PUBLISHED : Sunday, 18 July, 1993, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 18 July, 1993, 12:00am

MOST newcomers to fishing seem to believe that fishing is easy. It looks easy when you know precisely what to do, but the art of catching fish has to be learned.

It has been commonly found that many beginners quickly become disillusioned and lose interest, eventually deciding that fishing is not really for them after all.

This is unfortunate, for fishing can become an absorbing and worthwhile recreation for those prepared to learn its finer points. Then it can be great fun.

Once at the waterside, keep quiet, keep still, stay low so that the fish won't see you against the sky, step lightly and keep your tackle tidily stowed, so you don't make a disturbance when looking for hooks and other items.

Before any fishing method, such as float fishing, can be used you must know how to cast the bait into the water. This can be practised when you first get to the waterside, but rather do it in a park or field in advance of your first expedition.

Once hooked, it is important that the fish is moved as quickly as possible from the spot where it was hooked so as not to let it disturb the rest of the shoal, and the line between rod and fish must be kept taut.

It's always best to begin fishing with the help of someone who know how to catch fish.

If you are not fortunate to have such a friend, some books such as Hamlyn's Encyclopedia of Fishing and The Complete Book of Match Fishing set out to bridge that gap in a way which will convince you that fishing can become easy once you have absorbed the basics.

They can be brought from many book shops such as the SCMP Family Bookshop, Times and Swindon.

Want to try fishing now? Go and buy the necessary fishing accessories and bait. Try it by yourself or with a group of your friends along still waters or streams.