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HokieBen

I Think I've Gone Overboard

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Hi folks,

 

I just joined the forum, but I've been reading all I can on the site for the past 6 months... thanks for all the great info (especially glenn and his YouTube videos). I'm 30 years old and just getting in to fishing. None of my family or friends were in to fishing when I was growing up, so I'm starting completely from scratch. For some reason, I just got the bug to start fishing over the summer when my family went on vacation to Smith Mountain Lake, VA. Between family, work, and other hobbies, I was only able to go out fishing 5 times this year and only caught 4 bass. I plan to get a bit more fishing in during 2014, but with a two-year-old and another baby due in March, I'll probably only be able to make a few short trips to the local ponds in next year. The reason I say I've gone overboard is that I have plenty of time to THINK about fishing and SHOP for gear and I feel a little overwhelmed about how I should spend the precious few hours of fishing time that I'll get next year.

 

Sorry for the long backstory... let me get to my question. I'd like to spend my 2014 fishing time getting really good at one technique, rather experimenting with a bunch of random techiques/lures. I live in northern Virginia, local water is usually somewhere between stained and muddy, I don't have a boat, I have two medium power spinning rods and an ultralight, and my main goal is to have fun, catch numbers, and gain confidence. If you were me, what are the one or two techniques that you would focus on next year?

 

Thanks,

Ben

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Welcome to the boards!

Try a little bit of everything out if you're new and then work on what you find most fun/interesting. That's the most important aspect - always remember to have fun!

If I had to pick 2 though I would say spinnerbaits and soft plastics, such as Texas and Carolina rigs. Good luck!

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Welcome. Oh my no your not gonna get to fish much. Not unless you learn to lie real good. Tell her your working a couple of Saturdays a month. My second kid is almost grown now. And after being married to me for 22 years the wife hopes i go fishing and dont come home. Lol

I love stained to muddy water usually. Muddy ain't so bad after a couple of days the fish adjust. Cold muddy sucks.

Stained to muddy water. Rattling Lipless cranks! Stick around you'll find out I throw them every where lately. Lol. You'll get confidence quick with them. Stay on the quieter rattles like Cotton Cordell's (sexy shad color!) for ponds. And high pressure areas to.

My second would be a spinner bait hands down. Bright yellow and white skirt. Or blue and yellow. Most people would use chartreuse which will also work fine. Humm a spinning rod you might drop below my recommended 1/2 oz. to a 3/8 th oz. But drag the bottom when your looking for the big ones. Thats where they are most of the time. I fished spinner baits for years before I hit bottom one day and found the real fish. Look for lighter wire hooks,smaller oo sizes. Your gonna have a little trouble sticking a big five oo hook with the (average or most) spinning tackle. We gotta get you talked into a bait caster. Stick around it want take long these guys will help you buy a hole bunch of stuff. Lol.

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 Welcome to BR Ben ~

 

A-Jay

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Welcome to the forum.  I started fishing at 37 and never looked back.  When I started I began with two baits 

 

Weightless senko - 4/0 hook and 5 inch Senkos are readily available and just flat out catch fish all season.  Focusing on this technique allows you to master the fundamentals - Line tying to a hook, going slow and setting the hook.

 

After a month I began introducing my first "power fishing" technique.  That is where the spinnerbait.  3/8 White/Chartreuse.

 

I threw both on a 6'6 MH Spinning rod.

 

Good luck.

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Welcome Ben, if you want to catch numbers and don't have a lot of time I would say fish a senko. Start off wacky and go from there. You will do better in one trip than you did all last year. It's a great technique that will get you numbers of fish. Good luck!

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Welcome there's a lot of NOVA guys on the forum who should be able to give you more info on specific locations and such I do really well with shaky heads square bill cranks like the kvd 1.5 and 2.0 and the famed senko there's a ton of people on this forum who will be able to help you out pm if you want and I can give you specifics in what I think will work I'm still able to scrape a bite out by dragging a shaky head on the bottom good luck tight lines

Andrew

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Spinnerbait.

Learning a year-round technique, learning when to slow roll and when to burn it.

Bonus points for being able to also improve casting skill and accuracy.

Plenty of variations, types, sizes, trailers, etc to choose from.

Second choice would be a Texas Rigged soft plastic.

Russ

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Welcome to the forum !!

Lots of stuff to learn for sure but start with patience , the Texas rigged worm is the simplest and one of the most effective ways to get started , it's pretty much the SUV rig , if you will , of our sport , here in Va. Your gonna find a ton of help , make sure to check out the southeast forum for specifics and there are a lot of big guns that can help you with your needs !!

Good luck and be safe !!!

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I'm with Bassguytom, Senko. Get a pack of 5" senko (or something similar) get a pack of Owner Wacky Jig Head (1/16 oz or 1/8 oz) and just toss it near cover. Learn to watch the line as they hit as the bait goes down. If the vegetation is very thick you might want to go with Texas-rig or weightless. Have fun!

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A lot of places I find are quite closeby from work, so I usually spend my hour to hour and a half lunch break to go fishing sometimes. The same deal inbetween some classes in college. Just a couple ideas if you really like to fish. I think everyone has good suggestions already about techniques. Happy New Year.  

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As said Wacky rigged Senko. And DONT miss the spring bite. Starting in March April May. Fish are shallow and bite well. Great time to learn and get confidence as you WILL catch plenty.

 

I'm near Charlottesville if you are ever down this way and want to go out.

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The negative of any forum is trying to digest too much information for a beginner.  I believe the recommended senko is the best way to get started, learning how to feel a bite and set the hook is fishing 101.  I also think the chances of being skunked with a senko are greatly reduced, nothing is more disparaging than not catching anything for a beginner.

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Learn structure!

Ya can't catch what ya can't find ;)

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If you want the opportunity to catch numbers of bass, go to Hunting Run Res. near Fredericksburg. It will be open starting the first Sat in March. It is closed during the winter.

There are rental boats available or you can fish from shore or a fishing pier.

There is a fee to fish there and launch personal boats.

 

It has a very high population of bass and catching 50-150 bass a day is very common. My best numbers day there in 2013 was 184 bass.

 

Pick whatever presentation you want to practice with.

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Welcome to the forums. Only thing I can say about learning to fish with youngins around, is take him with you. When she has your baby, she's going to need time with just the baby. That's your chance to get out and do some fishing with your first born. Hell both of my kids were fishing at 3, the attention span isnt there that long if they're not catching anything though. So I used to go for a ride on the boat when they got bored. If no boat, go to a park that has a pond or something. Kill 2 birds with One stone. You fish and when they get bored go to the park and play for a little and go back to fishing when he's ready. As far as techniques, I started with cranks and soft plastics. My first bass ever came off a heddon torpedo.

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And so your journey into bass fishing begins...:)

I would suggest two crankbaits and dropshotting. Just a note, if the pond has a lotta weeds/grass, crankbaits can be a pain since it gets hung up constantly on your hooks. But it should help with casting accuracy. I'd recommend the KVD 1.5 in three different colors.

Dropshotting, there's lots of videos, but it's a very simple rig and it just flat out catches bass. Maybe not always the biggest ones but it's a deadly rig. For baits I would use either 4.5 or 6" straight tail roboworms. I like Aaron's magic and bold bass. You can really put just about anything on the hook so don't be surprised to find yourself buying lots of different types of baits. But those two I mentioned should work fine in your pond/lake.

If you haven't done so already learn the palomar and trilene knots. These are probably the strongest knots.

I would also suggest watching videos on good ways of handling bass. I see a lot of anglers catch bass and drag them through the dirt, mud, grass, etc and that's not really the best practice.

If you're planning catch and release I would crush your barbs down so removing hooks is easier.

Good luck!

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Thanks for the warm welcome and great advise. I'll focus on Senkos the next few times I go out and I'll let you all know how it turns out.

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When starting out personally I would focus on the baits that historically produce the biggest numbers of fish.

1) 5" and 7" worms Texas rigged weedless. (Include Senko's) basic technique is the same.

2) 3" to 4" tubes.

These two baits will produce the most fish, making your trips more fun and increasing your confidence.

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Welcome to the forums. Only thing I can say about learning to fish with youngins around, is take him with you. When she has your baby, she's going to need time with just the baby. That's your chance to get out and do some fishing with your first born. Hell both of my kids were fishing at 3, the attention span isnt there that long if they're not catching anything though. So I used to go for a ride on the boat when they got bored. If no boat, go to a park that has a pond or something. Kill 2 birds with One stone. You fish and when they get bored go to the park and play for a little and go back to fishing when he's ready. As far as techniques, I started with cranks and soft plastics. My first bass ever came off a heddon torpedo.

 

I second this.  I have 3 little girls and a lot of the time the only way I got out fishing was to take the oldest one with me and my wife would be at home with the my 2nd.  Then the third came and I'd take the oldest two and leave the youngest with my wife for some alone time.  Now the youngest is three and comes with us and my wife gets some alone time which in turn I get some alone time to go fishing by myself or with a friend.

 

Also what I found out works best for my wife and I is when the house is a wreck from the kids its easier to clean the house with 1 adult and no kids than 2 adults trying to get the 3 kids to help.  So I take the kids fishing and she cleans the house without the kids going behind us and messing it up again, its a win-win.  

 

As for techniques I agree with what the others are saying and go with spinnerbaits/in-line spinners and soft plastics, but definately listen to what Cat said and look for structure, this is more important than what bait you are using.  You can have the best technique and bait but if you are not where the fish are you will get discouraged quick.

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Good advise... I do plan to take my oldest girl (22 months old) out with me this spring and let my wife stay home with the newborn. The trips will be short, especially since she's not at the point of participating yet, but I'll get in a little practice and some good father/daughter time. I've already taken her once on a warmish day in late November... she did great, but I got skunked for the hour we were there. She loves fish, so I can't wait to see her eyes light up when I finally haul one out of the water for her.

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Good advise... I do plan to take my oldest girl (22 months old) out with me this spring and let my wife stay home with the newborn. The trips will be short, especially since she's not at the point of participating yet, but I'll get in a little practice and some good father/daughter time. I've already taken her once on a warmish day in late November... she did great, but I got skunked for the hour we were there. She loves fish, so I can't wait to see her eyes light up when I finally haul one out of the water for her.

To catch fish a fish quickly so your kids don't get bored, I use trout magnet baits. They look like colored maggots. Any color really doesn't matter. My daughter picked pink and my son picked red when they both started. I hook it up to a float and there's days they out fish me by 40-50 fish to my 4 or 5. They'll catch any species then.

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Sounds to me like you're trying to avoid going overboard-something many of us have abandoned hope of years ago.

 

If you want to catch numbers of fish and keep it simple, seems to me two techniques would be best.  The first, especially if you are confined to shore, is the standard floating minnow like the original Rapala.  The second would be a soft plastic worm in it's various incarnations (texas, swimming, wacky-rig, etc).

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With  the equipment you listed I'd focus on plastics.  As in weightless Texas Rig, Drop Shot, Senkos (Wacky or Texas Rigged) and Splitshot.  The problem with this setup would be that you do not have a quick "search bait".  If you are planning on increasing your arsenal, I'd say get a 6'6"-7' MH/F rod for Spinnerbaits and would be a great all around rod for all types of techniques.  I think Spinnerbaits are more "versatile" baits than a crankbait.  Mainly because you can let a SB drop to the bottom and dead stick it or add a trailer.  Of course not knowing the ratings/brand of your rods you maybe able to fish a 3/8 to 1/2 oz SB without having to go up a power.  For example - I can fish 1/2 oz spinnerbaits on a St. Croix M/F Avid and not feel like it is under powered, because St. Croix ratings tend to be more than suggested. 

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