How To Fish In A River: Beginner’s Guide


Because of its strong currents and the speed of the water, fishing in a river comes behind pond, lake, sea, and ocean fishing, but it doesn’t mean you should give up if you have a river nearby and the chance to cast frequently.

This article will show you how to fish in a river, and you’ll also find some additional river fishing tips and tricks, so the next time you find yourself near the river, you know what to do and how to get the most out of your experience.

Gear – What You Need

The first step to a successful river fishing session is getting the best available gear. Conditions are different compared to oceans, lakes, or ponds, so you may need a bit different fishing equipment because your fishing rod and reel you use most of the time won’t work in these circumstances.

Fishing Pole

Remember, there will be a lot of tension, you won’t be fighting the fish itself but you’ll also have to think about the strength of the water. You’ll need at least 8-foot long, the best fishing pole, and you’ll have to pay attention to the fishing line material and color. It has to be sturdy and strong, endurable, or else it may snap easily and you’ll lose your catch. The best options are fiberglass or graphite.


In the river, you may find many different species, like bass, catfish, carp… To catch them, you’ll have to use the bait that will be attractive enough to gain their attention. If you know what kind of fish you’ll be fishing, you could use Google or ask around in a local store to find what bait works the best. If there are many different fish species in the river, then you should bring lots of different baits.

It may not sound nice, but using blood worms for your lure is a great way to get their attention. The reason why it doesn’t sound nice is the fact you’ll have to detach their head or they may bite. Also, check out some of the best freshwater lures

Fishing Glasses

It may not sound as important as the two gear parts mentioned above, but you won’t be able to fish if you can’t see anything. Finding the best fishing glasses will keep the water reflection away and you’ll be able to see under the water surface and have a better view of what is going on, so locating fish will be way easier.

Other Stuff

The rest of the fishing gear is completely up to you and your own preferences. You may go with your regular stuff, but it is a really good idea to invest in a quality pair of fishing boots. It may become slippery, so to avoid any accidents, get the best boots you can.

Finding The Right Location

The second important aspect of a successful river fishing trip is finding the best location.

Check The Rules

To avoid any problems with authorities and possible displeasures, make sure you’ve checked on the rules of a specific area you’ll be fishing. Catch limits, fishing rules, and other important regulations are different from place to place, and even if you’ll be getting back to an old and familiar one, there is a great chance that the rules have changed in a meantime. Some fishing spots allow you to keep your catch, while the others serve as a place for sport fishing and require fish to be released after the catch.

Also, there is a chance that that part of the river is on private property. In that case, ask the owner for permission to fish and learn if there are some special rules you have to follow.

Learn About The River

Knowing the river information – depth, width, the speed of the water, and the temperature – is really useful because it will help you find the fish you’re looking for a bit easier if you know their behavior. There are also a few things you’ll have to know that will help you with your fishing:

  • Look for curved edges. This means the faster water brings fish food to the edges, so the fish will follow.
  • Another area rich with fish food, and therefore fish itself, is the river mouth, or basically anywhere where two bodies of water meet. Some fish love to swim through fresh water streams and creeks.
  • Weeds and islands are great hiding places where predator fish species can wait for their prey.
  • If possible and if you have an option, look for the calmer, slower-paced river or that area in a fast-paced one, if it exists. The lack of fast currents means the bait scent will be easier to smell.
  • If the calm river is not an option, check for the river parts where the currents are not so strong.

When To Fish

One of the most useful river fishing tips is – check the calendar and weather forecast! If the forecast says it will be raining, this may be the best news you’ve heard. The temperature drop means the fish will be more active. If you learn what and when the fish you’re after love, it won’t be much of a problem to foresee their behavior. If you’re looking for the best part of the day, then set your alarm too early morning, because there won’t be direct sunlight.

How To Fish On A River


Now we’ll go through the most basic things you’ll have to know for successful river fishing.

  • Take the bait and hook it to the fishing pool. Get lures with a strong sense of smell. If you have the option, learn what the fish you’re trying to catch love, and use it as bait. Bounce your bait with, not against the currents.
  • Get a lead weight (sinker), tie it to a slider on the line to anchor the bait to the bank. This way you’ll prevent it from moving along the current.

Casting The Line

Grab your fishing pole firmly and throw the line into the water, as far as you can. While you do it, make sure you hold the pole firmly. Unlike during sea or ocean fishing, fast river currents could easily break your pole. When the bait and the line are in the water, hold on to the pole firmly.

If You Become Tired

Fishing is can be a waiting game, so you may become tired. To avoid fatigue, you could set up a resting place for your pole and place it there while you wait for the fish to bite.

Giggly Alarm

Once you cast the lure and it settles in the water, uses a giggling bell, attaches it to the top of the pole and you’ll have your own notification center that will let you know when the fish bites. Another option is a tin can, but you’ll have to balance it. When done, sit and wait. Keep your eye on the pole, but feel free to do whatever else you want, as long as it doesn’t distract you from reacting when the bell rings.

Fishing Time

The bell has ranged, the fish has been curious and it bit the hook. React quickly to snap the pole and pull it to hook the fish. This is also the most important step, and it may take some time to learn when and how to pull the line, and even more, time to master it.  Pull the pole tightly, upwards, and don’t rush it or it may hit you. What you want is your fish to land on the ground, and wait until it calms down. Now either pack it or take a photo and set it free.

Globo Surf Overview

River fishing is fun, but there are some things you’ll have to learn about it before you hit the water. It may sound complicated, but once you decide to try it out, you’ve entered a world of fast-paced, amazing, and dynamic fishing trips.

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My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!