There are literally thousands of ways you can look at fishing and name the method.

Those in the know will look at the equipment being used, the place you’re working, the prey you’re hoping for, the reason behind your fishing and so much more. With all of these nuances, it can be tricky for a beginner to get to grips with what they’re doing.

Let’s take a look at the most basic breakdown of fishing methods to help you wrap your head around it all:

1. Bait Fishing

This really the traditional idea that most people know of as fishing. You had a line, a hook, and some bait. This is cast into the water with the hopes that a fish will bite. This style is also referred to as bottom fishing or still fishing. The most common type of bait used is worms or maggots. People also use small fish or even pieces of bread, cheese, and vegetables.

Now, you can do this style of fishing with just a line or a simple stick as a rod, but most people prefer something a little fancier. The general choice is a fixed-spool reel on rod that is between 6-9 feet long. You can do this style of fishing in both fresh water and salt water. It’s even done in ice fishing, where you cut a hole in ice and drop your line.

2. Fly Fishing

When you picture someone standing waist deep in water and throwing their line back and fore, this is fly fishing. The rod and reel used in this style of fishing is usually a lot lighter so that the movements can be soft and fluid as to not startle the fish. No bait is used in this method, but rather a fly or lure made from feathers, hair, or synthetic fibers. The idea is to mimic fish food sources as the flies touch the surface of the water.

You will generally use a spinning reel for fly fishing because it has a much lighter line that is also longer than in a reel used for bait fishing. The flicking motion of the angler is also incredibly important because you need to keep the line moving constantly. You also don’t want the lure to land too heavily on the water or the fish won’t come close.

3. Trolling

This style of fishing requires a moving boat and a strong rod and reel to take on big game fish. You use either live bait or an artificial lure on your hook, cast your line out behind your boat and begin to move slowly through the water.

It’s also important to ensure that you get your bait or lure to the right depth in the water otherwise your prey won’t spot it or won’t be curious enough to take a bite. Many modern fishermen use sonar equipment to help them get their lures to the right depth, especially in commercial fishing. Then, they can sit back and play at while they wait for a large potential catch.