How I Became a Fisherman – My Story

Sergio Smirnoff

In my life, I have had many various hobbies. Fishing among them occupies the most important place for my personality. This is a part of my life, my impressions, creating a mood and lifestyle. I do not mind the money spent on fishing equipment, a lot of time spent studying and learning the biology of fish.

author and seabass per 1 kilogram

I often had to talk with local fishermen. If you only get a personal experience, then this is a long way to perfection. Without learning from many fishermen and reading books, the path to successful fishing is greatly lengthened.

Wolves ate moose

I want to share the secrets that I have gathered over my active years of fishing. There is little information on the Internet that truly teaches practice and is not general descriptive, but useful and accessible. I want to write “just about complicated” and don’t scold me when I give explanatory examples.

Therefore, the first piece of advice is to use the experience of local fishermen in a new place. Many knowledge is transmitted through generations. There are places on Earth where there are particular types of fishing: from the structure of the gear used, the bait used, complementary foods, and the fishing technique itself.

I can give you such a good example. I managed to visit protected places, such as Lake Baikal, Ayaya Bay, Burguzinsky Reserve, Lake Frolikha and its two tributaries: The Nerunda (Right Frolikha) and Davadchanda (Left Frolikha – where unique redfish are found – Davadchanda), alpine lake Ukinda and, of course, the river Tompuda, which from Buryat translates as “fish river”.

Sailing there, on makeshift catamarans, we found a place at the mouth of the river where huge taimen constantly lived. Our company tried to offer him various artificial and living baits: mouse, lure, spinners, small fish, dragonfly, fly…

Here is such a pike

We swam to a distance of 20 meters and right under his nose they threw the bait at different day and night hours. Sometimes the fish even tried to chase and sniff it. But there was no bite. On the way back we told this story to a local ranger.

He laughed and said that it is often easy to catch such a fish on an ordinary cigarette filter. This method has already been tested by him and luck was. We could not be upset, because we could catch perch and pike without any problems. With all the abundance of fish, we were able to catch only one pike of more than 10 kg. All the rest were up to 2 kg.

Another story was on the Okhta River in Karelia, the route passes through 7 lakes. Fishing is excellent there and the places are wild. There are practically no people. Sometimes a small fish 200 grams was hooked and another predator manages to grab it while it is pulled ashore. And immediately take out two fish. But there were days when the nibble was zero: in the morning, and at night, and in the afternoon. Local fishermen advised us every time before fishing to send one fisherman to the shore, if he begins to bite, then you can then participate and everyone… These are the habits of the fish.

I can list the points of the Planet where I fished for a long time. I had only 42 trips to inaccessible places. Fish are found in abundance and not shy, which can be observed with eyes during fishing. To see how she pecks, to study her behavior in a natural environment. One of my discoveries was this – you see how predatory fish and their prey swim nearby, but as soon as you drop the wounded fish, the hunt begins.

In such places, you can be an inexperienced fisherman, hunter and get fish for dinner. In the modern world, most often you need to seriously prepare for fishing. Without a specific skill, special equipment, technical equipment, an appropriate repair kit, and other means, it is difficult to enjoy and catch your fish. I have been doing this for more than 30 years and managed to notice that there is very little available material that can really help a novice fisherman. Any question from the choice of fishing line or cord, how to tie the main fishing knots, what to buy a fishing rod, clothes, bag and much more does not become simple.

diving lights

For example, a fishing rod. It seems that this is a simple rod or stick and a lot of reviews and informational articles have been written about it. But even I, having experience, cannot do this 100 percent correctly. You yourself need to clearly understand: what type of fishing you will have, what kind of pond and weather, time of year and day, your budget (not always a high price determines the quality and decides the choice of purchase), its life (maybe you only have one fishing rod)

kayaks on lake Frolikha

Your skill is a fisherman, whether there will be a road (car, train, plane, etc.) or fishing will be near your house. The indicator “fishing rod test” is very important – which is selected according to the weight of the bait used. Then the elastic properties of the fishing rod help far and accurately cast. Only this mistake can ruin everything. The quality and design of the fishing rod rings, the strength of their fastening, corrosion protection, what material the inner ring is made of and whether it creates friction for the fishing line. And much more…

Therefore, I wanted to the best of my strength and knowledge, and also using the experience of my friends and acquaintances, to try to tell in simple terms about all these tricks, so that it would be comfortable for you to fish, to please nature, the sky, clean air and captured trophies. Even small electronic scales create a certain drive. When you weigh your fish and understand its real weight and want to break your record. This is also not transferable. A comfortable hand towel …

Without a love of nature and ecology, there is no real fisherman. He must protect and preserve all this, not cause harm, take care of the environment, and not clog up water bodies …

Following. After successful fishing, you must be able to keep your catch (perfectly fresh) and to be able to clean it (do not damage the internal organs of the fish and its shape) so that it is tasty and healthy.

Further. To be able to come home and not cause inconvenience to their loved ones – fish smells and garbage brought by dirt and sand from the street, to store their ammunition and clothes, choose a method and place for installing fishing rods…

Ideally, this process should be organized in such a way that it does not wake neighbors at night, or an early rise does not disturb the wife’s sleep, etc. Such trifles also add up to such a hobby.

with cressi apache aluminum speargun

I am 57 years old. I have been living on the island of Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain for more than 10 years. My wife and I are in love with this land, we became residents of this country. Here we have a second home, where my son and wife live, and most importantly – a six-year-old grandson who already goes with me on his first fishing trips to the port of Los Abrigos. Together with him I often test and test new fishing rods and tackle. This is convenient to do during the day on the smooth surface of the ocean. There is no winter and frost. The climate is comfortable and the water does not cool to less than 16 degrees.


First Fishing Licenses

Sea bass can be fried

My best friend Alexander has a good boat, equipped for sea fishing, with support brackets for powerful fishing rods. When the weather is nice and the ocean is calm, we go out to sea up to 1 km from the coast and catch from octopuses, perches, fishless fish to red squids from a depth of 500 meters for the electric fishing rod.

fish palaneta canaria

But my main fishing for today, from which I get real pleasure, is fishing for “Lubina” (other names: Sea bass, Lavrak, Sea wolf) from the shore. Here I have all kinds of impressions. There is no strong dependence on the wave, you can catch on rocky and sandy beaches, convenient access by car, a huge variety of fishing spots, a large selection of lures, you can catch alone and in a large company, and most importantly, hard bites of sea bass, adrenaline and the hormone of happiness stand out. In addition to this, the ideal excellent taste of fish, various cooking methods: frying, fish soup, smoking, grill, jellied dishes, fish under the marinade, salting as you like …

Sea bass cleaning process

In my articles, I will tell and show how simple and easy it is to clean such fish. What tools should be used to remove the scales, do not stain the sink, remove gray deposits from the skin, remove the gills and entrails with a curly cut in one motion, how to cut durable fins and make fillets, etc.

Peeled sea bass

Seabass is odorless, easy to clean, often does not require oil for cooking, it can be fried in its own fat, which is considered healthy. From it, you can use not only meat as food, but also caviar, heart and liver, and fat. About sea bass, I will have many articles. Since this is my specialty and love. Rarely, large samples of more than 4 kg can be caught here. But even a fish weighing 1 kilogram gives a huge drive.

fishing lines and braids

To fish, you need to study its biology, habits and make a lot of own observations. I can give you another example from personal experience. Our boat stands in the port and is assigned to the parking lot in Amarilla Golf. Two artificial lakes with seawater formed there. One of them has a size of approximately 200 by 50 meters. The depth of the lake reaches at low tide up to 3 meters, and at high tide more than 5 meters.

Water enters this lake through an iron pipe about a meter in diameter. During this high tide, fish-Liza ( or mullet weighing up to 1.5 kg also gets into the lake through this pipe. If you come in the afternoon and throw pieces of soft white bread into the water, then most often (not constantly) these fish begin to eat it eagerly and the surface already “boils”. And it seems worth coming in the evening and it is easy to catch. And at night she doesn’t eat, bread swims and there is a feeling that she is not in the pond.

Kefal - lisa fish

But in the daytime at sunset, you can easily throw a piece of white breadcake with a crust, make a loop with 4 tees with hooks around the perimeter, and then it’s easy to catch it. There is no need to do anything. They eagerly attack the bait, bite it and swallow the hooks. Your task is to hook when you feel a hard blow. The fish are strong and will begin to fight for their freedom and life. Fascinatingly. Tenerife is a paradise for fishermen. You buy a license for one fishing rod for 3 years at a price of about 25 euros.

Prohibitions and restrictions are only such:

  • Do not fish while working on well-maintained beaches and where people swim (until about 20-00 hours)
  • Cannot be caught in seaports and marinas
  • Do not catch on wild rocks because of the danger of falling and washing off by the wave

Our fishing mainly takes place after sunset. There are few tourists bathing on the shore, and the main bite by the sea bass in the dark, preferably during high tide 2 hours before the peak and 1 hour after low tide.

Gaia - fish aluminum pan

I will describe the most important points and fishing secrets and will give in my opinion the averaged indicators necessary and necessary. And each fisherman individually needs to decide what he likes and whatnot, depending on his skills and desires, and ideas.

Main fishing tackle:

  • A fishing rod needs a spinning rod consisting of two parts of the knees, at least 3.0 meters long, the material is carbon, test 20/40.
  • Reel Original FX-1000 / C3000 / C3000XG / 4000 / 4000XG / C5000XG – Fishing Spinning Reel for Sea Water.
  • Bombard 30 grams and clickbait from 5 cm long
  • Bag for caught fish

Here is the minimum to start catching the “sea wolf“. Now you need desire and a little patience. Often there is no point in making long shots. Especially in the summer, the fish is found and feeds directly under the shore behind the crest of the wave. During the day, you can see through the thickness of the wave during its overturn, see the sea bass as in a lens under magnification.

headlamp and dive knife

I think my articles will help both an experienced angler and a beginner. Why even experience. It seems that he came to the store or ordered on the Internet and you have everything. There are subtleties too. For example, this is easy to do for reels, but not suitable for fishing rods. You need to hold it in your hands, feel it, and this product is such a size that it is better to buy it in a store, rather than ordering it online.

At the first stage, I would recommend coils from well-known manufacturers such as Shimano, Daiva, Penn, Okuma, and others, but the most budget and not expensive ones. They work great. But if you are willing to pay more than $ 100 per coil, but recommend buying top models, everything is well presented in my reviews, their advantages and disadvantages are described. Lots of comparisons.

Bag of the fisherman. I could not fully imagine some things. For example, a plastic bag of a fisherman. We have the right bag for sale on the island. I presented her photo in one of my articles. It has two external places for installing fishing rods, an external pocket for a bag and rags for hands, special convenient handles with locks, a belt for carrying, and is made of excellent material that does not age and is easily washed with water. I could not find such a product on the Amazon website, so I submitted similar products to your court.

Silicone bait. On Amazon, much decent bait for fishing is sold, but not all forms and designs are presented. In Tenerife, many anglers use special small-sized baits: 5-8 cm. And in Portugal and on the Spanish coast they often use shiny wobblers and spinners from 15 cm long. There is less love here than in other places.

Rankodor and Cataluf

Place of fishing. Near my home about 900 meters where I live, there is a small rocky shallow bay. Because of the difficult bottom topography, few of the fishermen catch fish there and I call it “mine”. I have been studying it for many years and this knowledge allows me to be successful. Particularly large specimens are found in this bay and various species of fish are found.

About the nodes. Many sites have been created about how to knit fishing knots; there are a lot of videos and descriptions on YouTube. But it is difficult for a novice fisherman to immediately understand and understand in this tangle of information how to him and where to start. He will have a lot of all sorts of nuances and various situations in his way, in which you need to quickly make up the right node without hesitation. I will try to choose 2-3 knots for each such case – a hook, turntable, fastening afloat, tying two ropes, or attaching a sinker. In order to show and teach how to do it in one article.

I tried to write such a large article about myself to give a direction, background, principle, and basis on which various articles on the topic will be presented on this site: information about the history of fishing rods and reels, an expert on goods, review and analytical, as well as articles on based on practical knowledge and real stories.

As a bonus, I will take the liberty of writing a non-standard recipe for preparing a fish delicacy – dried fish fillet. There is little were to eat such a delicious dish. The taste will be delicious and always delight those who eat it.

fish catalufa canaria

Complexity is only one – must have at least 3 to 5 kg fillet noble fish (marlin, swordfish, tuna, barracuda, grouper, сorwina, black,  abide fish, madrigal, turbot, sea bass, mero, etc.) up to 5 cm. It is necessary to cut such a fillet into pieces with a sectional thickness of 5 by 5 cm.

It is also necessary to prepare seasonings for pickling and marinade: coarse salt 2 tablespoons per 1 kg of a fillet, a dry mixture of dill, parsley, fennel, Zira, sesame nuts white, black and brown, saffron, black and white pepper, Curcuma and 10 more – 15 different seasonings. The main ingredients I have listed.

Two selves

Then all this needs to be crushed. Get about 2 cups of the finished mixture per 1 kg of meat. All must be mixed and refrigerated for one day. Then you need to hang pieces of fish marinated in the fresh air in the wind in the sun and let it dry for 12 hours. The first time you must cover the fish with a fine net from flies. If all this is done in the winter on the island, then there are no problems at all. Then again, put everything in this marinade in the refrigerator for one day. And so about 5 times.

The meat should be soft and elastic, have only a thin crust on the surface, and juicy and tender inside. Thinly sliced meat can be served on the table. Smell and taste will amaze your guests. Bon appetit. I wish you all good fishing.


I currently live in Tenerife. Depending on the time of year, I fish with jigs, wobblers, live fish, and silicone baits. In the spring comes to the tuna and these are the kind of fish of 70 kilograms or more that can be caught near the island of La Gomera.

Sergio Smirnoff
Sergio Smirnoff
Professional fisherman with 40+ years of experience.
Fishing and the ocean is a passion of my life. I am passionate about all kinds of sea fishing: fishing from the shore (spinning, float, baitcasting), from a boat, and spearfishing day and night.

I live in Tenerife (Canary Islands) for the last 10+ years and share my daily fishing experiences on my website. Many years of personal experience as a fisherman and the vast experience of my friends allow me to write professionally on any fishing topics (from choosing a flashlight and equipment to deep-sea fishing).

All of my advice is based on practical real-world experience and will be useful to both novice anglers and professionals. Read more about the author.

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About the author: Each article is verified by the fishing expert Sergio Smirnoff. The articles are written by professional and amateur fishermen with 20+ years of fishing experience.

Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any agency. The articles are for informational purposes only, share your opinions in the comments and join the fishing discussions, let's share our fishing experiences together!