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Fishing for Women: A Beginner's Guide to Fishing

Susan is a registered nurse (RN). She has more than 16 years of experience working in the healthcare profession in a variety of roles.

Author with a Black Crappie Fish

Author with a Black Crappie Fish

Fishing for the First Time

Many women are discovering the beauty of the outdoors. With this discovery, women desire to learn new activities to get them into nature. Fishing is one of those activities that can get you right into the heart of Mother Nature. Not only that but it can also provide great relaxation and therapy in our hustled lifestyle.

Fishing is a very easy sport to learn. So I have included some basic tips along with some great resources to get you moving in the right direction. So you too can enjoy this fantastic sport.

Basics of Fishing

The experience of catching your first fish can last a lifetime. A beginner though needs some basic information to get started. They need to know what to use, where to fish, and some of the basic requirements. This article will help lead you to a good start in fishing. So take time, read the article, look at some of the resources and enjoy your fishing experience.

A Basic Fishing Kit


Starting Out

Fishing is an inexpensive sport. Beginner kits are available at any store that sells fishing supplies. My first pole was from a kit that I bought at Kmart, and I carried that pole for many years. The kit will include a pole and some basic fishing supplies.

If you decide not to get a starter kit, there are a few basic supplies that you will need.

Woman's Fishing Pole

A Fishing Pole

Choosing a fishing pole can be a daunting task. The best advice is keeping it simple.

Many poles have so many bells and whistles that they can become difficult to use. Getting a rod and reel combo rig takes a lot of the guess work out purchasing your first fishing pole. The combo fishing pole is all set up for you.

I recommend a medium action rod/pole – this rod will last you quite a while and can be used to hook big or little fish.

The action is the thickness and bendability of a rod. Heavy action is reserved for larger fish and light action for smaller fish. There are many fishing poles to choose from, so I have included a video describing the various types of rods, along with some basics of fishing. As I stated though, keep it simple when choosing your first fishing pole.


There are both live and imitation types of bait. Some women are afraid to bait a hook - something about that lively, wiggly thing be impaled by a hook makes a woman cringe (some men too). Fishing does not have to be scary; though if that is what’s stopping you from fishing, then, by all means, use a lure! There are plenty of men, yes men who do not bait their hook but will swear but their favorite lure brand. Daredevle Spinnie, Rapala, Booyah, so many names to pick from it can be overwhelming. I have caught plenty of Bass on the well-loved purple plastic worm or a lure. I have also caught them on live wiggly worms! There will be more on this later in the article with things to include in your tackle box.

Woman's Tackle Bag

Your Basic Kit or Tackle Box

Your basic kit or tackle box should include the following items:

  1. Extra lines – There will be a time when you snag your line – don’t let that ruin your trip carry extra. Purchase the largest line that your fishing pole can handle. There are many different types of line - braided, monofilament, and fluorocarbon – monofilament is easy to work with and has stood the test of time. So carry an extra roll of monofilament line.
  2. Line cutter – a small knife or fingernail clippers work perfectly for cutting line.
  3. Extra Hooks – Hooks are essential with live or plastic imitation bait. Carry a variety of hooks so you can put one on for the size of fish you are catching. Generally speaking the larger the number, the smaller the hook. A 12 is much smaller than a 5 unless it is followed by a /0 than a 3/0 is bigger than a 2/0. For easier purchasing just buy a variety package.
  4. Bobbers or floaters - Lets you know when the fish bite. When a fish bites the hook the bobber goes up and down; give it a tug, and you will possibly have a fish.
  5. Sinkers – a hook and worm alone are to light to sink very deep. A sinker adds weight to the line and allows it to go to the bottom.
  6. Plastic worms- Plastic worms come in a variety of colors. Many people swear by the purple worm to catch bass – so have a variety of colors and see which one works for you. These are also great if you feel live worms are disgusting.
  7. A couple of lures – there are hundreds of lures to choose from – spinners, spoons, top water lures and lures that mimic various fish like a minnow. The minnow lures look like a minnow which is something that larger fish often like to eat. So step up your game and try a lure.
  8. Needle nose pliers – Are used to take the hooks out of fish when you catch them – hopefully, they will not be needed to take the hook out of you.
  9. Small first aid kit – As with any sport, there are sometimes injuries. In fishing it might be getting a hook caught in your thumb, tripping over a rock and scraping your knee – these I have learned from experience – ouch! Don’t forget to include sunscreen as you can be outside for many hours.

Plastic Worms


What girl does not like a little bling? Everything a guy can get a girl can get in pink. I have a pink fly fishing rod and a pink casting rod. Along with numerous types of pink lures, jigs, and worms that have all caught fish. Don’t limit yourself to pink; there are plenty of beautiful lures in other colors.

Pretty in Pink - Bling

Pretty in Pink - Bling

Fishing License

Every state has requirements for fishing. In Michigan, I am required to buy a yearly fishing license that costs about twenty-six dollars. There are senior prices, non-resident prices, and combo fish/hunting prices. Anyone over the age of 17 is required to have a license. Also, there are rules and regulations for type, size and number of fish caught. So be familiar with your state's requirements. This information can be found on your state's Department of Natural Resource (DNR) website.

Where to Fish

Lakes and Ponds often are great for fishing. You can fish from shore or stand on a dock. I started out be sitting on the edge of a river near my house. Look for areas that provide natural cover for fish like rocks, fallen trees, near boat docks, with an escape route for fish.

Fishing Is Great Therapy - My Story

When I first went through my divorce, I spent time talking with a therapist. She asked me one day “What is something you liked to do in the past?” To be honest, I felt lost. I had been giving so much time for everyone else I had no idea what to do with myself. After much contemplation, my mind wandered back to myself as a young girl. I would spend hours with my sisters fishing out of our small canoe. It was a peaceful time in my memories.

So, following my therapist's instructions; I picked up a small fishing pole with a basic kit. I kept this in the trunk of my car. Every so often I would stop at a river or a small lake near my house. I was finding myself looking for time to do this activity and excited. The activity had not cost much. The time outside reflecting, and excitement when I caught a fish began to heal this woman’s soul. It was a period that was invaluable.

Now after a hard day at work or a period of worry I wander to a riverbank or lake somewhere and find my happy place.

The Author Relaxing - Finding Her Happy Place

The Author Relaxing - Finding Her Happy Place

Questions & Answers

Question: What is your favorite fishing lures and type of water to fish?

Answer: This question depends on the time of year. My favorite is top water fishing...this is especially exciting when you see the fish dive out of the water to take a popper or a gurgler. As for my favorite place to fish, that answer can vary too. I flyfish and gear fish, so my preference is flyfishing in a river that is near my house, but I am also surrounded by many great fishing lakes. Anywhere that has excellent fishing - I have not fished saltwater a lot but merely because of my location.

It is really important to research your area for what fishing are biting on, and most tackle shops are eager to share that information.

© 2017 Susan Sears


Susan Sears (author) on January 26, 2020:


Yes, women can fish! If you look close to the area you live, you will mostly likely find all women organizations and meet other women who love to fish. I fish with a lot of lady friends and we have a blast - I also fish with my husband.

Kelly Ann Christensen from Overland Park, Johnson County, Kansas on January 25, 2020:

Thanks for the news that women can fish. lol It is really annoying to me that fishing licenses are required, and sometimes even weight of catch fees. We grew up digging fishing worms, and fishing in the ponds in the area. A few years ago I was teaching my grandchildren to fish, and have many other things I intend to teach them, as well as my child. While the guys generally cleaned the fish, I know how to catch and clean fish. So, there's more proof that women can fish. Thanks for the enjoyable article.

Susan Sears (author) on January 31, 2019:

Yes, since I became an empty nester my time on the water has greatly increased. I love ocean fishing and whenever the opportunity is presented I jump at the idea of fishing there - most of my fishing is fresh water.

DW Davis from Eastern NC on January 30, 2019:

My wife and I have fished together for a few years now. She took up the sport when we became empty nesters and she decided to accompany me to the pier when I went fishing. Living near the ocean, most of our fishing is pier fishing.

Susan Sears (author) on August 13, 2017:

Thank you, Billy ... definitely got a chuckle out of your statement.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on August 13, 2017:

Look at you! I think I'm falling in and kayaking?

Just kidding about the word, though, about the nursing...thank you for being a nurse. God bless all nurses!

Susan Sears (author) on July 27, 2017:

Thank you Arielle...I do enjoy finding other women who are passionate about fishing...There are many out there and the sport continues to grow in popularity among women. Which is nice to see!

Arielle on July 26, 2017:

Hi Susan! I am also a nurse from Michigan who is just getting into fishing. Loved the article! Nice to know there is other women out there who get enjoyment from fishing like me!

Susan Sears (author) on June 02, 2017:

Thank you, Robert. It's has been great therapy for me and still proves to be today. There is nothing better than relaxing at the water's edge, while fishing.

Robert Sacchi on June 02, 2017:

A good article with some good information for everyone. Yes, fishing is great therapy.

Susan Sears (author) on May 25, 2017:

It is fun to catch your first fish, must have been hilarious with your daughter....I actually do mostly catch and's even fun watching them swim away. Thanks for your comments.

SUNSHYNE from California, US on May 25, 2017:

I love fishing! My daughter is 15 and finally interested in fishing. She caught a really small crappie the other night and was running around the campsite with it like a chicken with her head cut off wanting to save it's life. It was a site. We did release it and it swam away, hopefully it survived. It was way too small to eat. Thanks so much for this hub, it contains some great information.

P.s. California fishing license is way more expensive than Michigan.

K Wm Sears from Rockford, MI on May 25, 2017:

I have a pink and purple Rattle Trap that has caught a lot of bass. Pink works.