The Easiest Freshwater Fish You Can Catch as a Beginner

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The Easiest Freshwater Fish You Can Catch as a Beginner

If you love the outdoors, sports, and cooking, then fishing has the perfect all-in-one appeal for you. You can get fresh air and exercise and will go home with the makings of a healthy meal. You don’t have to be all that great at it, either. Aim for some of the easiest freshwater fish you can catch as a beginner, and you’ll have an all-around successful day. These scaly beauties are just waiting to jump on your hook.

Crappie

Crappie are plentiful during every season, and you’ll even have luck landing them ice-fishing. They’re known as panfish, which means they can easily fit in a pan. The average length is between four to eight inches, so reeling them in doesn’t take too much effort. You don’t need more than a small spinning rod and reel with a light six-pound test line. And with a little strategy, you can end up with a real haul.

Where To Find Them

These guys like to travel in schools, so location is everything. Look for fallen trees underwater, logs, reefs—any submerged objects.

The Best Bait

Minnows are the most effective bait for this type of fish by far.

Catfish

They might be bottom feeders, but catfish are at the top of the list for taste. They grow fast, grow large (up to 50 pounds!), and will give you a bit of a wrestle when you’ve got one on the line. Make sure you’re using your stoutest hooks. Catfish whiskers are actually sensory organs that help them locate food in muddy water.

Where To Find Them

Try drop-offs near deep water or look for docks and structures like logs in the same area. If you’re serious about catching catfish, you should go after them at night when they’re feeding.

The Best Bait

Catfish are suckers for whatever the resident baitfish is, but they aren’t that picky overall. Earthworms, crayfish, and even hot dogs and bits of soap have drawn them in.

Trout

Trout is some of the easiest freshwater fish you can catch as a beginner—if you can learn how to read the water. In streams and rivers, look for disruptions in the flow that create small funnels. That’s where insects and smaller fish can get trapped, and that’s where the trout want to be. Luckily, trout grow even bigger in freshwater, so your odds are good.

Where To Find Them

A reliable source for trout is anywhere that streams and rivers run into lakes. These waters bring in new food for the local trout.

The Best Bait

There are all kinds of trout, so experiment with insects, crawfish, earthworms, crustaceans, and other small fish.

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