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Welcome Kpkandies, I dont know a whole lot of freshwater fishin,, But I'm not to proud to admit to using a bobber along the banks. :)

Only tip I can give ya is get out and fish and learn from what isnt working for ya.
I prefer live bait for freshwater (i.e. shiners, minnows, worms), for me they seem to catch most of what I'm trying for. If from a boat (big or small), I'll troll the banks with a type of diving plug (Bill Dance shallow swimmin image - green or blue)

Good luck and post up what ya catch! ;) Again, Welcome!!
 

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Hey kpkandies, Here's 3 ideas to start with:

my introduction to bass fishing came with light/ultralite tackle and 4" Charlie Brewer Slider worms. Usually rigged on slider heads (jig heads - 1/16-1/8 oz) in open water. Around trees, weeds, rocks and such use an offset worm hook with the point burried into the worm and weight with a small split shot 12-24" above the hook, or a sliding bullet weight. Black with fire tail was my favorite color but not sure that there's a bad color to be found. Hop or drag around the bottom. Throw it into an open spot with adjacent weeds or other ambush hiding places and just let it sit, with an occasional twitch. Yamamoto Senkos are a good chubby alternative that can be fished weightless because of their bulk. Rig it texas style or "wacky" style - right through the middle of the worm. They've got a sexy shimmer as they fall through the water column.

The 2nd beginner recommendation I would make is spinnerbaits. Easy to work - just cast, reel, repeat. Vary the retrieve speed from burning along the top to make a wake, all the way down to just crawling over the bottom fast enough to keep the blades spinning. I prefer white or white&chartreuse in the shad-infested waters I fish. Its generally a power technique: more casts = more fish.

The third recommendation would be some topwater baits. Long floating rapala minnows (3 hook series) are good - cast, let sit until the ripples fade, barely twitch (1" or less - I like to get it so the bait doesn't move forward so much as just shakes sidways). Best under overhangs of some sort, but lots of hooks to hang up on stuff (including fish). I've caught many bass smaller than the bait this way. I also love the zoom horny toads - rigged weightless texas style with a big worm hook - through the head then up through the belly, with the hook point just peeking out through the skin. Cast and retrieve so that it just breaks the surface with the legs churning the water. repeat, repeat repeat. Its pretty weedless so through it across weeds and pull it through the holes. Works well just twiching on top of a scum mat too.
 
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