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Beginners tips!

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Beginners tips!
So you've decided to give fishing a go. Good Luck. More than likely you've perused the internet for the countless how to catch fish videos, or how to do this and that tutorials. I've watched thousands of them. They're mostly made and produced by avid or hardcore fishermen who know the ins and outs of everything it takes to catch fish. However these videos fail to demonstrate or talk about many of the frustrations of what its like to be a beginner fisherman. So looking back on my 22 years of fishing I've put together a piece tailored to removing some of the frustrations of learning to fish. Id like to preface this by stating I fish lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams, in the northeastern US, mostly for Largemouth Bass, small mouth Bass, Musky, pike pickerel and trout. My advice will be tailored towards this style. First off let's start with your setup. Every video I watch talks about the line they're using paired with the length and sturdiness of the rod, which reel is best and whats good for what bait/style/fish. Don't worry about that. I've caught the majority of my fish using a rod/reel i bought as a backup at Kmart for 50 dollars. Don't break your bank. Get yourself a cheap rod, and some 8-12 pound MONO-FILAMENT line. Why mono-filament? Because its the easiest to work with. IF your starting out, braided line can be frustrating, Fluorocarbon can be extremely difficult to completely spool your reel on. We'll touch more on this later. So now you need some lures. Ever walk into a bass pro shops or cabellas? The choices/styles/methods are seemingly endless. The following are my recommended lures for beginners.
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Re: [techbud] Beginners tips! In reply to
Agree with you about cheap tackle getting the job done for most fish species fished for, but not about braid. Braid casts beautifully, helps detect light fish strikes and allows hooksets at a long casts. (more on braid recs later). I only use Kastking 8# test that has a 2# diameter from Ebay. Cheap and reliable!

Mono - forget about it ! Mono twists creating coils and spool tangles, ages faster in sunlight, is too stretchy for long distance hookset and weakens faster than any other line type. I've started learning to troll small lures on light action rods that are way behind the boat and few fish get off using braid. Want to use mono for short casts and bobber fishing with live bait? - fine.
The only thing I use fluorocarbon is as a fine leader that allows better lure action than only braid using some lures and presentations.

Beginner anglers should know that catching fish is about the combination of factors that each angler must unlock in order to consistently catch fish - if possible - on any day.
Beginners may think they didn't catch fish because they didn't do something right or use the right bait. That's part of it - but - the most common reason is because: the fish simply aren't where the bait is presented.

Recently my partner and I found fish deeper rather than shallower . We did catch some fish but not the quality fishing deeper trolling rather than casting & retrieving target areas (rock walls, under branches providing shade, etc.) Shoreline anglers using live bait gave up after a few hours and they even walked along the shoreline casting out to find fish. That brings up an important part of the combination - bait presentation.

It's possible that the fish under their floats cast way out from shore with 60' casts. But the lure or live bait didn't cut it sitting stationary. Trolling crankbaits mid afternoon caught fish using the right speed (comparable to a fast walk) and the right size lures with the right action and depth - another part of the all important combination for the time of day and/or month.

When it comes to lures, forget the nonsense that you must use what fish are fooled into believing is a forage animal. You're only fooling yourself ! Fish do sense prey but prey recognition is something they are incapable of. If a prey animal fits into a fish's mouth - that's all she wrote.

Targeting fish with crawfish only or prey fish only might sell lures that supposedly represent them, but is the farthest from the truth the more one catches fish on a variety of lures on the same day or even in the same hour.

What to consider when choosing lures? : the right combination of the right size - #1, the right shape and the right action. Some lures can not catch fish as often as others nor can they catch more species and sizes of fish. If you search my posts you'll see what I mean where five species were caught using the same lure using the same slow presentation . Slow with lure pauses are good unless they respond better to fast burned lures.

When it comes to lure color most of the time it doesn't matter. Some colors may not work near as well a many others. It's just a matter of noting which colors or color work with which lures. I make my own lures in different colors and those having the right shape, action and in the right size have a range of colors that do equally well. But note: flash or sparkle is not color and at times is important for some lures - IE spinnerbaits, spinners, chrome colored lures.

As I said, some lures are more versatile than others but some lures do better for some species. I prefer a skirted jig & trailer for bass but will use surface lures and spinnerbaits at times.

Matching a rod action to the lure weight and size is crucial ! Too stiff a rod is a mismatch when using light lures just as using a light action rod is a mismatch using heavy lures. Hooksets depend on rod action, a reel's speed ratio (how fast it winds in line) and how the hook is set. With a weedless jig & trailer a fast hookset is necessary; using light jigs with small hook gaps and finesse lures requires the fish begin the hook set using a slow rod tip pull in the opposite direction. Any faster and the hooks pops out. This brings me to another important factor: the hook.

The most important tools I always carry are a file and pliers. A dull hook or one with a gap bent too far outward loses more fish than anything! The gap increases and the hook point dulls after pulling a lure free from a snag. They must be checked often especially after losing a few fish on proper hooksets.

The more one fishes, especially with others and noting what they used to catch fish, the more those experiences pay off discovering the many combinations that make all the difference between going fishless vs catching fish. Pleasant discoveries are what fishing is all about, translated - well I'll be!!!! Feeling fortunate is rare in today's world and there's nothing like it!

The key is not falling for the hype surrounding what to use and when. All waters are different, have different seasonal patterns (where fish are located) and that fish differently. No hype can discover that. Location, location, location is key followed by what to use and how. Luck is only relevant when it comes to catching giants!

Keeping an open mind is as important as any tackle made and rules only apply to those with closed minds that believe there are few if no other variations of that which catches fish. If it works, great (even using mono) but note any advantages and disadvantages over time focusing on shaping your own rule book. This and many forums offer examples galore - some useful some not so much.
(This post was edited by SenkoSam on Sep 12, 2019, 7:38 AM)
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Re: [SenkoSam] Beginners tips! In reply to
Hey SencoSam,
I usually read your posts and they are a good bit of help for me, I appreciate that, thanks.
In have decided to try braid on my Pflueger President Spinning Reel, as I am tired of the loops and tangles.
I looked at Ebay and Amazon, both about the same price ($15) for 327 yards. I watched a Youtube video on how best to spool it, but I do not know if 327 yards will be enough. Do you think it will be?

One fish at a time...
Lewis
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Re: [lskiles] Beginners tips! In reply to
Thanks for positive reply.

Here's what I use and love it !

Ebay or Amazon sells Kastking line braid - I use 8# test/ 2# diameter on spinning, baitcast and on my Daiwa Silvercast 100A spincast reel and can make very long casts even with a 1/32 oz jig and soft plastic lures. (Who ever thought braid could be used on a push button reel! )

What I would do depending on the braided line test/diameter used is to fill the spool with junk line (IE mono) 3/4 full. If all you're using is 10 # test braid/6# diameter or smaller, fill it closer to 90 % full with junk. Smaller diameter line allows for over 30 yards to be put on and even with breakoffs, you rarely need to put more line on.

Join lines with a uni-knot and make sure someone is putting back pressure while spooling so there are no loops to impede casting. With light lures and casting into a wind, occasionally a loop might happen in which case pull line out down to the loop and rewind.

The great thing about braid:
1 long distance casts
2 excellent light strike sensitivity
3 excellent hook sets at a long distance due to zero stretch
4 great for trolling small crankbaits (as I recently discovered)
allows excellent lure action without mono's bow and buoyancy.

Not a fan of many braids sold, but KK is the best I've used an haven't replaced on different reels in over 2 years. Dark green with fade a bit in sun but the line doesn't degrade; many colors are available. In fact Kastking is a recent company that sells many fishing products: reels, rods and line and maybe other products. I only know about their different line types and I'm impressed with quality and price thus far - plus free s/h.

At times I might use a light fluorocarbon leader for light lures and deep water but usually not.

Hope this helps.
(This post was edited by SenkoSam on Sep 19, 2019, 6:38 AM)