Monday, July 18, 2016
Fishing for Newbs
Hey folks! Maybe it was just how we were both raised, but for my husband, John, and I, no summer is complete without fishing. Besides enjoying nature, relaxing, and (hopefully) catching some tasty fish to cook up at home, it's a pretty cheap pastime! I have a special guest post from John today for those of you who may have never been fishing before because you've never had a chance or just didn't know where to begin!
Fishing pole - I recommend the Dock Demon by Zebco. It's small and portable, relatively cheap, and good quality. You can get cheaper poles, but they are harder to use. They also are light enough to feel the small fish biting the hook.
Hooks - Small panfish/cricket hooks are a great general hook.
Sinkers - Small but heavy, about pea sized.
Bobber - Optional, but whatever you like best.
Bait - I like old fashioned live bait: Worms and Crickets.
Fishing license - Some states have discounts/free for veterans and old/young. Do not skip this - they do not mess around with game/fishing laws.
Pole should come pre-strung with fishing line. Feed line through pole guides and tie on hook. I recommend the Palomar knot - easy to tie and very strong. Feed line through hook eye then back out eye so you have a loop. Tie a standard knot in the loop around hook, feed hook through loop and tighten. Trim excess line. Place sinker about 1-2 ft away from hook. Place bobber above this (3-4 ft from hook is a good general size.) Bait your hook and have fun.
Cast for shady areas, where you see fish, or just wherever. Best fishing times are generally early morning/sunrise till 10-11am and again at sunset, but fish will feed throughout the day often "starting back up" every 1-2 hr.
I prefer casting with no bobber and I place the bait to cover the sharp hook end to prevent snags. You will lose a lot of hooks if there is a lot of debris on the water bottom. Just reel slowly and pause every now and then from reeling.
Experiment with the depth of the line using bobbers, Sometimes fish are near the surface, sometimes they are deep. It depends on time of day/time of year and water temp.
When you feel a bite (a tug on the line or you see the bobber or tip of pole go down) jerk hard back/up on the pole while reeling. This "sets the hook". Reel in your fish. Be quick, but don't try to rip them out of the water either.
Follow whatever rules/regulations are in place for your fishing area/state/lake etc.. For fish size/type/limit.
As far as preparing and eating fish goes, my favorite is panfish (bluegill, sunfish, etc..) Filet them, take skin off. Rinse fillets well and check for bones.
Soak in saltwater (milk for catfish) for an hour or so in fridge (gets rid of any bad fishy taste). In a gallon bag, place several cups of yellow cornmeal with salt and pepper to taste. Fry in peanut oil at 350-400 degrees Fahrenheit. Pieces are done when they float and are flaky when broken open.
Optional way: Place fillets in baking dish. Liberally drizzle with melted butter. Sprinkle with fresh lemon juice and a light dusting of creole seasoning. (I prefer Tony Chachere's Original Creole Seasoning.)