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Matt in NOVA

Another Virginia Newbie

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Hi folks. My name is Matt, I'm 39, I live in Woodbridge, Virginia, and I don't know $%(! about fishing! But I'm trying to learn.

Backing up a little, as a kid in Indiana I used to go fishing fairly often, but it was basically for panfish and the occasional, accidental smallmouth on live bait under a bobber. (And one 21" northern pike that might as well have been a great white, as far as I was concerned.) There wasn't much skill involved. I lost lures to snags very quickly and never caught anything on them, so I quit trying and basically stuck with live bait. Then I got a little older and got interested in other things. From my late teens until a couple years ago, I'd probably fished less than a dozen times total.

Now I have kids of my own and have taken them out a few times in the past couple years. They enjoy it -- especially when we catch fish! -- and we've had a little luck on panfish and catfish in the Occoquan Reservoir and Lake Burke. (I mention them by name because I know there are some other Northern Virginia folks here.) But it's hit-or-miss, and for their sake and mine I'd like to get better at finding the fish and figuring out how to catch 'em.

So where do bass come in? Well, a couple weekends ago my six year-old and I were fishing from the bank on the Occoquan and catching nothing but tiny bluegill. I opened the tackle box and noticed a rattle trap there that I'd bought in a fit of optimism a while back. I thought, "eh, what the heck -- our luck can't get any worse." So I tied it on and cast it down the bank, across the front of some grass poking out of the water, and retrieved it. Nothing. On my second cast it took about two cranks before a largemouth nailed the lure! It's a good thing the fish hit it hard, because I honestly didn't expect anything and probably would've missed it if it hadn't basically set the hook itself. That was the first largemouth (larger than a few inches) that I ever caught, and I'm pretty sure it was the first fish I ever caught on any kind of artificial bait!

Anyway, once I landed him -- not a big fish at all by bass standards, but a whole lot more impressive than palm-sized bluegill** -- I thought, "gee, that was a lot of fun! I'd really like to do that again!" Of course I lost that lure to a snag about two casts later. But I've been out to try again at least a half-dozen times in the past two weeks (I've even snuck out late at night a couple times, when I should've been sleeping), and all I've managed to do is lose more lures. The only bites I've gotten were mosquito bites.

I've been doing some reading to try to figure out what I'm doing wrong, but so far it hasn't made any difference. A couple nights ago, as I was nearing the end of another frustrating evening, it dawned on me that I don't even know enough to get much out of what I'm reading. Look for structure? Check! How do I find it? Simple stuff like that. Basically, I don't know #%(! about fishing. So that's why I'm here.

**Funny story: when I landed that bass and showed it to my little boy, he put down his cane pole, pointed at my rod, and said, "I want that one!"  Smart kid!   ;D

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Welcome, keep reading and keep casting!

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Keep reading and you will get the hang of it. A few pointers.

Cover is basically anything a log/ a dock/ a rock / anything a bass can lay around.

When retreving a crank bait swith it up, dont just do a stedy reel in, twitch the rod jerk it, reel pause, those kind of things will catch you more fish.

Also look into some plastics worms/creatures/craws and cast those around the cover. (rig them texas style so they are weedless)

You are on the right track, keep it up.

Derek

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Also look into some plastics worms/creatures/craws and cast those around the cover. (rig them texas style so they are weedless)

Thanks, Derek. Yeah, I've been messing around with worms and brush hogs -- Texas, Carolina, drop shot, wacky worms rigged weedless with my daughter's orthodontic rubber bands. I still manage to lose them regularly ::), but it doesn't sting as much as losing lures.

I've been trying different retrieves, but since I'm not catching anything I don't get any real feedback on what works and what doesn't.  I have a strong suspicion that a big part of it is that I'm just not fishing the right places.   :-/

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Welcome!  Sounds like you got bass bit =) Digging deeply into the threads here you'll find all kinds of pointers, and don't forget the ones stickied at the top.  Some of the best information can be found there.  Not to mention youtube videos and google search.

Sippi

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Welcome....................

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Welcome home!

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Welcome!

Best thing you can ever use to catch fish is a senko, or similar worms. I say this because you have little kids and the skills needed to fish it properly are very low. Last week for fun I tied a senko under a bobber and pulled out a 10 inch bass. And then this past weekend my buddy placed top ten in a tournament solely using a senko to catch the fish.

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Welcome! I agree on the Senko's. Most of my fish are caught on those and spinner baits.

Keep fishing and one day you will be catching oodles of fish and not be 100% sure what you were doing so different... you just get better slowly :)

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Glad to have you with us.

Read the posts from the NOVA guys in the Southeast Bass Fishing section and don't be bashful asking questions.

Read the articles on this forum plus subscribe to Bassin Magazine.

Visit BPS down the road south of Ashland and look at the DVDs. If you fish tidal rivers check out the Woo Daves productions.

Make plans to attend the Richmond and Fredericksburg fishing expos early next year.

Consider joining a local bass club to learn the waters, where to launch your boat and what baits and techniques they use.

Take the free DG&IF boating safety course.

And most important, please post your successes and failures for our input.  :)

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Welcome, You will find all of the info here you will probrably ever need.. and then some.. There are a lot of great people here who know a lot about fishing and boating.

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Welcome to BR Matt from Sunny California.

Lots of great people here so pull up a chair and stick around awhile.

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