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I hate to admit, but I have probably fished less than 5 times in my life. I now have a soon-to-be 6 year old son who wants to get into it, which I do too.

Problem is, where do I start??? I'm overwhelmed with information and options - types of rods, reels, bait, etc.

I live in Wake Forest and am therefore close to Falls Lake and the Neuse River. I don't own a boat, so I don't even know where I would go to get started.

I also am a complete novice as to types of fish and the best way to catch each of them (where do they swim in the water, what type of bait is best, etc...)

I know this is a wide open question, but I would love to get some basic advice to get us started.

Thanks.
 

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Hi icupa. Welcome to the site! I'm sure some of the freshwater fishermen online here will be happy to give some insight on where to start. I wouldn't start on the Neuse, but would rather look for a small farm pond to get started. A quick trip to K-Mart or Walmart for a small Zebco rod and reel outfit, some bobbers or floats, small hooks and line will be fine to get your son and you started. If you have a bait and tackle shop or country store out your way that has live bait, stop by and talk to the folks there. Tell them you have a 6-year old that wants to fish and ask if they know of any farm ponds that allow you fish them. There used to be several ponds around Wake County that left a money box on a fence with the "honor system". You'd drop in a couple of dollars and fish as long as you like. Worms or night crawlers are a good place to start with a young child. Crickets are great for bluegill and bass. Again the local bait and tackle guy can be a great resource for what to use and how. Don't be afraid to ask. I've never met an angler that didn't have a soft spot for teaching a kid how to fish. And some of my best memories of fishing over the years are related to a great farm pond, especially one that was not fished much and I was invited to by a family friend or acquaintance at church, etc. When you're fishing the pond or lake always look for "structure" (dock, pond drain pipe, fallen trees in the water, low hanging limbs over the water, etc.) as fish like to have structure to hide around. The depth of the water also makes a difference at different times of the year. And time of day is an important factor. I've had the best luck in early morning or late afternoon with bass, crappie or bluegill (bream).

After getting up to speed on fishing the farm pond or an easily accessible spot on a lake with worms/crickets, you can work up to some artificial lures, maybe fly fishing or saltwater fishing, etc. Your son will need to age a bit before that will be easily done and don't forget that you'll need to get a fishing license for yourself if you fish a public lake, river, etc. You can also find great information on fishing in North Carolina at the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission website at http://www.ncwildlife.org.

Okay folks....somebody else jump in here! ;)
 

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iucpa you live in a great spot for a beginner. lake jordan has plenty of access areas and places close to roads where bank bound anglers can dunk some bait. the big thing is keep it simple, like ncangler said, crickets and redworms on a small zebco outfit will keep your six year old in bream (and everything else) for hours. I do know that there are several state and city parks in that area have easy access, the best place to find them are on the ncwrc website, it will give you access areas. to find some of the state and city parks go to the nc division of natural resources website. i noticed when i fish near the raleigh area you can drive easily to all three of the major lakes in a short period of time, tap some of the bait shops for info, they want you to keep coming back. if you or the kid is squeamish about impaling worms or crickets, try some of the berkley power baits or power nuggets for panfish, you can find them in the fishing section of wal mart. they are a simple mess-free bait. another thing i've learned is that when the fish quit biting, its time to look for frogs or skip rocks. with short attention spans, its not hard to quickly lose intrest in a bobber thats not moving. ( i learned that floating for muskies in a john boat is NOT the place for a bored 7 year old.):eek:
 

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Like ncangler said use small hooks. A #6 or #8 should catch most panfish easy. I fish at piers alot when I dont feel like dealing with the boat. The biggest mistake I see new anglers and kids do is use huge hooks that only select fish could bite. The old timers on the pier have a saying " You can catch a big fish on a small hook but no small fish on a big hook." Its better for kids to be catching something than nothing they get board easy. Good luck, break a lip!
 

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I want to say that you are doingone of the finest and best things for him. I was started in diapers. More Dads should be like you! The advice above is great. Don't be afraid to knock on the door of a farmhouse and tell them who you are and that you are interested in catch and release. Many folks will say "go ahead just close the gate when you leave." Take some cold drinks, snacks, and insect repellant. A small backpack will suffice for your stuff. Keep the worms in the cooler or they will melt. Eastern NC ponds hold alot of hungry bream this time of year. Learn to tie and over time, teach him to tie a fishing knot. The half clinch has worked well for me for 41 years. I am very excited for both of you! Have fun!

Andy
 

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I dont' think I can say anythign more than what these guys have already said. First off, thanks for getting your son into fishing. Its the best thing my father ever did for me. "Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he'll eat for a life time"

some tips for ya.. #6 or #8 hooks will do it. To tie the clench knot. Run the line through the eye of the hook. bring it back up and wrap around the main line about 7 or 8 times. Now, take the tag line ( the one you used to wrap around the main line) and stick it back through the lil loop in the line just above the eye of the hook. Then hold the tag line, wet the wraps with some water and pull the main line tight.
Put a small split shot ( weight) about 10 inches above the hook. Then put a bobber about 10 inches above that. In just about every body of water 2 feet or deeper, this will work great. If its shallower than 2 feet reduce your distance to the split shot and bobber by a few inches.
Depth plays an important factor, there is no doubt about that. However early morning before the heat of the day or after 4 pm, the depth given works great. BTW, I started my kids off on Cane poles so they were able to focus on fishing and not getting caught up in trees and eachother.
When useing a worm, its easy to lose a lot of them. Take the head of the worm and hold it between the index and thumb. Take the hook and feed the point of it through the head and thread the worm up the shank of the hook. ( long part) so the hook is concealed inside the worm. This mostly keeps the little ones from getting it off the hook as easily. If there is extra worm. let it hang down. a lil.. if there is a lot.. then pinch it off.
Hit up a farm pond or the Lake like this and you should do fine. Keep in mind when it comes to fishing the best way to learn is to watch those around you. Set up next to an old timer and watch everything he does ( short of making him paraniod of you). He knows what he is doing guaranteed. Keep your trips short... one to two hours and the kids are done. go catch grass hoppers or skip rock ( as long as you aren't bothering others) take water and bug juice too.

Best of luck to you and your son... I hope this helps out. Tight lines.

Rye
 

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drop one to the bottom and let a great big catfish take off with it!! he'll hit it hard, pull like a truck, likely weigh 4 or 5 pounds and your son will feel like SUPERMAN after landing him!

he'll have you in walmart in no time buying hi dollar equioment.
i guarantee 1 big cat will have him(your son) hooked 4 life
 

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You just got some first class adice from these guys. Now is the time to put your plan in action as this is about the best time of year for that type of fishing. You might try the flea markets for a good used zebco 33 . They are just the ticket for beginning anglers and old panfish pro's too. New ones are chinese junk. Look for someone selling nothing but used tackle ask him if he works on them . IF he say's yes , he is the guy you want to buy from. Talk to him and he can fix you up with a couple of good ones with new line. Rod reel and line should be around $15-$20 each . Old model 33's last a lifetime. ;) Good luck!
 

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The lakes around where you live are great but the best kept secret of Wake County is Lake Benson just south of Garner on Buffalo Rd. There is a boat house there. You can rent row boats for $3 hr. or $15 all day. Or you can rent one with a trolling motor. (No gas engines allowed.) Or you can bring your own trolling motor and battery adn just rent the boat. Take you son into the boathouse and let him see the pictures of bass cought there. They also have a little tourney going for all age groups. He could get a trophy. I have cought bass in that lake on just about anything in a tackle box. The burgundy rubber worms work good. Find a downed tree or limb sticking out of the bank. Rig a weedless hook. Let the worm crawl over the log and fall into the water on the other side. I have also had good luck even after getting hung in a tree. With the line looped over a tree limb, I let the worm down onto the top of the water and pulled it up and down just skimming the top of the water. The trick is getting the line unhung after the bass grabs it. Try Lake Benson. It's a great place. No alcohol.
 
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