This article comes from a personal experience, suffering from extreme anxiety and stress, I decided one day 6 years ago to take up fishing. I had learnt some basics as a child, but getting back into the sport meant I had to learn everything all over again.

However what I learnt, after slowly walking the edges of shoreline once or twice a week, was that mentally I was becoming stronger, more patience and persisting even on a slow day.

Many people want to get into a sport, but the costs can be too great, this is why I am writing this blog, I've been through it, I found the best way to get out there even on a low budget, and want to help you all to do the same.

First stop: Ask a friend who fishes for basic advice.

This is vital, you need to learn the basics of how to set up the rod and reel, along with how to do a basic cast, and to choose to buy the correct fishing rod.

Second Stop: Buying the correct type of fishing rod

If you live inland, then most light-weight spin fishing rods are fine for starters, these are the type you can buy from Kmart for about $25. You want one that is either 1.65 to 1.8m in length. If you live in coastal areas though, you will need a much bigger fishing rod.

Inland the fish you encounter are normally lighter weight overall than what you can potentially catch in the ocean / saltwater, so the rod you use is smaller. The smaller rod also helps in casting low weight fishing lures and bait further.

When salt water fishing however, you need a strong rod, and one with a bit of length too. Normally I use a 2 metre rod which is very thick and heavy, this provides strength in case you hook up something big.

Third Stop: Fishing Licence

If you bought your fishing rod from a fishing store they can usually help you out with a licence on the spot, the costs vary depending on where you come from, each government has their own fees. If you are elderly or disabled sometimes governments don't require you to obtain a licence, so it is worth asking if this applies to you.

Fourth Stop: Fishing Lures or Fishing Baits

Now you need to ask yourself what type of fishing you want to do, do you want to sit in a chair most of the day, waiting for a fish to take a bite? If so, then you want to be bait fishing. Bait fishing involves using either dead or live bait, attaching it to the hook, casting it out on either a float or sinker and waiting for a strike.

Bait fishing is always a bit slow, and some people don't like the idea of threading a live worm on the hook, you can use dead-baits in salt water fishing, such as raw prawn, raw squid and raw pilchard. But if you are fishing inland in freshwater, live bait is by far the most productive, and the best two baits are worms, crayfish and baby fish. Some baby fish are illegal to use as bait, so it's best to start off using trusty old worms.

If the whole bait thing isn't for you, it's OK, there is a way you don't need to get smelly and use fish as bait, go with the fishing lures method.

Fishing lures however can be daunting for the beginner, and this article can't go on forever, so I will spell out the basics. Either go to your local store, or visit an online fishing store with a live chat feature, and start asking questions. You need to find out what type of fish are in your area, and the types of lures to use, along with how to use them.

I can't stress enough, that a few minutes on YouTube looking up how to use weedless jig heads, and soft plastic lures, will save you so much trouble compared to using regular fishing lures. This method also lets you skip the store owner chat part, and go straight to the correct lures you want. Weedless lures are used with soft plastic lures, a silicone fake bait with a tail on the end, the reason they are called weedless is because the barb of the hook rests softly on top of the soft plastic, rather than sticking out where weeds can snag on.

You will often become very stressed if fishing without weedless hooks at first, as it is very common to get lures caught on underwater foliage and pieces of wood. It is never good to loose a lure, and if you are just starting out, avoid all the brand names, go for generic lures to save money otherwise you will definitely become angry after loosing a $5 lure every 20 minutes or so.

The weedless jig head soft plastic method however, will eliminate the ability for snags, and less stressful fishing will ensure.

Fifth Stop: Hit the water

Once you are ready to go, you want to hit your local waterways. Starting off it depends what type of fish you are after, but I will give you a general guide. If fishing off a pier and using bait, cast it out a fair distance, and let it sink using a running sinker, again YouTube is your friend here to understand this. If you are using lures, then forget all other lures and use soft plastics and a weighted jig head, you can use weedless if you like but often off a pier there is minimal underneath to become snagged on, but keep in mind if you are snagging off, switch to weedless.

The best method I find for using lures off a pier, is soft plastic lures, allow them to sink and hit the bottom, once they are there tighten up the line, and rest the rod horizontally, then flick it up about a foot or too, allow it to sink again for a second, then flick it up that far one or two times again, keep the motion smooth and you can get the attention of fish hiding under the pier. You also want to keep moving, as if you are moving down the pier you can keep going until you find a fish.

Sixth and final stop: Decide what you will do with the fish once it's caught.

Of course before all of this one needs to ask themselves, are you OK with sticking pliers down a fishes mouth to unhook them? If you aren't then bring a friend along who can, until you get over the fears and get the courage to hold the fish and handle them yourself. You can't go out fishing without being able to safely release the fish, as there are size limits and also closed seasons for some species.

So figure out if you need some backup at first, bring a friend along, until you are ready to be able to catch and release a fish on your own.

If you are planning to keep the fish, you need to bring a measuring tape, make sure the fish is of legal size. When you purchased your fishing licence, they should have also given you a booklet, this describes what the maximum and minimum lengths are in order to keep a fish for food, anything outside this range you must return to the water unharmed.

In conclusion:

Don't stress if you think fishing is for you but you are a bit wary of some things, most anglers love teaching people new things, even those who themselves are amateurs will often lend a hand with the limited amount they know.

So find yourself a partner for the first few times, try family, friends, neighbours, co-workers. On average 15% of the worlds population are active in recreational fishing, so someone to help out is never far away. If you have concerns tell them to your fishing buddy, don't be worried, you will always find advice and good company with someone who is a regular fisher. This is because fishing teaches you patience, persistence and builds up confidence, which you will see yourself even after the first outing.

Author's Bio: 

Author, Freelance writer