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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everybody,
I've lurked here off and on over the past few years, and have had thoughts about joining the ranks of the kayak fisher-people. Finally, I stumbled on a deal and just bought a mini-fleet of used yaks for my daughters and myself, and am now thinking about those days when I'm the only one available for a paddle. I think I might want to wet a line, but the catch is that I don't know what I'm doing. I haven't really fished since I was 12-13, and that was 30-ish years ago.

I will be launching primarily at Oak Hollow, possibly sometimes at HPCL. Oak Hollow is almost exactly a mile away from the house, so it's easy to get to. My reading on the forum tells me that maybe it's not the most fertile fishing ground, but it's what's close.

My request for advice is this: if I'm going to be just fishing for fun & relaxation, strictly catch and release in these two lakes, what do I need in terms of gear?
I'm thinking a spinning reel, with a medium or medium light rod?
What kind of line?
What kind of baits as sort of a starter, all purpose, low skill kind of thing? (It would be fun to try to find LMB. Maybe crappie? Heck, even the carp?)

I'm thinking about driving down to the Bass Pro Shop in Cary to pick up my "starter kit." The budget for the rod/reel is $60-$100. Obviously, I don't want to spend more than necessary, but I want something more than just garbage. Do you have any recommendations you can share?

I appreciate any advice you can provide.
Thanks,
Dave in High Point
 

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I would look at a med. spinning combo in the $30-$40 range until you get more comfortable and decide if you like it. Dick's sells the Daiwa Samurai combo which comes in multiple sizes and tends to be on sale for about $20. Its not he best quality wise but the 6'6¨ medium set up is pretty versatile. I'd put 8 lb. mono on it to start.

Another option (or for your 2nd rod) get a med. extra fast action spinning set-up with 6-10 lb. flouro. You can do shakeyheads, drop shotting, light texas rigs all on that, and those are easy producers for a beginning bass angler.

In terms of tackle, keep it simple. Get some basic soft plastic worms, weights and hooks and just play around. BPS has great deals on worming kits which will come with everything.

Finally dedicate a few minutes/hour per night to watch videos on Gene Jensen's youtube channel (called ¨Flukemaster¨) He has awesome how-tos, and lots of stuff geared to beginners. Also check out bassresource.com and wired2fish. Lots of easy to understand stuff for newbies.

And the most important thing you can do after you've got some basic equipment and a rudimentary selection of lures, is get out there and fish as much as possible and find what lures give you confidence and focus on finding fish. If you can master those two things you'll be a much better angler.
 

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Medium or medium light spinning gear, Beetle spin lures are good all around lures and cheap to learn with.
I like to go 10-12lb line for beginners just because hang ups are more likely to come loose before the line breaks. A steady slow pull will often bend the hook and save your lure. Gander Mountain has a good little combo on sale right now for freshwater use. http://www.gandermountain.com/modpe...ountain-Myth-Spinning-Combo-56-Light&i=831011

If you aren't comfortable with using a spinning reel a Zebco 33 is hard to beat for the price in a thumb release (spincast) reel. 6 ft or 6.6 ft rod

Make sure you have a good set of needle nosed pliers for removing hooks and bending bent hooks back. I like a pocket tool in a belt pouch then I have everything covered. If you want to go ahead and buy something to last this is a couple of good setups http://www.basspro.com/Shimano-Sedo...Special-Spinning-Combo/product/1209290947359/

http://www.basspro.com/Pflueger-Pre...roduct/1212040610323/?cmCat=CROSSSELL_PRODUCT
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks to all of you for your advice.

I ended up at the BPS in Concord rather than in Cary, I heard it was bigger, and it is marginally closer. I had never been in there before, and yeah it was big. Crazy big. It took a long time to get help, they were busy and seemed understaffed, but Robert talked to me and although I told him I was after the Pfleuger President combo, he steered me towards the Trion combo. Probably a little nicer than the $30 combos, but not a real investment. If I outgrow it, I can find a young person to pass it along to. I settled on the 6' medium light rod, and Robert loaded on the 8lb mono, then helped me locate the beetle spin lures. He set me up with a few other of his favorite lures, and even showed me a trilene knot as he tied on a snap for me. I may not catch a single fish, but it won't be Robert's fault, he was fantastic.

Wartmanrp: Thanks for the equipment recommendation, and especially for the link to the bass resource site. I'm going to be reading and watching a lot. Next up, some worms for experimentation.

Sundrop: thanks for the links to the combos. I think I can see how I might end up needing more than one setup, and my next one might be the President, with a stiffer rod for bigger lures and bigger fish.

Jerry: I've only been on Oak Hollow once so far, and it wasn't too bad. I suspect that as the weather warms, it will get crazier on the weekends. I am going to have to try HPCL. Fewer, slower boats AND better fishing sounds like a winning combo to me. It sounds like it will be worth the extra 10 minutes in the truck.
 

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Just saw this and everyone's advice was spot on, even going to Concord for a better selection. I would recommend to hit Jamestown City Lake (I believe it's what everyone calls HPCL) as it is less congested and you can cover it a lot better in a kayak. Good luck on your journey!
Mike

Take a kid outdoors!
 

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A61morris - I live in your area. And I'm probably moving to HP/Southern Greesnsboro in June

A week from today (on 5/9), weather permitting, I'm going to be taking my kayak to HPCL to do some fishing. If you want to meet there, and try a few things, I'll be willing to show you what I know. I'm a mediocre fisherman, but I enjoy it
 

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You can make this as simple or complicated as you want. But if starting out, with limited insights, it's hard to beat a 5'6" ultralight spinning rod with a 1/4 ounce Panther Martin. I've caught more fish with the yellow body with red dot, silver blade, than anything else. Any warm water fish will hit it, any species, any size fish. It's a simple but guaranteed fish finder.

Also, as a new kayak fisherman, it takes up nearly no room in the boat and allows you to focus on the boating, safety, and relaxation. Just paddle around the banks of any lake/pond with the above setup casting near the bank, structure, under overhanging trees, retrieve slowly, just fast enough to make the blade flutter, and you will catch fish.

A stiffer, decent quality ultralight rod will allow you to feel the blade spinning, and also detect the slightest of hits as well. It's boringly simple, cheap, and it works. After a while, you will want to add mini lizards, 4" as I recall, in pumpkin seed and watermelon seed colors. Buy some white, and white/chartreuse mini spinner baits, they are bass finders and cast a mile on 4-6 lb mono. Maybe a small broke back rebel minnow.

You can buy a decent ultralight and a small box of assorted lures for a $100 at Walmart, Dicks, etc. I fly fish mostly, but when not, I still use the above myself. Many reasons it works, mainly, using light line and good rod you can cast the small offerings a mile. Secondly, fish seem less intimidated by the small lures/plastics.


Dan
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Saturday my youngest daughter and I got a much much later start than we wanted, and only had a couple of hours to paddle, explore, and fish. She said she wanted to see more of Oak Hollow, and I'm just smart enough to know that keeping your paddle partner is a good thing, so we put in there around 1:30. We paddled against a breeze, and it was more challenging than I would have suspected. We hugged the bank around to the right from the marina, around past the golf course, the dam, and festival park. Once we crossed under the 311 bypass, I put on the beetle spin and began to cast towards the trees laying in the water in some of the small "coves." Off one particular tree I could feel some exploratory nibbles on three or four casts in a row, but not a real bite. Then, there was nothing on four more casts past the same spot. I now wonder if I was retrieving too quickly. Oh well, live and learn.

As I drifted, I decided to try the shad rap lure just to see what would happen. Sure enough, I caught a small, but not tiny bream (I think). My daughter, who had refused my offer to set her up with a rod and reel too, suddenly decided that she wouldn't mind tossing the lure a few times. She did a pretty good job, only snagging one stump, but said she felt no bites. We had to paddle back to the ramp pretty quickly so that we could get home and get cleaned up in time to see her sister off to the prom. We had a great afternoon on the water, saw a great blue heron, some turtles, a small snake, and one pine stump fairly close and personal as we retrieved the shad rap from its clutches.

We definitely dealt with a lot more boat wake today than last time. HPCL is sounding better and better, thanks to all of you for the recommendation. I'm going to plan better next time and have my paddle buddy convinced to try something new.

Thanks Mike for the encouragement!

biglenr, I am aiming on making it there on Sat. 05/09, if the weather is nice and my calendar stays clear. I will check back here on Thursday or so to see if your plans have changed, and to let you know if I'm still allowed to come out and play. Thanks for the offer, no matter how it works out.

Dan, you described my priorities perfectly. Be safe, learn more about my boat, take up no room in the boat, be uncomplicated, and effective enough to maintain my interest. I'm not in good enough shape (unless you count spheroid) to paddle for 3-4 hours straight, but I can paddle for a while, then fish, and repeat, until I've been on the water 3-4 hours and my stress is replaced with peace and fresh air.
 

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Oak Hollow fishes differently than HPCL. Most of the fish holding structure there isn't visible like it is at HPCL. Oak Hollow can be very frustrating if you don't know where this structure is.
HPCL has numerous grass beds and fallen trees, all holding fat bass. I've seen seven pound fish caught within 50 yards of the dock, so it's not like one has to make long voyages to find fish.
Many of us here are willing to share info, and I am one that knows HPCL very well, and would be glad to show you some good spots where I catch fish on a consistent basis.
As long as you practice catch and release. This lake is under 400 acres, and we don't want anyone taking our big brood females home with them. Taking of some smaller fish wouldn't hurt though. (crappie and catfish taste better, lol)
Some of the best baits to catch bass there are Zoom's Ultravibe Speedcraw, Ole Monster worm, Mag Finesse worm, Trick Worm, Senko, spinnner baits, crankbaits, Berkely Power worms.
There are numerous stump fields off the points, and these hold fish that love Carolina rigged speedcraws and lizards. Try beating the laydowns with Texas rigs or jigs and you'll catch fish, and be forewarned, there are some real pigs out there!
Good luck!
 

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Definitely listen to anything Jerry is willing to share about HPCL. He knows it very well indeed.

I'll be fishing Senkos for bass, and Berkley swim shad for crappie.

It took me forever to learn how to cast a plastic worm. Now they're my go to bait.

I plan to be there between 8-9:00am... I haven't had time to get my kayak out yet this year. So I'm way overdue. Something could come up, especially work related, but I can't predict that until much closer to the weekend
 
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Guys, the lake will be closed May 9th, some company rented the park. Pick another date!!
Jerry - I got burnt once before with them having the park shut down. How do you find out about this in advance? It's not on their web site, although they do list the days that they are closed. There are like -6 on the list but, May 9 isn't one of them

Very poor customer relations... And we are customers when we pay for a service, in this case, a boat launch.
 

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Oh man, should have got the Pflueger President ;-). I moved to those over the last couple years. I have 10? covering many of the available sizes.

Beetle Spin is the best and a go to for my ultra light. On the river float a few weeks ago I caught all my fish on it. That included 3 nice trout. This weekend it never left the rod. Well, except when I got it hung in a tree to high up. But I put one right back on. They are cheap and they produce. The handful of fish I caught Sunday were on it. I do not use a swivel snap with them. You can get just the snap part. Unless you want to learn the loop knot.

It is really good to spend some time watching how your lure reacts when you reel at different speeds. A beetle spin will tip on its side. The action(wobble) of that Shad Rap will change widths. And when moving properly you should be able to see your rod tip bounce some. Not allot. You might even feel it in your hand. Depends on how sensitive that setup is.

The Shad Rap is another great lure for me. I have multiple colors in multiple sizes and a few dupes for what I find are the better colors. Your colors may differ. There are to many variables in color. I think some lures have colors to catch us and not fish.

You will loose plenty of fish for plenty of reasons. Get over it as it happens to everyone. We all loose lures in trees both in and out of the water. I lost a couple beetle spins and my favorite small Shad Rap this weekend. I also chipped the paint and dented a Zara Spook Jr bouncing it off some rocks a few times. I did catch 3 and loose 1 ok spot bass when I was doing it though. If your not saving a lure from a hangover branch now and then your not getting to some fish. And if your like me. The more times you get hung the better you get at recovering without having to go in to get the thing out of a snag.

mikeski
 

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I understand that they close it. They need money.

I don't understand why they don't let the public know. It's a 40 minute drive for me to get there, and I would hate to drive that way for nothing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Jerry, thanks for all the advice. I definitely agree about the catch and release, AND that bass are not the best eating fish around. Also thanks for the heads up about the lake being closed on Saturday. That is disappointing, but I'll just plan on another day! If we wind up on the lake at the same time I would love to shake your hand and thank you properly for your advice and insights.

biglenr, thanks for the offer, maybe we will get a chance to meet up if you do move this way.

Mikeski, thanks for your advice about lures, etc. I'm filing all this good info away so that when I have more time available I can really start to learn.

I have been blown away by the hospitality y'all have shown me over the last few days. I do appreciate it.
thanks to all who have responded!
Dave
 
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