Cheap Hobby: Fishing

What is it about being surrounded by nature that can be so incredibly relaxing? Is it the fresh scent of pine trees? Is it the sound of the birds as they wake up from their slumber? Or is it the sound of that familiar tune of the banjo coming from around those trees that reminds you to run like hell because you’ve seen the movie Deliverance and you know what happens next?

Nature. It sure is peaceful.

And if you’re anything like me, you also connect being in nature with the hobby of fishing. It’s a sport that’s been around as long as anyone can remember and it also happens to be one of the best frugal activities a small amount of money can buy.


If you’ve never tried it before or if you’re struggling to find some new hobbies that offer a low price to entry, fishing could be just what the doctor ordered (or in this case, a random guy on the internet who happens to like it and feels like it’s a great suggestion for anybody to try). But don’t just take my word for it. Sit back, crack open a fresh drinkable beverage, and read on:

What You’ll Need:

At its core, fishing is a bare bones sport. With a stick, some line, and something to bait the end of your line with, you could be considered a fisherman. However, there are a few modern upgrades that could make your trip out to the water a little more successful. Here are just a few basics that I’d suggest:

  • Fishing rod and reel combo pack: if you head down to Walmart, Target, or your local store, you’ll very easily locate a few starter packs for around $20 that will get the job done. My suggestion would be to pick up a spinning rod as they’re the most forgiving and they’re incredibly versatile.
  • Hooks: pick up a basic set of hooks that will fit whatever type of bait you intend to put on it
  • Bait: head over to the grocery aisles and pick up anything that looks tasty that can be put on a hook for fish to gobble up. Great picks include but are not limited to: hotdogs (cut up into little bits), corn, SPAM, bread, cheap cuts of meat that can be cut into small pieces.
  • Fishing License: ever been pulled over by the Police? It doesn’t feel great. Avoid that same feeling by purchasing a fishing license from your state so you don’t have to worry when the Game and Parks officer comes to check on you. That way, instead of trying to sprint away and pretend you’re just a sasquatch, you can simply flash your license like an FBI agent and continue on your fishing business. Mischief managed, yo!

Techniques for Success:

Once you’ve got all of your equipment, you’ll be able to head out to the nearest (legal) body of water that you can fish in. And while you can be successful with very little prior knowledge, if you use a few different techniques that I’ll list here, you can tilt the odds even more in your favor:

  • Technique 1: cast your line out into the water and very slowly and evenly reel it in until it’s back and ready to cast once more.
  • Technique 2: cast your line out into the water and as you’re reeling it back in, tilt your hand at your wrist back to almost “pop” your rod up. Then, reel the line back in for a second and repeat the popping motion. Rinse and repeat until it’s back in your hands. This will imitate an injured fish and it can cause certain aquatic critters to take a quick bite at your hook.
  • Technique 3: cast your line out and let your bait sink to the bottom with your hook. Leave it there until you start to see a tug on your line and then yank back to set the hook. This technique works great for catching catfish that like to eat items that have drifted to the bottom.
  • Technique 4: cast your line out and this time, reel it back in as fast as you can. By doing this, you can spur certain predators to take a quick bite as their gut reaction takes over to attack quickly moving prey.

And that’s really all you’ll need to know to get you started. While there are hundreds of different modifications you can make, this is only meant to be the bare bones to get you out on your first trip. Test it out and see how you do. Then, once you’ve got your legs under you, try new techniques, new types of bait or lures, and new fishing spots. You never know what you’ll end up liking more than the previous items, places, or techniques until you try!

Until next time,


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