Fishing for Tips....on Fishing

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Fear The Spear

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This is a fishing thread for dummies.
I want to start fishing again, and the last time I fished was when my Dad took me out as a boy.
So, it's like starting all over again, now.

I plan to do some salt-water fishing from piers. And I want to catch edible fish, and tasty ones, like flounder, one of my personal favorites.

I've got the gear I need. I'm just unsure about the next few steps.
So, just basically looking for any and all "tips" in general, to give me the most success.
It doesn't have to be some rare "secret" or anything. It could be basic tips, since this thread is for dummies, as said earlier.
For example - best time of day to go, any particular weather patterns that would make it better or worse, suggestions on bait/lures, any techniques, or anything and everything that would help a guy get back into the swing of fishing.

So, right now I'm fishing for tips.
Then I plan to fish, for fish.
And then, I plan to fish for compliments, after I catch the big one (with you guys' help), and come back to show the pics.
 

Ax

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General idea as to where you are fishing?

You mention salt water. A moving tide is usually preferable.

Good line, sharp hooks, and always check your drag.

Fishing in the rain can be productive. This does not include lightning. An approaching storm is fine, but get the hell out of dodge before the lightning bolts arrive.

If you are in a relationship, try to involve them. Even if it's just making sure they enjoy eating what you catch. If they like to fish too, take them whenever you can.

Fishing takes time. The more the merrier.
 

riggins44

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You can check local reports on what's being caught and which bait working best.

Hopefully in week or so you will be able start to get some peelers.

Also make friends with someone(s) with a boat that likes to fish.
 

Fear The Spear

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General idea as to where you are fishing?
Not too picky. Fishing more for food, and for relaxation/recreation, rather than for "sport"
Like I mentioned earlier, anything tasty and reasonably easy to catch like Flounder.
Although I've heard mixed reports about Flounder, that they can only be caught in places like Lagoons, and other shallow water areas, since they're bottom feeders. But I've also heard of people catching them off piers. So I'm a little confused about the flounder potential off of piers
 

micks113

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You don't say where you are. For freshwater and saltwater especially, you really need a boat. If you want freshwater tips, I can tell you all you need for crappie, bass, yellow perch, or catfish. When to fish and where to find them and what to use to catch em. Oh yeah, you 'll need to know HOW to catch them with this info. If you're on the east coast, tidal waters especially, I'll put you on them. Let me know where you are.
 

Fear The Spear

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You don't say where you are. For freshwater and saltwater especially, you really need a boat. If you want freshwater tips, I can tell you all you need for crappie, bass, yellow perch, or catfish. When to fish and where to find them and what to use to catch em. Oh yeah, you 'll need to know HOW to catch them with this info. If you're on the east coast, tidal waters especially, I'll put you on them. Let me know where you are.
I'm East Coast. A true NFC East guy, fishin the salty Atlantic.
Unfortunately I don't have a boat, unless you feel like inviting me onto yours :)
First question - lures or bait ?
 
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Ax

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I'm East Coast. A true NFC East guy, fishin the salty Atlantic.
Unfortunately I don't have a boat, unless you feel like inviting me onto yours :)
First question - lures or bait ?
Yeah, I was wondering where to.

Anywho, lures or bait? Whatever's working. Live minnows usually work well anywhere. But as micks said, there are specific things that work better on specific fish.

The Basic Starters
Freshwater - Live nightcrawlers all but guarantee you'll catch something. Whether it's a creek, river, pond, or lake. Bass, largemouth or smallmouth, bluegill, catfish, trout, perch, etc... all fancy a juicy crawler, at times.

Saltwater - Bloodworms are the saltwater version of nightcrawlers in freshwater. Practically anything in the water can be caught with them.

For both salt, and freshwater, the type of fish you're targeting will determine line weight, hook size, rig up, etc...

As for lures, they are more specific to what you're after. They're not all one trick ponies, but size, weight, style, and color ranges vary widely.
 

Fear The Spear

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Saltwater - Bloodworms are the saltwater version of nightcrawlers in freshwater. Practically anything in the water can be caught with them.
I just checked my local bait/tackle shop and they don't have bloodworms.
But they have artificial bloodworms. Will those work well ?
If not, what's 2nd on the list, for a bait that will cover a wide range of fish ?
 

Ax

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For bloodworms, nothing beats the real deal.

Live minnows. Shrimp. Clam snouts. It really depends on location. Full salt water? Brackish? Water depth?
 

Boone

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Cut mullet or squid is also a pretty good bait for saltwater beach fishing but you'll catch a lot of sand sharks and rays whether you want to or not :)
 

Dead Money

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Members here may have lived in just one area or like myself or have traveled and fished in multiple locations. Every area has different species and technique. Some will call bays "the ocean" when species in bays may be restricted to only a few.

Boone gives good advice... Cut bait (local to you) will work just about anywhere. But you will have to weed through well the weeds if any... The bottom dwellers (usually the less tastey the more numerous) and the critters like crabs.

I'd suggest cut shad, pogie or mullet depending on where you are. Flounder from the shore or pier are a tough target specifically... So go with a rig that will catch multiple species. I prefer a Carolina rig for cut bait from shore but being a boat whore... I don't fish from shore very often anymore.

I suggest setting a bait out with a circle hook and a medium drag with a large rod 9' or longer in a sand spike and maybe a small Bell on the rod tip. And then cast a jig head with any number of artificial "impregnated" baits like Berkley gulp on another rod. This keeps you doing something and allows you to move around and possible find the honey hole. Ax is offering good advice that fish like moving water. Slack tide is usually either time to go home or move. Think about a fish staying head first into the direction the current is coming from and picking off goodies as they float by. In addition they will lay in holes just out of the current to minimize energy spent. Of course each specie is different but you'd be amazed how all species are alike in many ways.

Tackle shops are meant for questions... Fisherman love to talk fishing and different techniques.

Good luck... Can't wait to see the pictures!
 

Fear The Spear

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Where will said "fishing" occur?
around the Carolina Beach area.
You guys covered the bait topic really well. The other thing I'm mulling is the best time of day, for pier fishing ? dawn, dusk, etc ?
I know it depends on a lot of factors like weather, tide, etc.....but generally speaking, what's the best time of day recommended ?
 

Ax

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Tide is probably the #1 time factor.
 

Miles Monroe

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You can catch flounder of shore or piers. Just depends on the bottom where the pier is. I prefer surf casting, as the piers round here get very crowded. As others said, tide is important. I have an online tidal chart that I can change locations on for the spot I plan on fishing. Learn to tie good knots, as modern line can be a bit less forgiving then old style monofil. Make some flounder rigs. I have a homemade sand spike (rod holder) with an extra stout spike being we don't always have soft sand. Bait depends on what I'm fishing for, and if I fish bottom or top. I have a 5 gal bucket with a battery powered aerator for live bait.
 

Fear The Spear

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Tide is probably the #1 time factor.
Looks like we got a possible tropical development off the Carolinas coast in the next couple days.
Even if there's no tropical storm - at the very least, they're expecting significant changes in riptides, high surf, and perhaps some rain/wind.
Will any of these work to my advantage at any point during this weather process, fishing-wise ?
Any criteria I should look for, to pinpoint good timing ?
Or will there be no good fishing until after this completely blows over ?
 

Miles Monroe

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I haven't done it, but I hear it's good to go right after the storm passes. The logic behind it is, bad storms often mess with sea grass beds, causing far more bait fish out into the open. I wish I could find the time to fish more often. I'm in a fishermen's paradise.....

If you go out after the storm, go with live bait on a "free line" set up.
 

Dead Money

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Oh cool, well I lived in Wilmington for a while so CB is familiar.... Beach and pier, Incoming tide 3-4 hours before high tide until slack tide. And any outgoing tide near the inlet. THose are my preferences. Sure people catch fish on all sorts of tides.

You can walk the beaches there and look for sloughs or sandbars. The is a big depth change near these spots and the current runs through and gives fish a chance to ambush bait. Live Shrimp, finger mullet or cut mullet works great there. Also gulp bait shrimp on 1/4 to 1/2oz jigheads are fun drag them slowly and you will find holes full of puppy drum and trout. If you want to go out on a boat fishing, PM me and I will put you in touch with a good friend of mine who runs out of masonboro sometimes. Good local guy who I fished with all the time when I was living there.
 

Dead Money

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I haven't done it, but I hear it's good to go right after the storm passes. The logic behind it is, bad storms often mess with sea grass beds, causing far more bait fish out into the open. I wish I could find the time to fish more often. I'm in a fishermen's paradise.....

If you go out after the storm, go with live bait on a "free line" set up.
Damn Pete I fished all the time around Sanibel and Port Charlotte when I lived over there in Fort Misery. Sad we never got together.
 

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