Freshwater Fishing Tips

Pre-Season Study: 6 Tips to Improve Your Fishing IQ

Spring Fishing with Kunnan Combo at Sunrise

Across the country, fishermen are checking their calendars, counting down the days to warmer weather and water temperatures. Prime fishing season may still be weeks away, but now is the time to prepare so you will be ready to land that trophy this year. Start with the obvious—inspecting rods and reels, cleaning and organizing tackle storage, taking inventory of artificial baits and other fishing gear. It’s also the perfect time to bone up on the latest fishing tactics and expand your angling knowledge. Whether you’re a beginner or an old salt, there are always new tricks to learn. Fortunately, today’s fishermen have access to more information than ever before. Here are six resources that can help improve your fishing IQ before the season starts.

Fisherman wearing Calcutta Outdoors shirt while catching saltwater fish

Expand your fishing knowledge to help you catch more fish this season.

Fishing Podcasts and Videos

Podcasts and videos are wildly popular in the fishing community, garnering millions of downloads and views. They’re almost always entertaining — and often an excellent source for innovative fishing tactics and advice. But where do you even start? With a seemingly endless sea of videos and podcasts available online, finding one that best suits your interests and individual needs can be a challenge. Try narrowing your options by searching for podcasts and videos that focus on specific types of fish, fishing methods or regions. Google and YouTube are popular places to start.

Fishermen searching trout streams for brook trout, brown trout and rainbow trout.

Fishing videos are a popular way to learn new tactics and techniques.

Online Forums

Online fishing forums run the gamut from broad, international sites to smaller regional groups of anglers. It’s the latter that will likely provide the most benefit — just make sure to join an active forum where members post regularly. Fishing forums allow you to connect with, and learn from, other anglers. Having trouble finding productive fishing holes in your area? Need advice on the best hard baits and soft baits to use? Looking to improve your fishing techniques? Odds are you can find your question already answered by multiple anglers on a fishing forum. If not, you can post your question for other members to answer.

Fisherman organizes GOT-CHA fishing baits in a bait binder

Online fishing forums can help you find the best fishing lures for your local waters.

Pro Tip: Look for the consensus on a forum. Members may have anonymous usernames, and it can sometimes be difficult to discern the true experts. However, this is easily solved on active forums because multiple members will typically chime in to keep the discussion accurate and on topic.

Fishing Seminars

Many fishing guides and tackle shops offer fishing seminars as a way to help fill the gap during the slow, off season. These educational sessions are priceless. Attending a seminar allows you to learn directly from the fishing experts in your local area. Best of all, the speakers will usually take time to thoroughly answer your questions, either during the seminar or afterward.

Fishing Magazines

Despite increased competition from other media outlets, traditional fishing magazines still produce valuable information for fishermen and fisherwomen. Today, most fishing magazines offer their subscribers a mix of print and digital content. National and regional publications provide another tool to have in your knowledge tackle box.

Fisherman carrying fishing gear and tackle backpack to the beach

Include traditional fishing magazines in your knowledge tackle box.

Visit a Tackle Shop

Even in this digital age where seemingly everything can be found online, local bait and tackle stores remain one of the best sources of accurate information available to anglers. In fact, visiting a tackle shop in the area where you fish may be the best way to improve your fishing knowledge. Fishing tackle retailers know their local waters — and they know which tactics and products work best. They are the experts when it comes to selecting tackle and gear for local fishing holes. Best of all, they will be happy to share their knowledge and provide trusted advice.

More Resources:


7 Tips to Prep Your Fishing Gear for the Spring Season

How to Spool a Fishing Reel

Performance Sunglasses: Your Best Defense Against the Sun

Best Fishing Tackle Storage Systems

Strategies to Optimize Your Fishing Tackle Storage

Fishing Boat Checklist: 11 Steps to Prepare for Fishing Season

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Fisherman wearing Calcutta Outdoors Performance Shirt while fishing from dock
Fisherman wearing Calcutta Outdoors shirt while adjusting dock lines