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HandliningHandlining, or hand line fishing, is one of the simplest methods of catching fish. Due to its simplicity, it is also one of the oldest methods of fishing. It was developed independently in almost all parts of the world, where fish were a viable source of nutrition.

Handlining is still common today in many ‘primitive’ societies, and can still be seen in the western world. Those who live in the more affluent parts of the world and choose to use the hand line fishing technique usually do so for one of two reasons. Firstly, they may choose handlining because they enjoy this fishing technique, and because its simplicity adds to the sporting side of the exercise for many people. The lack of sophisticated equipment and the reliance on simple tools adds to the challenge for many anglers who choose to go handlining. Secondly, handlining is an excellent option for those who do not have much money to invest in their fishing equipment. As a fishing line, some hooks and perhaps some weights are the only tools you require, handling is a relatively inexpensive fishing method.

One of the most common methods of handlining is what is known as ‘jigging’. This technique is also used when fishing with a rod or a pole, and in much the same manner. Firstly, you must make sure you have the right equipment, and check that it is set up properly. A hand line rig consists of a line, a weight, and a hook of some kind. You may also require some bait. These are the bare essentials of setting up a hand line rig, but you can add same additional features. For example, you can substitute a jig for a hook, which will improve the motion of the hook in the water and increase your chances of catching a fish. A heavy jig will also mean that you may not require an additional weight.

You may also use some form of apparatus to stop your line from becoming tangled as you throw your hook. This can be something as basic as a plastic bottle. You wrap the line around the bottle, and then when you throw your hook you allow it to unwind from around the bottle. This is a simple and very effective method of preventing tangles. However there is no need for apparatus as sophisticated as steel wire, hooks, etc. In Australia aboriginal women fish with handlines made of plant fibres, dried and twisted together tightly to make a strong rope. Their hooks are fashioned from shells, while pebbles and rocks are used as weights. Therefore no matter what situation you may find yourself in, and no matter what equipment you may have with you, once you learn the technique of handlining you will always stand a good chance of catching fish. Below are some simple steps to follow when handlining:

fishing11)      First, ensure that your hook is securely attached to the end of your line. This is crucial, as you will need your hook to hold fast when you are pulling your fish ashore. If you are using additional weights or a jig you will need to ensure that these are attached tightly also. If you are not using a jig some bait will be required, the nature of which will depend on the fish that you are trying to catch.

fishing12)      There are two methods of placing your hook into the water. This largely depends on whether you are fishing from a river bank or from a beach. If fishing from a river bank, you can gently lower your hook into the water, and allow it to sink to the bottom. If you are fishing from a beach, you should throw your hook as far out into the water as you can. If you are jigging, you should jerk the hook along the seabed or riverbed, tugging it upwards quickly so that it travels around the bottom of the seabed with a bouncing motion.

fishing13)      Once you feel a sudden tug, you will know that a fish has bitten your hook. Immediately jerk the line upwards, so as to set the hook, and then pull the line towards you to land the fish. It may be necessary to wear gloves or hand protection of some sort when handlining, especially if you are using metal wire.