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Most memorable childhood fishing experience

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I'm interested in reading what got you into fishing when you were young ? And your most memorable fishing experience 

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When I was really young, probably like 8, me and my dad were fishing a causeway, I think I was using worms on a bobber. Anyways, I hooked a bass bigger than anything I had caught up to that point. It just seemed huge to me. I know we took pictures, although I'm not sure we still have them. Bass was probably only like 3ish pounds but at that age I was stoked. 

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I'd just turned 10 when my folks bought a place just north of Wisc.Dells.  My dad and I would fish a causeway  with a bridge from shore. We were targeting walleye with white hair jigs. I snagged someones discarded line and attached to the end was a brown and red hair jig.  We weren't catching anything, so I cut off my white jig and tied on the one I'd found.  On my second or third cast with it I tied into a smallie that likely went somewhere between 14-16in.  That fish turned me every way but loose, jumping and running at me only to turn and head back out toward deeper water.  Although I continued to fish for walleye with my dad until he passed a few years later, whenever I had the opportunity I'd be out chasing bass.

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Two come to mind... My maternal grandfather (Pop-pop) took 7-year-old me fishing one day. Panfish and catfish in a local pond and its spillway in the morning, lunch at somewhere, then a private little farm pond in the afternoon. Awesome day.

The other time, my dad had bought a boat.  Twelve-year-old me, with a brand new spinning rod strung with bright yellow, 14lb test Stren (Dad worked for duPont and, "if you can't catch it with 14lb Stren, we don't want it in the boat"), heading out for the first trip.  Bottom fishing for dogfish just off the exit of the jetty for the docking area.  Hook something, fight it hard for a couple minutes, and then it runs straight at the boat and dives under.  I watch the yellow Stren running straight at me and then the rod doubles over and shatters... Of course, the Stren held.  Fighting the fish with the bottom half of the rod and handlining from dad (probably more the latter) eventually pulled an 8-9ft sand shark up against the side of the boat.  I'll never forget dad laughing at my pleas to 'bring it in the boat'. 

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I come from a family of 5 kids, me and my 4 sisters. My dad worked a lot and I did not get to spend a lot of time with just him and me. Dad did not take a lot of vacation time. 4 or 5 days in June when smallmouth season opened on the St. Lawrence and another few days for the opening of duck season. We lived in Northwest Indiana while I was growing up. The summer of 1965, I was 10 and I was going to Chippewa Bay, New York with my dad for the opening of bass season. We drove all night and arrived while the sun was just coming over the tree tops. Even though it was over 50 years ago, I can still remember it like it was yesterday. We unloaded the car and put our stuff in a boat in a dark boathouse and I had my first boat ride to Oak Island where my uncle worked as a caretaker of a large house and property on the island. Uncle Bill met us at the dock where he presented me with my first rod and reel, a Zebco 33 combo. For the next few days, dad taught me to fish for smallmouth, I explored the big house and the boathouses on the island. My bedroom overlooked the St. Lawrence Seaway and I could see the big ships brightly lit as they cruised past my window at night. The Thousand Islands area is just beautiful with the rocky islands, the mansions, and the river. One morning, dad tried to wake me up to go fishing but I was just too tired. After dad went out without me, Uncle Bill set me up with a bucket of minnows on one of the docks where I caught a limit of smallies all by myself. Dad was sure surprised when he found I'd caught more bass than he did that morning. One day we fished out of one of the big mahogany Chis Craft boats and I watched my uncle catch a huge northern pike that looking at the pictures, was nearly as long as I was. Those 4 or 5 days I spent with dad were the most magical I have ever had in my life.  I got to back with dad five or six more times before he got sick and passed away.

My life today is still influenced by that first trip. My house is decorated in a style that reminds me of the Thousand islands. I have my own boat and fish for smallmouth every chance I get. I am also an officer in the Illinois Smallmouth Alliance. Without that trip, 51 years ago, my life today would be very, very different. To say that that was a memorable experience would be an understatement.

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As a kid me and my cousin would always spend 1 month of the summer every year, they had a little pond on their property and we would always go fishing there, no bass that I can recall catching but I've had my fair share of memory loss from.... Things.... But anyways he would always go in the barn next to the pond and would get a cup film of dog food and threw it out over the pond and the catfish would come up to the top to eat and it made it super easy for me to catch them. Will never forget those good times. 

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2 hours ago, Yeajray231 said:

I'm interested in reading what got you into fishing when you were young ? And your most memorable fishing experience 

One of my most memorable fishing experiences was when I caught my first fish.It was a spotted tilapia that I caught on Memorial Day and I caught it in Amelia Earhart Park.I still fish that park often and it's a great place to teach someone how to fish.

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I grew up and live in St Cloud, Minnesota, right alongside the untapped, rootbeer-colored Mississippi River, which flows out of the ground just three hours north of town at Itasca State Park. This local area is generally shallow, rocky, and peppered with islands that the river winds through. Right in St Cloud is a series of two-dozen-plus islands known as the Beaver Islands, just downstream of a hydroelectric dam near St Cloud State University. 

I grew up about a mile away from these islands. As a teen, I had a lousy, tumultuous situation at home that I tried to get away from as much has possible. To escape, I used to bike to the river, chain my bike to an oak tree, and go wading for smallmouth bass, 5-6 days a week, 3-6 hours per trip, anytime I had a chance. I became addicted to it. It was my home away from home.  There were a handful of us kids that would fish the river like that. Rarely would we see a footprint that didn't belong to one of us.

I waded in camouflage-colored cargo pants and felt-bottomed wading boots, carrying a custom-built 7'6" ML/F spinning rod on a Loomis GL3 blank and a $50 reel filled with straight 15lb PowerPro braid, which was a new and much-hyped edition to the market at the time. I washed dishes at a Perkin's to buy that rod. Sometimes I used a 7-wt St. Croix fly rod. My tackle was kept in a fanny pack, which I'd carry over my shoulder if the water got past my waist. I generally fished tubes, grubs, flukes, smaller buzzbaits and spinnerbaits, lipless crankbaits, finesse jigs, poppers, etc.

By the time I was graduated from high school and moved out of home, I had countless 5-6lb smallies, a 52" Muskie, and 2 walleyes over 30" under my belt, all caught in the same area on the same tackle.

Fishing was a way to get away from the drama and anxiety at home. I'm 33 now. Good life; good job; no anxiety or issues to speak of, whatsoever. But I still fish 3-4 times a week, out of a bass boat. It's still my therapy.

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Going to a little resort with cottages on a lake every summer with my family.  A terrific couple ran the place, and treated me like I was King.  Fishing was awesome, weather was perfect, and it was so isolated and away from everything....fantastic family memories.

Recently I traveled back there, and to my surprise, EVERYTHING was still there - exactly the same!  As if it were preserved.  The place was still open, but with different owners.

I immediately set up reservations and got my sister and Dad to join me.  We had a ball!

Good times!

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It was 1974.  I was 5 and my Daddy left his Zebco 33 armed with a black worm propped against a tree at our pond.  Up to this point I had only fished with live worms, hooks and corks mainly on cane poles occasionally  with the Zebco.  A friend of mine was at the house and we found the 33 and he wanted to fish.  We took turns casting and on 4 casts we caught 4 largemouths about 1-2 pounds each.  He caught 2 and I caught 2.  Although I had caught bass on live bait before, this was a new exciting level of fishing.

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At age 6, I won first place overall in a fishing derby with kids and adults. I got a tagged trout on a nightcrawler and bobber push button setup. I'll have to do another post when I get home from work with the size and a picture of the mount that I received. My grandpa got to keep the 100$ prize for the tag but that never mattered to me because I have a permanent memory thanks to the stuffed trout on my wall.

 

It was the best fight with a fish that I can remember even up to this point. I needed my older brother's help reeling her in. Lifelong fisherman after that, although my patience for trout fishing is almost zero at this point.

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I don't remember my first bass. I don't remember my first good bass, but I have a picture of it. 

There were two instances that got me hooked and I mean really hooked and I still remember both of them to this day. I was 6 years old at a logging pond that was known for big fish. Sadly the logging industry is dead and all those great mill ponds from my youth are gone now, but I digress. Anyways, the sun just went down and it's the middle of summer. Action is all over on top of the water and I ask my dad if we have anything for top water. He ties me on a jitterbug. I throw it out and start reeling in and right behind it comes a big big bass and it misses. It takes another swipe at it and it looks like someone dragging a bucket through the water. It was over. I was devastated. 

Fast forward a year, summer, we are at a local lake and most of the reservoirs in that area have a cutoff point as you get into the river system where you are only allowed to use electric motors past it. My dad kicks on the TM so we go by the buoy marker in the middle of the lake for the TM only water. I had a Zebco 303 combo with a little white Mepps spinner bait. I throw it out by the buoy just messing around, crank a few times, and everything just stops, my line, my reel, everything. I tell my dad I'm stuck, he thinks I'm snagged on the buoy cable and is annoyed. Then it starts fighting. That dinky pole and reel can't do anything so my grandpa tells me the ditch the rod and hand line it. I think he is nuts but eventually do it and land the fish. It was my first 5+lb bass. I made my dad go buy me a bait caster the next day and I spent every day out in the back yard practicing until I could make every cast I could think of on the money and I haven't really ever stopped. 

I'm fairly young but my dad and grandpa have been gone for well over a decade but I have a 6 and 2 year old son that I can hopefully get into it. I learned how to fish in a 12' aluminum boat with a Zebco and a few hard baits only able to get advice from trout and salmon fisherman. My kids will have it a little easier lol. 

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Some deep stories. And obviously some life lessons. The best thing about those memories , is that they are ours forever . No one is coming to repo that memory of your cottage trip, or first trout. Awesome guys. Thanks

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I remember the first bass that had me fall in love. I was probably 6 or 7. After my parents split my dad lived in the lake house we had on the Tennessee river. I already had a little spinning rod and my own tackle box so I would stop raiding my dads box lol but he bought me these zoom finesse worms in white with black flake. I remember those like it was yesterday. I was fishing off the dock by an old concrete dock that had fallen into the water. I will never forget seeing that bass swim out from under the shade and grab my worm! I was so excited I ran that bass all the way back to my dads house to show him. He took a picture of me and told me to return it. That picture is still on the wall to this day!

 

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Grabbing a fishing pole and gear , jumping on my bike and going to the Mississippi river .  I'm glad we didnt hunt pokemon in those days . I had fish and I wanted to "catch em all ".

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Spending time with my Grandpa in his little flat bottom tin boat. I would sit up front and feel the wind against my face and what then felt like hours but in reality maybe go a few coves away and throw us a line with live minnows on it and catch a few crappie. He always told me about the big fish that got away. I could not swim at the time and had one of those big orange life vest on and sit there and watch for my bob to go under the water.

 

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I was in high school and I went out fishing with my brother and his friend.  We rented a boat and rowed across the lake.  At dusk, we were fishing medium running orance rapala crankbaits.  I threw mine to the shore and a 5 pound catfish crushed it.  I saw another fish cruising with him so my brother's friend threw his lure there and hooked into another 5 pound catfish.  Mine got off or broke the line.  My brother's friend landed his and it was the biggest fish I had ever seen at that time and I swore it was 10 pounds.  I realized at that point I needed stronger rods and had to upgrade from my closed face zebco reels.  And by the way, the fish was just over 5 pounds, not 10. A real eye opener.

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27 minutes ago, scaleface said:

Grabbing a fishing pole and gear , jumping on my bike and going to the Mississippi river .  I'm glad we didnt hunt pokemon in those days . I had fish and I wanted to "catch em all ".

Ha-ha this made me laugh

 

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1993 was the year fishing took on a whole new meaning for me. I had been fishing regularly for a few years already but that year it went from a pretty fun hobby to an obsession. The year itself is an easy one to remember it was the year of the floods here in Missouri I was 14. My dad and I had been fishing 3-4 times a week and had been killing them. The water was up and the fish were moved in to standing grass and weeds where water had never been before. It was about 7 in the evening and I had been throwing one of my two favorite lures the ol buzz bait. I walked my way to the north end of a 7acre private lake to the flats the water was backed up these flats 20ft further than I'd ever seen and there was standing grass. I made a long cast out in the flats with my zebco 33 and just as soon as my buzz bait started chattering BOOM.....Missed him. No doubt in my mind this was a bigger fish than I'd ever previously caught. My heart was racing I was all kinds of excited. I reached back and cast to the same spot just a little longer cast and as I was retrieving through the same hit zone as the previous cast I seen the water swirl and BOOM FISH ON!!!! I hollered to my dad big fish on. My drag was peeling I did everything wrong you can imagine. I was backing up reeling a 100 miles an hour with 10lb test on. My rod looked like it was going to snap in two. A combination of me tugging and the fish changing directions I finally got her peeled out of a patch of grass and had her working my way. I got her to within 4ft of dry ground and she was hung in weeds again and dad walked out picked her up and WOW. I thought I had just caught the new state record bass! According to the scale I missed it by a few lbs lol she weighed in at 6lbs 02oz. That fish still hangs today on my dads wall. That day started an obsession for me. The pursuit of BIG BASS. Now the year is 2016 and I landed a 10.33lb bass this year on.....you guessed it a buzz bait!!!! I've caught the majority of my big bass on buzz baits. I think they're a greatly under utilized lure. They attract big fish and for me that's the end game. Giant fish. Numbers don't mean anything to me. I'm after that one big bite.

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I know this will not be politically correct but it was with my father and his friend. I was around 8 and my brother was around ten and we were taking a trip to the mountains. My dad invited his good friend to go with us. My dad never fished but loved the outdoors and he never kept my brother and I from fishing. He knew we loved it. However this was a four hour trip and I had to sit on a five gallon bucket and my brother on a cooler all the way to mountains because dads jeep was only a two seater. I just remember my dads friend fishing and missing a bunch of trout. He started jumping up and down when a big brown broke him off and he fell into the water. It was also the first time that I walked up the mountain with my brother and fished a brookie stream. I caught my first brookie when I was 8 and have been chasing them ever since. My dad has been gone for 5 years now and those are the little things I remember. We always hunted together and he always went on the fishing trips just to be with my brother and me.

I never appreciated how a man could go on so many fishing trips and never fished. After he passed I realized it was to just be with us. Now we take my little nephew fishing and try to share the stories with him.

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5 hours ago, missouribigbass said:

1993 was the year fishing took on a whole new meaning for me. I had been fishing regularly for a few years already but that year it went from a pretty fun hobby to an obsession. The year itself is an easy one to remember it was the year of the floods here in Missouri I was 14. My dad and I had been fishing 3-4 times a week and had been killing them. The water was up and the fish were moved in to standing grass and weeds where water had never been before. It was about 7 in the evening and I had been throwing one of my two favorite lures the ol buzz bait. I walked my way to the north end of a 7acre private lake to the flats the water was backed up these flats 20ft further than I'd ever seen and there was standing grass. I made a long cast out in the flats with my zebco 33 and just as soon as my buzz bait started chattering BOOM.....Missed him. No doubt in my mind this was a bigger fish than I'd ever previously caught. My heart was racing I was all kinds of excited. I reached back and cast to the same spot just a little longer cast and as I was retrieving through the same hit zone as the previous cast I seen the water swirl and BOOM FISH ON!!!! I hollered to my dad big fish on. My drag was peeling I did everything wrong you can imagine. I was backing up reeling a 100 miles an hour with 10lb test on. My rod looked like it was going to snap in two. A combination of me tugging and the fish changing directions I finally got her peeled out of a patch of grass and had her working my way. I got her to within 4ft of dry ground and she was hung in weeds again and dad walked out picked her up and WOW. I thought I had just caught the new state record bass! According to the scale I missed it by a few lbs lol she weighed in at 6lbs 02oz. That fish still hangs today on my dads wall. That day started an obsession for me. The pursuit of BIG BASS. Now the year is 2016 and I landed a 10.33lb bass this year on.....you guessed it a buzz bait!!!! I've caught the majority of my big bass on buzz baits. I think they're a greatly under utilized lure. They attract big fish and for me that's the end game. Giant fish. Numbers don't mean anything to me. I'm after that one big bite.

Thanks for the story. I thank everyone who has posted. As I've enjoyed reading them all. I can relate to this one however. appreciate your memory. And good luck 

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I have dozens of early fishing memories with my dad.The first one I remember I was 4 or so and I had begged my dad to take me fishing.We were in the marsh at Ft Fisher NC.,ironically where my GGPA had got wounded and captured in the war between the states.

We waded out and cast out and caught some kind of little perch looking fish.I wanted to keep it,but dad made me throw it back.That was amazing because he never threw ANYTHING back.I still remember the salt and marsh smell,the mud oozing up and the view.Wind was blowing hard too.And my dad holding on to me so I didn't fall.Seems like it just happened.

But when I really got hooked I went surf fishing with my cousin and my dad at ocean isle bch.NC.I caught a big drum.Ill never forget the fight,and hoping it wouldn't get off.My cousin caught a nice flounder too.My dad didn't catch anything but he was just as excited because we had caught our fish.After that,I wanted to go all the time.I owe my love for fishing to my dad,who always made time for fishing with me( and my baseball games).

He passed away 8 years ago.Still have his fishing hat,rod rack,tackle box,And his favorite rod and reel.Best man I ever knew.

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I grew up very poor, fishing was a way to feed our family with little investment. We'd go camping almost every weekend with a big group of my family, the main targets were catfish and white bass because of the large creel limits and them being easy to catch.

My most memorable experience was when I was 6. I'd just received a shiny new bright yellow Eagle Claw Featherlite rod with a 1000 Shimano TX spinning reel spooled with 6lb Trilene XL. My dad had taught me how to tie a uni knot and I was very proud of myself for learning how to do it properly so I could change lures when I wanted. We were visiting my grandparents at a private RV campground that had a small lake attached to a medium sized river. I'd tied on a little jighead and was using a little piece of nightcrawler to catch big bluegills when I set the hook on a fish that nearly emptied my spool (it would have, except it just ran out of water in the little pond. For the next hour and a half I would work the fish to the shore where it would lay on the bottom and refuse to move before it would go steamrolling back across the pond. Almost everyone in the campground had gathered around to watch me, people were even videoing (a big deal back when you had to lug a big camera around instead of getting your phone out of your pocket and pushing a button). My dad was coaching me as were a group of old-timers that had been fishing at the same time I was. I remember every time I'd get the fish close my line would be swinging hard side to side, a sure sign of a big catfish. After an hour and a half, my line sudden parted, a collective "Ahhhh!" came from the crowd, and I dropped my rod and ran to the bathroom as my 6 year old bladder was about to explode. My dad still laughs about how I shot out of there and ran straight to the bathroom. We never did get to see the fish.

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