Fishing 101
The when's, where's and how-to's

WDFW staff show you some basic fishing techniques
Fishing methods

Still-fishing
Still-fishing simply means baiting a fishing hook, putting it in the water and waiting for a fish to find it. This method can be used from a boat, a dock, or from shore. Depending on water depth and what you’re trying to catch, you may want to still-fish near the surface, at a mid-water depth, or right down on the bottom. Using a float, or bobber, makes it easy to fish near the surface; adding sinkers to your line to fish deeper.

Sunset castingCasting
Casting your bait with a fishing rod and reel can be used both to catch fish that chase their food or to fish in a particular spot where fish hang out, such as next to a submerged stump or under a tree that’s leaning out over the water. Casting is usually done with an artificial lure, to coax fish into striking. Lures such as spinners, wobbling spoons, plugs and spinnerbaits are commonly used for casting.

Trolling
Trolling is simply dragging a lure, bait, or a bait-and-lure combination through the water, using a boat rather than casting and retrieving to provide movement., Many of the lures used for casting also work for trolling.

Jigging
Jigging means moving your bait in an up-and-down motion underwater. Lifting and lowering the rod is what provides the jigging motion. Leadheads are the most common kind of jigging lure or “jig”, but for some fish species, especially saltwater salmon and bottomfish, the jig might be a long, thin, slab of lead or other metal in the shape of a herring or other baitfish.

Fly fishing
Casting small, very light-weight artificial flies that simulate insects and other fish food requires weighted fishing line from very flexible rods and hand-controlled reels. The casting is different from other kinds of fishing because the weighted line is usually extended through a series of both forward and backward casting motions.