How to Plan for Your First Fishing Trip 

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Spring has arrived here in Virginia and now is the time to plan a fun-filled fishing trip. If you have never been fishing before but like the idea of a relaxing lakeside or riverside getaway, then a fishing trip is the perfect afternoon excursion. You ma​y think that you need to buy a lot of equipment and all the latest gadgets to be able to enjoy your fishing adventure. The opposite is true. You need only a small amount of simple tools to begin your perfect Virginia fishing outing. Keep reading below to find out what you need to make your dream fishing trip a reality. 

First Things First

The first thing you must do is to go to your state’s government website to find out what you will need to acquire a fishing license in your state. The state of Virginia has all the information you need to get set up to purchase your fishing license online. There is also a customer service number located on their main page should you need assistance. 


Buy Your Supplies

Now that you have your fishing license, you will want to purchase your gear. For a first time fisher-person the supplies that you will need for a fun filled fishing adventure are simple: a rod and reel (a spinning reel and rod combo is perfect for a first timer), fish hooks, fishing weights, bobbers, fishing line, needle nose pliers, a rubber net (it’s easier on fish’s skin) bait (first timers can stick with live worms or PowerBait and skip the fancy lures) and a tackle box to keep all your gear together and safe. 


Talk to Experienced Anglers 

You have your supplies in order but before you go off on a fishing trip, talk to local anglers to find out where they fish. There are probably many areas known for excellent fishing. If you are not experienced as a hiker, you may want to stay closer to home rather than heading further out into the woods. An experienced angler will have all the details and will be happy to share their knowledge and love of fishing with you. 


Safe Fishing and Fishing Etiquette

When heading out on your fishing trip, you should bring a companion along for safety. If there is an emergency you do not want to be out in the woods (no matter how close to home it may be) on your own. Be certain to get a life vest if you will be fishing from a boat or wading out into the water. People often feel that they will not need a life vest especially if they are excellent swimmers, however it is better to have a life vest you never need than to not have one in an emergency situation. Use caution while tying and baiting sharp fish hooks. It may not be life threatening but a hook caught in your finger or hand will hurt. Finally, be sure to leave ample distance between you and others fishing in the area. If it is a busy fishing spot leave as much space as possible at least 50-60 feet and if it is a quiet area leave a good couple hundred yards between yourself and the next closest angler. 


Catching Your Fish

Armed with your list of good fishing spots from experienced anglers, there are still a few more tricks to keep in mind. You want to find a weedy rocky area where the water is several feet deep and the bottom of the river or lake changes from sand to gravel or sand to mud. While holding the fish gently, take the fish off the hook as quickly as possible. If you decide not to keep the fish because it doesn’t meet the minimum weight requirements or for any other reason, keep the fish under water while removing it from the hook and as soon as it begins to wriggle let it go so it can swim away. When you are finished fishing, take a good look around the area and pick up everything that you brought in. This means trash as well as your equipment so prepare and bring a bag. The area where you were fishing should look like you were never there. 


With a little careful planning and a free afternoon, fishing can be a fun and relaxing way to spend an afternoon either with family/friends/loved ones or on your own. So gather up your gear, talk to local anglers and head out to enjoy an afternoon spent in nature enjoying a little Virginia fishing. 



What is the best time to go fishing in Virginia?

Springtime is always a good time to fish because the fish are spawning. The summer months are a good second choice when fish are moving into warmer waters. 

Does Virginia have good fishing?

Virginia has a variety of rivers, lakes and streams which make it an excellent place for fresh water fishing. There is also ocean fishing in the Chesapeake Bay. 

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