T Nation

New to the Fishing Game


There doesn’t seem to be a current thread for all things fishing so I thought I’d start a new thread. I know there are some avid fishermen here.

A couple of questions if you don’t mind and feel free to talk about anything and everything related to fishing in here.

  1. I’m pretty new to fishing for real and I plan to mostly fish freshwater for bass & trout this year. What are everyone’s favorite lures/setups? Do you prefer live bait?

  2. I’m headed down to the Outerbanks NC later this year and would like to do some saltwater fishing. I’ve been told you need a saltwater rod/reel is that true (I understand a lot of it has to do with being able to cast past where waves are breaking)? I could use some rod/reel suggestions for saltwater. How about bait for saltwater fishing? I’ll be there mid summer so it looks like these are the sorts of fish in season (Blue marlin, white marlin, dolphin, wahoo, cobia, king mackerel, bluefish, tuna, flounder, snapper, grouper, spanish mackerel, & croaker).


You’re bait is going to be specific to the water you’re fishing in. That being said, if I had one lure to use for the rest of my life it would be a black and silver Rapala. I use live bait about %20 when fishing for bass.

I solely use spinning tackle (Shimano reel and a 6’ St. Croix rod) for bass.

I’ve never fished in saltwater other than off a party boat in Tarpon Springs, FL and there I spent most of the time chumming the water and sipping warm 7 UP.


I like fly fishin’. Being somewhere in Maryland you should like fly fishing too.

@SteelyDan is the saltwater/brine big bass buda.

I really don’t know much about spinning tackle/live bait.


Oh man, I could write a book. If I was any good at writing.

Lure types. Depends on their location, water temp, barometric pressure, weather conditions, time of day, what they are feeding on.

Structure. Look at the shore line. Look for changes in the terrain. Bass will use all types of structure to use as cover to ambush their prey. Something as minor as large rocks turning into pebbles can hold bass. Under water vegetation, sand into grass, if it is changing on the shore follow its path into the water and work those areas. Points are good spots. In the summer months, top water lures before sunrise until an hour or two after should find fish. Even longer in overcast weather.

Confidence in the lures you are using is important.

Pay attention to what you are doing. Sometimes you might be get a strike when you momentarily pause a retrieve on a moving bait, this can be something that helps you catch more fish that day.

I am not very experienced with trout fishing.


Sorry, I didn’t read your entire post before writing my response. I got to excited I guess.

You can use fresh water reels while salt water fishing. After your day on the water thoroughly rinse them with fresh water. If you are going to be putting the reels up for more than a couple of days, remove all the line and rinse thoroughly in with fresh water. You would want a species specific rod and reel for the Marlin. A surf rod and reel if you will be surf fishing. You could use a large fresh water reel, but you would want a very long pole, 10ft or so, the long pole will give you a lot more distance on your cast.


Fishing is just a practical joke on something that doesn’t really have a brain.

“Here’s some food you stupid fish. Just kidding. It’s a hook!”

Don’t overthink it.


Thansk Dr. P. I just picked a silver Rapala up actually and will hopefully give it a shot this weekend.

How hard is it to get into fly fishing? I’ve never tried it.


Thanks for all that useful info!


I like fishing with light beer and I don’t start sipping bourbon until at least one fish is caught. Miller Lite is a good choice on a hot day, especially if you plan on fishing for a long time. I won’t say you’ll catch fewer fish if you go with something darker, but that’s how it always seems to work for me.


Nice! I’m more of a Yuengling kind of guy, though.

(Much prefer bourbon)


I don’t have a ton of experience with fly fishing. But, in my experience, I was doing it with very little problems and placing the fly where I wanted well before the end of the day. A morning should be enough time to get comfortable.


Nice, that’s not bad at all. I might look into it.


I was taught how to fly fish on a fast-moving, narrow trout stream in the middle of the north woods. I spent most of the time untangling knots.

I’d recommend learning to fly fish somewhere with lots of space, far away from any shrubbery and on a body of water without much current. Learning how to properly present the fly is tricky enough without worrying about managing your slack at the same time.

Like lifting, it helps to learn from someone who knows what they are doing.


Welcome to having a new hobby that may be more expensive an addictive than gun ownership. Say this to your wife when she starts asking questions But honey, you can’t even buy this at fresh market or whole foods.


Spinner baits are good for trout. I like smaller spinner baits on a ultralight rod spinning rod with 4lb fluorocarbon coated line. Good colors are white with silver blades and black with gold blades. For faster water and larger fish go with jerk baits and spoons.

Live bait for trout. worms work great in slack water. Use a small baitholder hook #6 eagle claw and put some split shot about a foot up from your terminal tackle(hook) Bounce this off the bottom in pools below rapids. Check your local regulations to check on what type of tackle is legal and what licenses are needed. Minnows work well fished under a bobber. Regulations differ drastically from state to state.

Saltwater in NC.

You mentioned a huge variety of species many of which are pelagic and some are you will catch along the coast.

Bluefish, flounder, some Spanish mac’s, and croaker can be caught near the inter tidal zone or from a pier frequently. The other fish it really helps to have a boat. So hiring a reputable guide would worthwhile IMO. This will be expensive, but fun.

I would start from the beach or from a pier with a saltwater spinning reel and surf road with a fish finder rig. Why do you need a saltwater reel. The bearings are sealed, and this prevents saltwater from eating them. Most freshwater reels are not sealed and will die quickly. Even with good tackle, you should wash your rod and reel daily in fresh water. Bait, cut squid, dead or live shrimp. Local advice trumps mine any day. Catching fish takes work. Finding a knowledgeable local shop is a good thing when learning to fish.

Google this rod and reel combo for surf fishing. This is a good starter setup.
Shakespeare Ugly Stik 10’ Bigwater Spinning Combo


Awesome, thanks man!


This is another point worth emphasizing. Regulations can even vary on different parts of the same body of water within a single state. Know your regs!


you just know everything. A fascinating man, indeed.


Roll Cast!!!

Flinging flies is pretty easy. A few hours on the water, and if you’re a real cool aid drinker- in the back yard practicing and you can be a trout sniper in no time.

There are tons of vids on YouTube. The best ones are some British casting gurus called “sexy loops”. Funny too. Like Monty Python with fishing.

The prices on gear can be scarry though, so make sure you like it before getting carried away with the latest in Orvis accoutrements.


In the order of required technical acumen.

  1. Fly Fishing = The Olympic Lifting of fishing.

  2. Spin Casting = The Power Lifting of fishing.

  3. Worm under a bobber = The Bodybuilding of fishing.


Baitcast fishing is more difficult than spincasting. Flipping and pitching takes some skill.


Egg Head! Haven’t seen you on the board for a while. Have you drifted some flies down any nice creeks lately?