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Hello. My name is Noclutch and I don't fish, yet... Long post.

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Hello. My name is Noclutch and I don't fish, yet... Long post.

Old 07-24-2014, 09:58 AM
  #1  
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Red face Hello. My name is Noclutch and I don't fish, yet... Long post.

Ok, I admit it. I got a nice fishing boat (that replaced my bowrider for all the right reasons- the family's enjoyment and safety) but I don't fish! Thanks to all for ALL of the wonderful input you have given me over the last year in helping me select a KW 239FS. The boat has been all we were looking for

I have not fished since in my teens in the late 70's, and that was in and around Galveston bay, Texas. I do have fond memories of catching redfish in the flats and speckled and sand trout in the bay. Live and dead shrimp was dad's bait of choice, though we did use some cut mullet too. Seems artificial never yielded anything there.

I'm now in Ocala and have been cruising the ICW from Jax to Daytona a fair amount over the last 7 years, and have been out of Crystal river once scalloping once last year (and in my bow rider then). Took the 20' bow rider to the Super boat races last year in Clearwater, poked my nose out the jetty and quickly realized that I needed a bigger and saltier boat to go out there on a busy day. And so I have that base covered well now.

So for my birthday last week the kids got me a nice Penn reel/pole combination from Gander Mtn. Ok not top shelf stuff I know, bu it will get the ball rolling. So between it and all the hints that they want to learn to fish, I now need to equip the family and educate myself, ALOT!!

I know that there are lifetimes of knowledge here on THT regarding fishing the sunshine states central bays and ICW, but before I even get out there I need to get some more gear. A basic box of the typical tackle used for what may be caught particularly on the north central ICW and out of CR. I'd probably like to stay with dead bait at this juncture as dedicated serious day fishing trips are a bit off yet, and I don't yet want to deal with live things in my live well. LOL

QUESTION: In the Ocala to Leesburg area, where could I go to get rigged up to an adequate degree for the stuff I might need?
I don't want to be sold a big pile of tackle that I'll never need, but I don't want to be out there and saying "dang, I wonder if there is a better way to do this?"
I like the rod/reel combination the kids got me, and guess I could go back to Gander and see what a sales associate there might try to sell me, but sometimes "big box"stores leave me kinda cold. If I know what I want to buy, they are ok. But not the best place to start a knowledge base.

I know that this is a very open ended question, but any guidance y'all could give me in getting my tackle box going ( as well as additional poles and reels) would be appreciated. Soon I'll be searching the threads regarding what is fished out of where thoroughly, but this is more of a reputable retailer recommendation request.

Thanks so much in advance THTers

Last edited by noclutch; 07-24-2014 at 01:00 PM.
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Old 07-24-2014, 10:12 AM
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Put some 16lb braid on that reel, get some 30lb leader, hooks, weights, floats and swivels. That's all you need. Lots of info on line for easy rigs you can tie yourself.
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Old 07-24-2014, 11:36 AM
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To me, there are really too many variables here. Fishing conditions change by the hour. It’s really all about experimentation. Keep in mind what works today probably won’t work tomorrow. If I were you, I wouldn’t be afraid of live bait; in my experience it's MUCH more effective at putting fish in the boat than tossing artificials. Learn how to throw a cast net and use a Sabiki rig.

Of course artificals are more fun and I personally get a better sense of accomplishment after landing a fish on artificals, but like I said they aren't usually as effective as live bait. I have my "go to" rigs for certain areas of the river but they don’t always produce. The more options you have the better your odds of catching the fish.

One other thought... Now that you have that nice new boat, it shouldn’t be hard to make friends with someone who knows your area well. Like anything in life if you want to learn how to do something fast, learn from someone better than you. Maybe hire a guide in your area. You will get answers to many of the questions you asked specific to the area you fish and the fish you want to target. The few hundred dollars you spend will save you A LOT of time and frustration.

Learn to think like a fish.
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Old 07-24-2014, 12:12 PM
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Noclutch, if I were you' I'd log into Florida Sportsman and peruse your geographic forum. Post an add looking for someone local who wants to go fishing with you. I'm sure you'd find someone to go out with you pretty easily, especially if your supplying the boat Best way to learn quickly is with someone experienced in the boat with you.

Good luck and enjoy the learning process.....that's half the fun

Brett
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Old 07-24-2014, 12:35 PM
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x2 on FS Forum, you will learn a ton just reading. I know some of the regions have a need a crew/want to fish sticky.

I don't think you will do too well in the ICW with your boat, that fishing is mostly dock/mangrove where a trolling motor is key. You can do well around the Ponce jetty and spoil islands out of CR though.

IMO your boat is very well suited for nearshore and some offshore on good days, lots more fishing options here especially if you just want a good tug on the line while you learn.

If you are like me and only fish for fun a handful of times per year Bass Pro has some decent combos (much better selection than Gander) that have served me well for many years. They might not have the best deals but at least you can hold it in your hands and get a feel for what you like... You can always upgrade down the road.
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Old 07-24-2014, 07:09 PM
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Call a local guide. Tell him you want to learn to catch fish in the area, and see about booking a day or two with him. There are guides on the TX coast who advertise "learning" trips, where they run all over the place, show you good places to fish and how. They are a tad more expensive, but, they are also burning a lot of gas. They may not show you their super secret honey holes, but they will get you started and over that steep learning curve. Just be honest with them. If they flinch at the thought, hang up and call another one.
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Old 07-26-2014, 07:41 PM
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Thanks guys. Never thought to get a guide.... figured I'd just go about it the bone headed way I usually do LOL At least forums and the interwebs make things a little easier these days! I have had a couple of guys offer up their services, gratis, if only for the opportunity to fish not form the shore.
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Old 07-27-2014, 04:35 PM
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Ocala has a Gander Mountain, and I buy a good bit of tackle there. Don't drive yourself insane with getting a ton of tackle at first. Here's what I use most in the Big Bend area:


Cajun Thunder popping cork with a 2 or 3 foot piece of 20 pound leader tied to a 3/0 or 4/0 circle hook or 1/4 ounce jig head. You can use this setup for popping artificial soft plastics like Gulp Shrimp etc when trying to catch trout on grass flats, or even redfish inshore. You can also put a piece of cut mullet or shrimp under the cork and catch these same species and more inshore.

I also throw a lot of top water spooks, like Rapala Skitterwalks or Heddon Super Spook Jrs. I take many great redfish and trout on these in creeks and around oyster bars or grass flats. I like to use a stiff piece of mono or fluoro leader material to prevent cutoffs from toothy shit, so I use 30 pound leaders but will go up to 50 pound if big snook are around.

Gold spoons work great as well, and they're easy to fish, throw it out, retrieve it.

Mirrodine suspending twitchbaits are also one of my favorite baits for catching trout, they're incredible.

If throwing out some cut bait or shrimp is your thing, just get some popping corks and 1/4 ounce jig heads. You can use the cork for when you're in shallow water and don't want to get hung up, or use the jig heads to just soak a shrimp or piece of cut bait on the bottom for a redfish.
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Old 07-27-2014, 05:24 PM
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X2 ^^^^^^^^^^ if you're in relatively shallow water (<10 feet)
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Old 08-08-2014, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Jim311 View Post
Ocala has a Gander Mountain, and I buy a good bit of tackle there. Don't drive yourself insane with getting a ton of tackle at first. Here's what I use most in the Big Bend area:


Cajun Thunder popping cork with a 2 or 3 foot piece of 20 pound leader tied to a 3/0 or 4/0 circle hook or 1/4 ounce jig head. You can use this setup for popping artificial soft plastics like Gulp Shrimp etc when trying to catch trout on grass flats, or even redfish inshore. You can also put a piece of cut mullet or shrimp under the cork and catch these same species and more inshore.

I also throw a lot of top water spooks, like Rapala Skitterwalks or Heddon Super Spook Jrs. I take many great redfish and trout on these in creeks and around oyster bars or grass flats. I like to use a stiff piece of mono or fluoro leader material to prevent cutoffs from toothy shit, so I use 30 pound leaders but will go up to 50 pound if big snook are around.

Gold spoons work great as well, and they're easy to fish, throw it out, retrieve it.

Mirrodine suspending twitchbaits are also one of my favorite baits for catching trout, they're incredible.

If throwing out some cut bait or shrimp is your thing, just get some popping corks and 1/4 ounce jig heads. You can use the cork for when you're in shallow water and don't want to get hung up, or use the jig heads to just soak a shrimp or piece of cut bait on the bottom for a redfish.
Thanks all and especially Jim311!

I stood in Rural King in Leesburg today just scratching my head and digging up memories of the basics- like leaders, treble vs single hooks, cork designs, and OMG line options!
I'll probably stick with dead bait for a while because my daughter(inlaw) is super interested and there's nothing like immediate results to stoke the fire! Of course artificails are soo much easier to manage than smelly dead stuff....so I'm sure well dabble in that as well when the bait's all gone for the day, or saving it for her

As best I recall and fwiw, it seemed that the way we rigged for trout with bait was (and please forgive my ignorance on terminology) to have the line come down to a 1-2' leader, off of which was a treble if dead shrimp or mullet, or single hook (through the horn- no jig head) for live shrimp, and maybe a couple light weights crimped onto the leader just above the hook- can't really remember...). Coming of of where the leader started was a shorter(?) piece of line with a weight at the bottom to keep things sorta vertical. All of this set to about 3-4' below the cork. Does this make sense? Suggested modifications? Jeeze. this is complicated!! (see what college does to ya! LOL)

Regarding Redfishing in the flats, honestly I can't remember how I was rigged, but I do remember it as being WAY more fun than trout fishing, though we did it wading on safe shoals. Seems around Fla, at least in the ICW near St A or Jax things are a little muckier, so staying in the boat might be the better option.

So for this season it will truly be a steep learning curve with lots of trial and error indeed!

Thanks again guys. On yea, I just now getting on the FS forums for some reading.. Soooo much to learn!

PS Jim311- you don't MTB by any chance, do you? Seems your user name is familiar to me - from MTBR?
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Old 08-10-2014, 06:57 AM
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Noclutch - I thought that new KWB caught fish all by itself. Good to see you on another forum.
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Old 08-11-2014, 06:44 AM
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Originally Posted by noclutch View Post
Thanks all and especially Jim311!

I stood in Rural King in Leesburg today just scratching my head and digging up memories of the basics- like leaders, treble vs single hooks, cork designs, and OMG line options!
I'll probably stick with dead bait for a while because my daughter(inlaw) is super interested and there's nothing like immediate results to stoke the fire! Of course artificails are soo much easier to manage than smelly dead stuff....so I'm sure well dabble in that as well when the bait's all gone for the day, or saving it for her

As best I recall and fwiw, it seemed that the way we rigged for trout with bait was (and please forgive my ignorance on terminology) to have the line come down to a 1-2' leader, off of which was a treble if dead shrimp or mullet, or single hook (through the horn- no jig head) for live shrimp, and maybe a couple light weights crimped onto the leader just above the hook- can't really remember...). Coming of of where the leader started was a shorter(?) piece of line with a weight at the bottom to keep things sorta vertical. All of this set to about 3-4' below the cork. Does this make sense? Suggested modifications? Jeeze. this is complicated!! (see what college does to ya! LOL)

Regarding Redfishing in the flats, honestly I can't remember how I was rigged, but I do remember it as being WAY more fun than trout fishing, though we did it wading on safe shoals. Seems around Fla, at least in the ICW near St A or Jax things are a little muckier, so staying in the boat might be the better option.

So for this season it will truly be a steep learning curve with lots of trial and error indeed!

Thanks again guys. On yea, I just now getting on the FS forums for some reading.. Soooo much to learn!

PS Jim311- you don't MTB by any chance, do you? Seems your user name is familiar to me - from MTBR?

Just about any leader setup will work. I just use weighted jigheads, like 1/4 ounce or simply no weight at all with a 3/0 or 4/0 circle hook especially around oysters or rocks.



Also, I used to post on MTBR but not so much these days. I pop my head in once in a while. I still ride, I just don't talk about it on the internet much
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