Episode-1341- The Basics of Fishing Gear

A Small Surf Caught Pompano that became Sashimi

A Small Surf Caught Pompano that became Sashimi

While at Sanibel Island I did a LOT of fishing.  Had a blast as the surf was pretty good to me for the first half of the trip.  About mid way into it, the ocean just got really rough and turbid and it really wasn’t worth the effort at that point.

I always enjoy fishing and frankly the last year was so full of work not much of it got done.  I enjoy fishing in fresh and salt water, in bays, estuaries, the surf, rivers, streams, creeks, hell I would fish a puddle if I thought there was a fish in it.

Surf fishing is hard to beat though, just for pure variety and the “never know what you will catch next” factor.  Over the years I have both caught and watched others catch some really interesting stuff just surf fishing the guts and bars on the beaches.

Here is a list of the species I caught while on vacation in the Sanibel Island Surf…

  • Spanish Mackerel
  • Permit
  • Snook
  • Ladyfish
  • Whiting
  • Gafftop Sail Catfish
  • Hard Head Catfish
  • Jack Cravalle
  • Blue Runner
  • Speckled Sea Trout

It was an absolute blast.  As always though when I am in a place where fishing is popular I see a ton of other fishermen.  Some are really switched on, some are specialists, like the guys fly casting to snook.  But there are always some who are well, just not quite “getting it”.

From rods that are too heavy to giant weights and hooks or God knows what else, you see a lot of things that just don’t work when you go fishing where others are fishing too.  This got me thinking, why not do a TSP fishing series.

So we are going to start that today, here is the plan for all the shows in this series…

  • Episode One -The basics of gear, rods, hooks, weights, reels, etc. (Today)
  • Episode Two – Fishing rivers and streams
  • Episode Three – Fishing the surf and bays and piers, etc.
  • Episode Four – Lakes
  • Episode Five – All about boats and hiring guides
  • Episode Six – “Unconventional Methods” – Jugging, Trot Lines, Bank Lines, etc.

If there is anything else you would want added to that list, let me know.  I am not going to focus much of artificals today but will pepper thoughts on them into most of the episodes as the situations discussed demand.

For Today this is What We Will Cover

  • Rods and reels (bait casting, spinning, fly, cane, etc)
  • Types of fishing line, mono, braided, fluoro
  • Hooks, bait holder, khale, circle, long shank (Aberdeen and Siwash), treble
  • Weights, split shots, casting, slip, rubber core and more
  • Nets and gaffs
  • Bait containers, stringers, coolers, etc
  • Floats, round, stick, slip, fly bubbles, etc.
  • Clippers, pliers, first aid stuff, hand towel, gloves, etc.
  • Some basic tips that always apply
    • Fish relate to structure and edges
    • Use the lightest gear that is suitable
    • If you are getting no action, move, change baits, etc. don’t just wait
    • Talk to others, read “fishing reports”
    • If you are going to fish often in one place keep notes
    • Target species or “go for anything” based on the situation
    • Learn “feel”, “hook set” and “play” (find easy action)
    • Have fun, don’t overdue it

Resources for today’s show…

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28 Responses to Episode-1341- The Basics of Fishing Gear

  1. Dude!!!! I’ve been waiting for you to do a show like this. Thanks. Listening now. Hope the vacay was a good refresher!

  2. Jack
    A fantastic place to catch White Bass is Colorado Bend State park in Texas, it’s off the beaten path but between Feb and May the fishing in unbelievable, most rivers in Texas at this time are over crowded but this being well off the beaten path and you have to drive close to 10 miles on dirt roads to get back to the park so it’s no where near as crowded as other places.
    We should organize a fishing trip there next year, the limit is 25 a day and like you said after a couple hours we’ll be sitting around the fire drinking beer and shooting the shit, lots of camp areas there and a few cabins can be rented in or less than a mile from the Park, the cabins are 35-50 yards from the river.

    I loved this show!
    Shannon

  3. Great show. I just renewed my fresh water license last weekend, and added a shellfish license for the first time. (western WA). Going to take the kids clamming at the beach, and experiment with various trout rigs in local lakes and streams.

  4. Travis Biggs

    Love the topic Jack, learn to fish this summer myself in Colorado Springs and can use as much help and advice as I can get, keep it coming

    Thanks

  5. Rick Allen

    Hi Jack. I wanted to share the secret/reason of freezing fish in bags of water. During the heyday of Toledo Bend, my father and I used to fish there, near Hemphill, where my Uncle had a bait camp. We would slay those Crappies and Bluegill, catching a couple hundred sometime.

    For just a few fish, a short stay in the freezer is fine, but a long stay will bring on the much dreaded freezer burn. Fish caught, cleaned and immediately water-bagged and popped in the freezer will last a very long time with their flavor remaining intact. No air=no freezer burn. Dad and I were also professional Shrimpers based in Galveston and our freezer was always full of shrimp, soft shelled crabs and fish. Seafood three times a week… oh yeah! Alas, Now I live in WV. Its hard to find fresh shrimp in the tristate area and I cant stand even the smell of freezer burned seafood. 🙁 Great show and I look forward to the next installment! Cheers.

  6. Brandon Enos

    Wow. Talk about timing. Been wanting to buy a new rod and reel of my own (never had my own, always used other peoples’ and hand-me-downs) and started to do some research on what to buy last week. Looking forward to listening to this one in the AM.

    Thanks Jack!

  7. How about having Chef Keith Snow on for a show on preparing fish. Been awhile since he’s been on. I’m sure he’d know a few things about fish.

  8. LICountryboy

    I say yes, continue the series. It has been a long time since your Fishing Options show back in February of ’09.

    You should add a piece on equipment maintenance like how important it is to rise down rods and reels with fresh water after fishing, especially if fishing in salt water. I am less than 1 mile from the mouth of Hempstead Harbor here on LI but I don’t get out as much as I should or want.
    The county is finishing up restoring a local fresh water pond that they have said will now be stocked so that is awesome if it does happen.

  9. I would enjoy a couple more shows on this as well. Fished all my life but mainly just to waste time or out catching crappie with dad who in his prime was a crappie catchin beast. Never really cared to delve too deep into it since it just wasn’t my cup of tea. But tsp flipped some kinda switch in me and now I’m pretty eager to learn much more. Enjoyed this episode by the way.

  10. What are your thoughts on using the vacuum sealed packages of minnows that can be found at some stores? What is this good for (My first thought was catfish and carp)?

  11. Also +1 on doing a whole series of fishing shows… I just started after a 15 year haitus and I used to be really good… sadly not so much today.

  12. Damn you Jack! Listened to this episode during my morning commute on a beautiful spring morning here on Long Island, NY. Came SOOOO close to calling in sick and going fishing! Definitely one of the best hobbies I have. I can’t wait to hear the rest of this series and agree that an appearance by Chef Keith Snow may be appropriate given that many of us catch and release guys do it equally for the sport and the fact that we don’t know how to cook fish well. A gutting/filleting tutorial wouldn’t hurt either.

    • LICountryboy

      I think about calling in sick every day and going fishing no matter what the weather. This morning was particularly nice.

  13. Great show!!!!!!

  14. I’m not really into fishing, but I do enjoy the change of pace in the podcast. Kind of gets back into that skills category. Lately, I’ve been feeling that part has been missing.

  15. David in MN

    I love the topic, keep it coming.

    Up in MN, if you breathe, you fish. I pulled some good info out of the show. Fishing seems to highly regional (I assume Texas has a short ice fishing season) so covering everything is pretty much impossible. The general stuff is a perfect introduction. It’s a hard hobby to “start” and I think laying out the basics is great.

    Oh, in most of the upper-midwest ever restaurant does a fish fry every Friday with perch or crappie dredged in seasoned flour, dunked in thinned buttermilk, and dredged in breadcrumbs. Deep fried it’s perfection. In MN, however, pan fried walleye seems to be preferred so I swap my walleye for perch all the time. Regionality is amazing.

  16. In regards to the red line: Different light colors dissipate at different depths under water. It’s the reason florescent yellow is popular in snorkeling a scuba diving. If there is no red light to bounce of a red object it may look a different color or be hard to see. I know from experience that blood at 55+ feet looks green.

    http://www.uwphotographyguide.com/underwater-photography-lighting-fundamentals
    Red – 15ft
    orange – 25ft
    Yellow – 35-45ft
    Green – 70-75ft

  17. FYI – I am no super fishing guy but if they are legal in your state, I am a fan of the set and forget Whites Automatic Fishing Yo-Yos – especially for the bugout bag. Not exactly “sporting” but cheap and easy. Can be used for bottom fishing or float fishing. Kinda like jug or bankline fishing but with a spring loaded auto-hook-set function.

  18. There was a great video posted to field and stream about fish hook removal. WARNING it is a bit graphic.

    http://video.fieldandstream.com/video/How-to-remove-a-fish-hook-Guide#c=K7NCKZ0NL9G2HW26&t=How to remove a fish hook – Guide sticks 4 hooks in arm to demonstrate!

  19. Awesome show Jack! Any chance of talking a bit about ice fishing or having someone on to talk about it? Especially with this winter, we had people out ice fishing on Lake Superior just a few days ago. Course, this is the frozen wilds of Michigan.

  20. You said you din’t know why people freeze fish in water, it prevents freezer burn.
    I suppose freezer burn is a kind of freeze drying of the meat or food without flash freezing first. I would not consider freezing them as you said by drying them and then freezing.

  21. FoolishCop

    Add me to the list of people saying more like this…and thinking it was good timing as well. I follow a particular fishing channel on YouTube and had asked the host if he’d ever done a show on beginner gear. He said, no, but it was something he ought to get around to…but never did.

    I love fishing, had done tons of it with my dad when I was a kid, but got away from it as I got older. I do go deep sea fishing with my kids every year, and though I had picked up a couple of fresh water poles a few years back, but know it’s not the right gear. Plus I never picked up any real gear otherwise, so yes, this show was great timing for me and I want to see more.

    Rich

  22. Christopher de Vidal

    Looking forward to listening to this one. I just inherited oodles of fishing gear from my grandfather and wife’s father and am going fishing in a few weeks. Thanks for all you do!

  23. When is the Surf fishing trip? Im game for the Colorado river trip too. Maybe a Texoma striper group?

    • Modern Survival

      Well I am going to need like a team leader for both I guess, I don’t have time to do the details right now and won’t anytime soon.

      I say Colorado River is Spring of 15 but getting started with reserving cabins etc. ain’t a bad idea.

      The coast can really be anytime and any beach. Though timing tides and weather is important as I said. Perhaps a TSPer down that way can lend a hand with coordination?

      Stripers on Texoma? Sounds fun but most guides take 2 people to 4 people max. I have a good guide that fishes Tawakoni for stripers, hybrids and white bass. He knows enough folks I could likely assemble a small flotilla, but we’d need a solid head count in advance. I don’t know that he fishes Texoma at all.