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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I assume this is where to post my progress as a new fisherman. If not, I do apologize profusely and would understand if the topic were moved to a more appropriate place.

In this post, I'd like to update you all on the progress (or lack of) that I'm making in my new past time and ask questions about some things which are lying on my mind concerning my trips.

My wife and I took off to the local city owned lake today. They have a huge lake which stocks bass, catfish, crappie, brim, and who knows what else. It's a perfect family atmosphere and my wife and I really enjoy it. It's never too crowded with people fishing so it's kind of like our own private lake.

We loaded up the car and got there at about 7:15am. I didn't realize this was going to cut into my sleep. We set the chairs up, got the cooler out (with non-alcoholic beverages), laid our gear out and started casting our lines.

It was a beautiful morning with a clear view of our part of the lake with the treeline hanging over the opposite bank. It was cool and very comfortable. The only problem we have (of course, my wife dislikes this area more than me) is we fish near where the city official rents boats out and they debark from the shore not too far from where we fish. I'm just a naturally nosy fellow who enjoys seeing those people get their trawlers (spelling?) and put them on the boat. I think they are called pontoon boats. My wife is under the impression that the motors and noise of the larger motors scare the fish away. You know, some of those folks take like 10 rods and reels with them in a boat. I'm doing good with my one. We are going to try a less noisy section of the lake next week in a little cove where we had pretty decent luck once before.

Now, here's my thing. We sat there for probably 5 hours with MAYBE 2-3 nibbles on my line and about the same for my wife. She did catch a catfish (probably about 7 inches) and I started playing with the little brim at the bank. I was actually cleaning my worm off and noticed those little buggers snatching at my worm. So I put my hook with worm in at the bank and caught me a baby brim. I thanked him for putting up the fight he could and threw him back.

We use those North Carolina nightcrawlers on a standard hook. Well, not so standard. It has a barb I guess on the hook part and a couple of tiny barbs on the back (shank?) of the hook which catches your fingers while trying to tie it to the line.

We kept getting hooked on stuff in the water that hasn't given us any trouble in the past. But we kept breaking our lines trying to get them unhooked.

Once my wife hooked a turtle. That thing was HUGE!!! He poked his old head up after my wife lost him (again, the line broke) and I believe he stuck his tongue out at us. His head had to have been at least 3" in diameter. I told my wife, had she gotten him on shore, either he was going back in the water, or I was. Didn't matter to me.

What can I do to improve my chances on catching or getting action on my line? I saw some spray at the local Wal-Mart which was designated for different fish per container. I was wondering if this would help. Also, I'm going to put a heavier line on the reel since we were using a 25lb test line on our other rods and reels and seemed to have less trouble in the water. I use 4 sure shot weights to get the cast I want.

I've also got a lure I had gotten back in the day when I was going to try it but ended up pursuing another endeavor (women). I should have stuck with fishing. I'd at least have gained some useful knowledge and wouldn't have walked around with such a confused look on my face all of the time. Ahh, but that last one ended up with my beloved wife. She was the prize catch.

Anyways, back to fishing. What are some tips and stuff for someone of my caliber from some of the more experienced of anglers?

Thank you in advance for your contributions.

Dan
 

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Sounds like you are doing fine, its all about trying things and seeing what works. I would make a general recommendation to use the lightest tackle that is practical for the type fish you are targeting. The smaller the line the less likely the fish is to detect it, also the less hardware the better (snaps, swivels, etc).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Topsail,
Thanks alot for that. I really only thought the weight line was only for the weight of the fish. I didn't realize the size also helped in deceiving those darn critters. I don't know how to use the swivels and stuff yet so I won't be using those. I did see something today which I thought might go fine with those other lures I saw in Wal-Mart. Looked like a brim (or so the guy said) and was the size of those babies I was playing around with. It was a toothpick float. He told me those lures like that have to be reeled in slowly but I was thinking, fish sometimes just float. If you have the necessary weights to keep the line down, the necessary floating device to keep one of those lures a floating above the weights, it may just look like an easy prey for one of the bigger fish. The action of the waves should help give the lure some wiggle. But this is just my thinking.

Do you think that would work? I'm not one to keep casting and reeling in. I like to sit and relax a bit too. Oh. I forgot to mention that we caught another baby brim and chopped him up. My wife used a little piece of him to try to catch catfish. Is this cool? Didn't work but she can't say she didn't try. She's the more experienced fisher person in our family.

Dan
 

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The weight class of the line doesn't refer to the weight of a fish. Rather it refers to how many pounds of pressure it takes to break the line. So 20 pound test would take 20 pounds or more of pressure to snap.

You can catch a 50 pound fish on 20 pound test if you have enough line and patience. In fact we did that yesterday, our 6 foot long sailfish (weighed around 45 pounds) was caught on 20 pound test line.

I don't do much fresh water fishing so one of the other guys (or gals) will have to help you with the other questions.
 

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Wartime
I got started fishing just about two years ago. (It feels like I oughtta say "one year", but I guess it can't stay that way forever... Like my house, it's only been "ten years old" ever since I bought it in 1995.) But anyway -- you've got Rule #1 down pat -- get your line in the water! Everything beyond that is refinement.

I actually got a fair amount of benefit from reading "The K.I.S.S. Guide to Fishing" -- on the same shelf as "Fishing For Dummies" at the bookstore or library. Any of those types of books will explain the terminology (spinning reels versus baitcasting reels versus spincasting reels...), show you a few basic knots, and the basics of "reading" the water -- which is how you start understanding the fish's world and how it decides where it wants to be at any given point in time.

Next thing I'd recommend is to keep in touch here on the forums. Everybody here can tell ya, I've done more than my share of asking questions. I'd read something, it wouldn't make sense, and these guys would explain it to me. I'd try something, I'd theorize over what worked and what didn't, what I did right and what I did wrong, and these guys would help separate the wheat from the chaff.

Finally, keep on trying! Maybe I ought to make that rule #2 -- "Put your Line in the Water AGAIN" The one thing we can all guarantee is that you won't catch a six-foot sailfish or 56 smallmouth bass on a day you're not fishing. So if you haven't achieved those goals yet, don't stop trying! It doesn't matter how many sticks you catch before that banner day (just don't count them out loud here on the forum or they'll never let you forget it), ya just gotta keep on trying!

Enjoy the sport, and welcome aboard NCAngler!!

And oh yeah, hold tight to that prize catch of yours -- ESPECIALLY since she likes to fish!
 

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Hey wartime,

Glad to have you join this forum and interested in fishing!

I was going to comment about lures. If you really don't want to have to keep reeling in often then I would recommend staying with live bait. the goal of lures is to trick the fish into biting, sometimes it's a reaction bite (like a human swatting at a fly or mosquito).

Also cutting up a fish for bait is generally accepted. It is a great way to go after catfish. Worms are great for everything but mainly you will get panfish or cats. If you wanted to dabble for some bigger fish and even a nice bass you could try minnows.

All of this comes with the warning that the day you land a BIG fish you'll be hooked. That is when you'll probably want to investigate lures and the way they are used but, until then I would stick with live bait and enjoy the view. :)

Good luck
 

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It sounds like the hook you're using is for rubber worm fishing thus the barbs on the shank to help hold the rubber worm in place when you thread the hook into the body. You probably wouldn't need any weights if you're using the pencil float as it weighs enough to get your line out and I wouldn't use too large a hook if you're using live worms. The bigger fish are probably out a little deeper where the water is cooler this time of year but if you find a shaddy bank you may find some fish there. Bass like obstructions like tree stumps or rocks to hang around. I would maybe try the pencil float with a live shiner (minnow) on it for the bigger fish. You can buy them at bait and tackle shops. If all else fails just find someone else who is fishing and ask what they're using. Catfish will eat just about anything that smells so they should be easy to catch. Good luck,
Gery
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks again to all of you for your tips. Wow, this is something else. Little did I know there was so much involved with catching fish.

Ok. So I got this. Lures are used for actually reeling like that fellow said so if I want to stay inactive at times, just keep on with the live bait. Sorry to sound like I'm repeating what you guys may have said but I've got to do that to make sure it sticks in my mind. I work online so I have a lot of stuff rolling around the noodle alot of times. And it's easy to get in here and check out what everyone is saying sometimes.

I'm really enjoying this so I think there has been another match made in heaven. Thanks again guys.

Dan
 

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Find yourself some crappie jigs(2") to throw out and vary the reeling speeds. It will give you something to do and the bluegills usually go for 'em. Vary your cast from straight out to parallel with the bank. Vary the speeds of retrieve. Let it drop, crappie like that.
 

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If you really want to have some fun get a breambuster pole and tie a fly (lure) on the end of the line and just keep popping the fly on the water. It works like a cane pole (no reel) just a pole and length of line with fly tied on end. just another option.
Gery
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I think I understand this one. It's supposed to simulate the bugs like dragonflies who skirt the water and then jump back up right?

I noticed that this past Saturday. I seem to never have any luck until the dragonflies show up. Then they tease the fish. They'll swoop down and pop the water's surface and jump back up. This, of course, drive the fish crazy. And this may be superstition but it seems to work. I never seem to get a bite until the dragonflies start landing on my rod. Then I start getting bites it seems. I call them my good luck charms. They try to land on the line and balance and I try to hold my pole as still as I can to see how long they can hold on.

Small minds need small entertainment. lol.

Dan
 
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