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Bass fishing for smallmouth and largemouth bass. Tell us about your Lunker!


Postby Peril » Wed Jul 08, 2009 9:42 pm

Hey all,

I have been 'fishing' for about a year now, very unsuccessful. In that time I have caught one fish, a catfish, off a pier in North Carolina. It was about a foot and a half and was a blast to reel in.

I've been standing on the shore of the potomac casting hours on end with no luck at all. I have a Black Beauty 2 Rod and a Shimano R4000 reel, both of which I picked up from a local fishing/hardware store (very limited fishing supplies) for around $34.

When I fish, I usually stand across from Roosevelt Island, where I have seen other fishermen fish.

For my most recent birthday I was given four rapala lures. The 'original floater', 'fat rap', 'diver', and the name of the last one escapes me. They came in a kit called ultra lite rapala. Anyhow, I know these are more trolling lures but I figured I would go out and try them. No bites. They were not heavy enough to cast far out. During my time out there a boat passed by and caught six small fish, so I knew they were there.

I'm trying to teach myself to fish because its not really in the family. Its harder than I thought!

Back on topic. I talked to one of the fishers and he gave me some advice about shore fishing. He told me that using plastic, such as fake worms, is the best bet for shore fishing. He told me an offset hook(?) is good for using with the worm covering the hook so it doesn't get tangled on the weed. He said that every couple of seconds, pull it in a little so the worm jumps then floats down. He showed me that putting a triangular weight on the top and using that as a sinker is the best bet. He also said putting out stale marshmallows works great for small mouth!

Does anyone know what I am doing wrong? I've been out there so many times with nothing its starting to get frustrating!

A list of tackle, and supplies would be nice to have :)

Is my rod/reel bad?

How do I decide what size line to use? How does that affect the bait?

Why use leaders?

How do you decide what kind of knot/weights to use?

I have been searching the internet for a while now and really haven't found what I'm looking for. Any help is appreciated.

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Re: Newbie

Postby allingeneral » Fri Jul 10, 2009 12:24 pm

Hi Paul,

Your best bet, in my opinion, would be to keep watching others in teh area that you;re fishing and try to pick up tidbits from them. There's nothing wrong with walking up to someone and asking what they're using. Most will be happy to share information with you.

There's nothing at all wrong with your rod and reel.

For line weight selection, you really want to select the lightest line that you can, as the heavier the line is, the more it will affect lure action, drift with current (larger surface area) and sometimes heavier line can even spook fish. You should probably be good with 8 or 10lb test.

Leaders are generally used when you're fishing for fish that have teeth, as they will slice right through your line if you're not using a leader. Leaders can also be used to set up a drop rig like the one I use to catch catfish a few miles south of you in the Rappahannock River. That setup uses a 2 ounce weight at the bottom of the rig/leader with a couple of hooks hanging off the rig a few inches up from the weight. This keeps the bait off the bottom, but close enough to the bottom to attract some nice blue cats.

I am a big fan of live bait such as minnows or worms when fishing from shore. I don't use artificial baits much, personally.

I hope that helps. Keep at it! If nothing else, it's a beautiful day to be outside today :)
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Re: Newbie

Postby Rich Lindgren » Fri Jul 10, 2009 1:36 pm

Maybe give us a little info about the area you are fishing, is there a lot of weeds, rocky area, steep break or shallow flat? That really effects your lure decision. You probably do need a bait or two you can fish slower on the bottom. Rapalas like you described can work great on days that the fish are active, but bass are not always willing to chase. A stick worm like a Yum dinger or Senko would be a good place to start, keep it simple black or green pumpkin in color.

As far as knots, I would learn the Palomar knot, very simple, strong and works for everything.

LIve bait like minnows or night crawlers below a float can be a great way to get some action.
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