Skip to main content

Get On Board: Species 101 for Beginning Anglers

Quick look at common, easy-to-catch fish species (video).

Claire D’Orso is still waiting for that "whoa" moment – that first tap or slight tug on the end of her line that indicates a fish has decided to inhale her bait.When it happens, she’ll be ready. She wants to catch her first fish so badly she can barely stand it.

"Any kind of fish is OK by me. I just want to catch any fish," she said.

Claire, 11, currently lives in Penfield, N.Y., not far from the southern shore of Lake Ontario and not far from the Finger Lakes region that provide endless fishing opportunities for anglers of all skill and experience levels. Her interest in fishing grew recently after witnessing people fishing at a local park.

“I watched them and decided I wanted to try it myself,” she said.

So far, she’s wet a line in Seneca Lake, Lake Ontario along with some smaller creeks and ponds. While she has come up empty on her first few outings, Claire is not giving up.

“I’d like to try all of those again, and maybe also some other areas nearby. It’s fun to explore new places,” she said. “It has been a little frustrating to not catch anything, but I will be patient. It helps that my brother hasn’t caught anything yet, either. I really want to be the first one to catch something.”

Claire and her family used to live on Long Island, but she was too young to experience striper fishing at Montauk or go offshore for tuna. Claire says it doesn’t matter what kind of fish she catches now – she just wants to experience that adrenaline rush and then hopefully do it again.

“When I catch my first fish, I think it will be very exciting,” she said. “But I plan to release it back into the water because I don’t really want to hurt it.”

If you’re a beginner angler like Claire and are anxious on get on board with fishing or if you’re getting back into the sport after years on the sideline, check out the above video for a look at common fish species to catch.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Recent Videos

Sometimes you have to fish a bait that allows you to cover a lot of water efficiently. When you're on the search for bass that have moved into deeper water off the bank and away from obvious holding spots, a swimbait can locate them.

On the Search with Swimbaits

One of the best imitations of a wounded baitfish is the soft-plastic jerkbait, or fluke. A fluke darting just beneath the surface can be too much for a bass to resist. Rig it and fish it according to water conditions and cover to make this great bait even more effective.

Fun with Flukes

There are three models in SPRO's Outsider crankbait series: 55 (runs 3-4 feet), 60 (7-9) and 80 (19-21). Professional bass angler Jonathan Kelley goes over the specifics at ICAST 2022 in Orlando.

SPRO's New Outsider Crankbait Series: First Look

Professional bass angler Jonathan Kelley highlights the features of SPRO's new lures at ICAST 2022 in Orlando.

New Essential Series Spinnerbaits and Buzzbaits from SPRO

Syd Ribes with Sea Falcon highlights four new lures for saltwater fishing. At ICAST 2022 in Orlando.

New Lineup of Lures from Sea Falcon

Syd Ribes highlights two new saltwater lures from SPRO: Flutter Tail Shrimp and Cannon Ball Jig. At ICAST 2022 in Orlando.

New Saltwater Lures from SPRO

AFTCO's Matt Florentino highlights the features of the new Barricade cold-weather suit, a Best of Category winner at ICAST 2022 in Orlando. With Game & Fish's Adam Heggenstaller.

New from AFTCO: Barricade Cold Weather Tactical Gear

Three-time ICAST Best of Category winner Bubba covers it all with new knives set. With Bubba's Matt Kinamore and Game & Fish's  Adam Heggenstaller at ICAST 2022 in Orlando.

4-in-1 Bubba Multi Flex Cutlery Kit

The innovative landing net will weigh and measure your catch while it's still in the net. Best of Category winner at ICAST 2022. With Game & Fish's Adam Heggenstaller.

Award-Winning Frabill Witness Net 'Keeps You Honest'

Game & Fish Magazine Covers Print and Tablet Versions

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


Buy Digital Single Issues

Magazine App Logo

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Game & Fish App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Game & Fish stories delivered right to your inbox every week.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Game & Fish subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Enjoying What You're Reading?

Get a Full Year
of Guns & Ammo
& Digital Access.

Offer only for new subscribers.

Subscribe Now