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Ghostshad

Learning to fish

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When you decided to learn to fish what steps did you take , where did you start to learn to become a better Angler .I want to learn to fish & become a better Angler .Where should i start & what direction should i go. Would location be first or would finding the bait be first , maybe then migration & migration route . What steps should i take to learn to catch fish .GodBless & Thanks

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I started like most folks.. with their peers. 

Worms and a bobber off a dock..

When I got to be around 12 me and my best friend would take a paddle boat and troll jointed rapalas . That's what got me hooked on artificial. 

I think we get better when we learn to think outside the box.. and try to understand where the fish are and why they are there. I dont have a fancy boat with state of the art depth and fish finders. So I can only fish where I THINK the bass are... I think I do rather well for not having any advanced technology in my possession. 

I try and get "better" every time I go out. Make mental notes of what I did and how it went. To me, fish are just as mysterious as everything on this earth.  I try not to get caught up in the what, why, and how .. and focus more on the where and when. 

Reading things that interest you can be very beneficial. I wouldn't know of half the baits i use today if someone else hadn't showed me their success with them. 

Fishing is best when folks leave their ego in the truck. An open mind and positive outlook will always win over a stubborn and arrogant mindset. 

As for the rest of your questions.. other than reading or advice from those you know . I believe trial and error is key. Just like most things in life. 

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Don't try and learn too many techniques at once.  Get good at one and see if you like it then move to the next.

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I got started fishing as a toddler and cut my teeth on panfish and bulheads . When I was old enough to venture out on my own I would go to the Mississippi river and fish all day for whatever the river would give up . So I already had a lot of angling experience before I got heavy into Bass fishing . I joined a Bass club as  at eighteen  and learned how to beat the banks with crankbaits and spinnerbaits .  I didnt catch much in those days . A year later I got my own boat a 15 foot Skeeter ,then I started catching a lot of bass . The Texas rig worm was the turning point . Once I started tossing it  into the snaggiest cover ,the bass came by the dozens . . Learn the T rig . It opens up everything . You will be able to fish it "everywhere".  You will learn how to dissect cover and become a better fisherman no matter what lure you throw . Learn that skill then when you venture out to structure fishing you will be well prepared .

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I got into fishing in my mid 30's and didn't know a single other person who fished when I started out.  I bought a lot of random equipment and lures and just tried every type of fishing one can do where I live, which is a pretty good variety.  I gravitated towards bass fishing and began reading everything I could on the subject.  I actually began to catch regularly when I started paying attention to figuring out where the fish were likely to be holding rather then just trying to throw my lures as far out into the water as I could. 

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Having fished for 35+ years, I I still do not fully understand migration and migration routes and finding baitfish is about the same for me as finding their predators.  So for a beginner and for starting out, I think that would ALSO be a pretty big task to try to bite off. The best advice I can give you is to learn about structure (changes in the bottom shape) and cover (weeds, rocks, branches, etc) and the nature of the beast (the bass) and LOTS of time on the water.  Pay considerably LESS attention when someone tells you about a specific brand of lure or piece of gear to use.  There are TONS of lures from TONS of makers that will usually fit the bill.

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Hardest step was making the decision to actually drive out to a lake with a rod and reel in hand and try to catch a fish when I had absolutely no clue what I was doing and was positive I wouldn't catch anything.

I picked up fishing again after taking almost 25 years off and even then it was surf fishing with a Carolina rig.  So that was the ONLY rig I knew how to tie, so I set up a Carolina rig on my lone Shimano Voltaeus spinning rod, rigged up a plastic (forget which plastic it was), and just started casting.  Didn't know where bass were, didn't know how they behaved that time of the year, didn't know what a bite would feel like, didn't know how to work the lure,  Felt foolish and I was afraid I'd run into other bass fisherman that might ask "any luck" or would look at my carolina rig and think "this guy isn't gonna catch anything with that set up".

Got skunked the first few outings but nothing helped more than spending time on the water.  I observed where and other people were fishing (points, coves, dusk, dawn), tried to see what kind of a setup they were using and asked the proverbial "Catch anything?  What you catch them on?" knowing it would probably annoy them.  I looked in the water and looked for any signs of activity (bass cruising the shallows, bait boils, trying to figure out the difference between a bass jumping out of the water versus a carp).  Every outing took me one step closer to learning how bass behave and every cast gave me a better picture of the lake i was fishing (rocky bottom here, muddy here, sandy here, deep channel, big dropoff to deep water, some piece of cover in the water I'd get snagged on repeatedly).

I branched out to a Texas rig because it was so similar to a Carolina rig.  Read up online and learned the wacky rig because of it's simplicity.  Fished these three techniques for months but then one day I tried a dropshot and my fishing life changed completely.  Since then i've caught probably 90% of my fish on a dropshot, and the bites I were getting made it much easier to see how bass behaved.  Started to branch out into crankbaits, and started to mix in new techniques when I can (topwaters, chatterbaits, jigs, etc) but it's been hard to not switch back to a dropshot because it always will get bit when nothing else will.

If I had to do it over again I'd do the following (100% shore guy) - 1) Buy a spinning outfit for finesse presenations that will also handle lighter sqauarebills.  2) Fish a dropshot and squarebills and cover as much water as possible.  3) Fish every point, every cove, every piece of structure or cover I can find.  4) Fish at dusk and dawn.  5)  Don't buy so much tackle (brands/sizes/colors/types) where selecting tackle/setups can overwhelm the actual fishing aspect of fishing.  Anyone can buy hundreds of rods/reels/tackle, but only the stuff being thrown in the water are catching anything, and at any given time that's limited to one rod/one reel/one bait.

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Lots of good advice given.Having fun should be the #1 priority when someone is fishing. Don't stress over days that you don't catch fish,it happens to all of us.Have an open mind and be willing to use techniques that you haven't tried yet or haven't given enough time to learn well.

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If I was u I would start with purple or blue fleck plastics Texas rigged.  

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My best advice would be slow down. I started fishing when I was big enough to cast a rod and Like most here I was only after anything that grabbed the line. It wasn't until this spring that I really got into bass fishing heavy, and the biggest mistake I made was taking on too much information at once. Try to figure out one thing first, and that one thing is up to you. My only recommendation on what to learn first would be to focus on fiding patterns. Just fish everything to start, and then remember what you did and see if it keeps working. Eventually establishing a pattern will come easily. 

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My decision to target Bass came to fruition in my late teens. I had a small suzuki gs400 motorcycle and I would strap a old 2 piece berkey spincast rod reel combo to its side and run around the area hitting all the available shorelines with a small metal tackle box strapped to the rear seat. The box had a hula popper, zara spook,  a jitterbug, a couple rebel jerkbaits, a few beetle spins, 2 daredevil spoons, a plastic bag with some plastic worms, and a small pack of hooks. a few bobbers and somecasting weights,... Pliers, a nylon stringer, a old de-lier, and a boy scouts multi knife complete with 15 blades including the spoon and fork.  lol,..I cant list the tackle I now have, other than to say,...look at a basspro catalog and I probably have 75% of it

 Little did I know how to use them all, but alas, I gave it my best shot. The hula popper outfished them all, as it was the easiest and most evident technique. I did pretty well with the beetle spin, but had not a clue of spinnerbait techniques, other than just a steady retrieve. And since I had a spook, you'd think I knew how to walk the dog?,...lmao, that thing sat dorment as I was iggy about its actual use,..Then one day, I saw a article in either sports afield or outdoor life, or field and stream, about the up and coming B.A.S.S.,... I joined and was shocked to get the tackle pack and member card in the mail.  For once, I finally received perks, that they stated I would receive that wasnt a huge pile of balogna. I got package of manns jelly worms and these "funky" looking hooks, a bass jig (which Ive never even heard of) a actual spinnerbait, a rapala fat rap, a hat, sticker etc.

 But what stood out far and beyond anything I got in that box, was a bassmaster magazine. Nothing had I ever read, captivated my interest in such a way. It was chock full of bass fishing info, and I read every word, (even the ads) over and over again, I wore that rag out til I got the next one. It was my bible so to speak and I applied everything I learned within it, with baited attention. Some of its info worked, but most didnt as I was beating banks and not towing any boats with my suzuki,...lol. Also, most of its "teachings" was geared to southern waters, and the tournaments which took place within them. It was a long, disappointing road for a decade or so, before I found a club in Massachusetts. And it was there and then that all the bassmaster teachings clicked in, and the rest is history.

 You want to "learn" ?,... join a draw format club. If that isnt a option, I recommend, starting with a texas rigged worm, and search this site. Everything any bass angler could ever need, is here.  Kudos, to you Glenn,...for offering such a entity with your unequaled passion and dedication.

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Biggest thing I can stress is not to go out and buy a boatload of lures, get one or two of several types and make sure to get a jig and texas rig equipment. Then find some ponds and learn to fish those techniques, then if you get pretty good with those move on to others. For soft plastic colors don't go crazy just get a dark like black/blue or junebug and a natural like grn pumpkin/ watermelon.

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um... theres no delete button and no way to remove quote box... please delete this.

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where do i start: start simple WORMS get a spinning rod, m or mh with 8-15lb mono/fluro, id recommend have some black/silver ribbon tail worms and some watermelon red flake stick worms. also would recommend buying some 1/8oz and 1/4 worm weights. texas rig them and use weights depending on water depth, under 4ft deep or maybe a little deeper i recommend weightless anytime you can, unless you need to stay on the bottom.

 

what direction do i go: to keep it simple, go towards the fish, what do fish need ? they need food, cover, oxygen, and also to spawn.

during the spawn thats your main focus, the spawn, it can be tricky and easy at that same time.

summer depends on the water temp and the cover, if the water is hot you look in 2 places mostly, deep water and THICK THICK cover.          deep water will be cooler = more comfortable for the fish, you don't like it at 85-90 degrees either id guess and they are cold blooded, no way to regulate body temp. also many times in the first few hours of morning, especially in ponds fish will be shallow, pay attention to the difference in water temp, if you don't have a thermometer just feel the water.

then thick cover, think about we (and other animals) breathe out carbon dioxide, plants 'breath' out oxygen, so those thick green lily pads would have more oxygen, also they'd provide shade which will many times cool down the water abit. 

fall when it starts cooling down (water temp, fish don't care what the temp is above water, they cant feel that) bait fish move shallow. when are bait fish important? any time they are present  in a body of water. find the food you find the fish.

winter is similar to summer, another extreme, again its about water temp, deeper water will hold heat longer than shallower.

 

if you find running water like a spillway fish that, that means oxygen in the water and means bluegill and bait fish, Ive caught a lot of big bass like that.

 

 

find a place you know theres good fish in and fish it, fish a place you have confidence in and that you know has good fish in it.

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