distinct aspects is known as a gig. The size of a gig ranges from 8 to 14 feet, specifically for fish, while for frogs, the range is from 5 to 8 feet.  

Gigging is a practice whereby fish are caught through the use of gigs or spears that have several distinct features. This method of fishing is used to catch both freshwater suckers and saltwater flounders.

Hawaiian sling

This is one of the tools used in spearfishing. Instead of a bow and arrow, you can also use a sling because it operates similarly. It can be used on land, but rather than the energy stored in the wood, it will be stored in the rubber. 


A pole, a spear point, and a rubber loop make up a pole spear (also known as a hand spear or gidgee), an underwater spearfishing instrument. Hawaiian slings are a common misnomer for polespears, although the two weapons are not the same. 

A Hawaiian sling is like a slingshot or an underwater bow and arrow because the spear and the device that moves it are separate. The difference between them is that the pole spear of a harpoon has the rubber loop fastened to the spear.

Modern speargun

A speargun is a long-range underwater fishing tool used to impale fish or other marine life. Sport fishing and underwater target shooting both use spearguns. Pneumatic and elastic are the two fundamental types of spearguns available to you.


A trident is a spear with three prongs. After research, a trident is also used as a polearm historically and for spearfishing.


Fishing nets are meshes that are often created by knotting thin threads. The Greek author Oppian created the Halieutica, a didactic poem about fishing, around 180 AD. Netting is the most common method of commercial fishing, but longlining, trolling, dredging, and traps are also used. 

There are different ways of catching fish through the netting, and they are:

Cast nets

These are circular nets with sparse weights placed all along the edge. They go by the name “toss nets” as well. Hand casting or throwing causes the net to stretch out over the water to sink, and as the net is brought back in, fish are captured.

Drift nets

Nets that are not anchored are called drift nets. They are often used in the coastal waters of many countries, and most of the time, they are gill nets. Despite being illegal, their use is nevertheless permitted on the high seas.

Ghost nets

Fishing nets that have been abandoned, misplaced, or otherwise thrown into the water are known as “ghost nets.” These nets can be left tangled on a rocky reef or drifting in the broad sea, where they are frequently almost unnoticeable in the low light.

Trout, dolphins, sea turtles, sharks, dugongs, crocodiles, seagulls, crabs, and other sea animals, sometimes even divers, can get caught in them.


Gillnets can be used to catch fish by snagging on the gill covers as they attempt to pass through. The fish are caught and are unable to escape or move forward via the net.

Haaf nets

Using this method, a fisherman wades out to deep waters with a huge rectangular net and waits for salmon to swim into it. After that, the fish are removed by raising the net.

Lift nets

This is a type of fishing technique where nets are vertically pulled out of the water after being buried to a specified depth. The nets might be flat or cone-shaped, like a bag, a pyramid, or a rectangle. 

Lift nets can be operated by boat, hand, or shore power. They often employ a light source or bait to attract fish.

Tangle nets

Tooth nets, also called tangle nets, have smaller holes than gillnets, so they can catch fish by their teeth or upper jaw bone instead of their gills.

Trawl nets

They are big, conical-shaped nets that are used to catch fish by being pulled through the water or along the seafloor. Trawlers are the vessels that drag the trawl through the water. Trawling is the process of moving a trawl through the water.


In terms of culture, traps are almost everywhere and seem to have been made many times by different people. This is a permanent or semi-permanent structure placed in a river or tidal area with pot traps that are baited to attract prey. 

Trapping techniques offer different ways to execute them, and they are listed below:

Dam fishing

This is the process of creating a dam, temporarily lowering the level of the water so that fish can be easily collected.

Basket weir fish traps

Basket weirs were mostly used in the olden days as medieval illustration examples. They are extremely simple to get into but require a lot of effort to get out. Basket weir fish traps consist of two wicker cones inside of each other and are 2 mm long.

Fish wheels

This fishing tool works beside streams like a water-based fueled wheel. A floating dock has a wheel attached to it that comes with baskets and paddles. The stream’s current causes the wheel to turn.

Also, fish that are swimming upstream are caught by the baskets on the wheel and taken to a holding tank. The fish are taken out after the holding tank is full.

Other Techniques On How To Catch A Fish

There are other fishing methods apart from the one mentioned above. Listed below are five techniques for how to catch a fish without harming the environment, and they include the following:


During electrofishing, electricity is used to stun the fish. This method is often used by scientists to take samples of fish populations. This method is also used to determine species composition, abundance, and density.

Also, fish that are stunned by electrofishing don’t suffer any long-term effects; they quickly go back to how they were before.


Basnig is a traditional fishing technique used in the Philippines that combines the use of fish-attracted lamps and bag nets.

This net is fastened to numerous auxiliary masts and outrigger booms that can be detached from the ship. Also, electric lights and generators are frequently used in modern fishing to draw in fish and squid.

Fishing line attractors

Fishing line attractors are a way to catch fish by putting light on structures above or below the water to draw fish to them so that they can be caught.

Shrimp baiting

Recreational fishermen use shrimp baiting as a technique to catch shrimp. Long poles, bait, and a cast net are used. Once a spot has been marked with poles, bait is dropped into the water close to the pole. Shrimp are caught in the cast net after a while by throwing it as close to the bait as feasible.


In Southeast Asia, particularly in the Philippines, payaos are a unique kind of fish aggregation mechanism. Prior to World War II, payaos were typically bamboo rafts used for handline fishing. Contemporary steel payaos use fish lights and fish localization sonar to boost output. 

Even though payaos fishing is sustainable on a small scale, it has been linked to negative effects on fish stocks when used for commercial purposes.


There are some destructive techniques that can cause harm to you, the fish, and the environment. Some of these techniques include blast fishing and cyanide fishing.

You should know that cyanide fishing involves the use of a highly poisonous chemical called sodium cyanide to stun fish in the sea before harvesting.

Different techniques for how to catch a fish have been listed and explained in detail earlier in this article. Catching fish, either by hand or other techniques, is not hard to do at all. 

All you have to do is to practice the technique that is most convenient for you and perfect it. However, this is why you need to do your research on how to catch a fish properly and ensure that the techniques are risk-free.

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