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View Full Version : First time trout fishing, need some help...



jackelmyer
06-29-2011, 02:26 PM
So next week I'm taking the family for our first REAL camping trip out at Pillsbury Lake. I've heard Trout fishing is the way to go there.

Well here, my main thing is this, I want my 5 year old and 8 year old to have fun fishing. I'm still relatively new to fishing in general. Only been out by my self for the past 1.5 years hunting down Catfish and Striped Bass. So trout... a whole different thing for me. The Bass out there is a whole different thing for me as well.

But back to my boys. Pillsbury Lake has a Dock to fish from. I'm excited because I can have my boys just drop their lines into the water. No throwing and hooking them selves or me! I'm assuming the structure of the dock is going to naturally attract fish of all types. I'm hoping a nice peacefull trout is one of them.

I'v read all over the web and I'm still not to sure about how to fish for them this time of year. Do I use a bottom rig with Powerbait or a worm? both? Do I need a bobber for my boys? I'm sure they'd like to bobber fish, but I don't know if I can at the depths I hear Trout will be at this time of year.

Basically, I need help! Tips! Ma boys are counting on me and, fellow Fish Sniffers, i'm counting on you! ;-p

Seriously, any tips guides, etc, is greatly appriciated!

lamar2626
06-29-2011, 02:52 PM
usually at this time of year the trout are in deeper waters. use a sliding egg weight right with a hook about 3 or 4 feet from your swivel. Garclic scent power baits seem to work the best for me. Also you can try the slow sinking bobber idea which allows you to cover basically all depths. You put the bobber on your line full of water and cast it out and it slowly sinks down to the bottom. Id try the sliding egg weight setup the most though.

TroutGhost
06-29-2011, 03:53 PM
Fishing with kids, especially boys, isn't the fun activity most people aspire to. Those magazine ads for Cabelas showing grandpa with his grandkids laughing as they haul in another trout is complete bull. Real life fishing with kids is a whole different affair.

First off, kids are fidgety and can't stand still to hold a rod and wait. It literally takes the average kid about one minute to get bored with holding a rod. They WANT to cast and retrieve, not hold a rod. So good luck with that.

The second hurdle to surmount when fishing with kids is noise and spooking the trout. Kids can't stay quiet to save their lives. If they're not throwing stuff into the water they're stomping around, talking loud, and even yelling. The only time my daughter caught a trout, her rod was in a rod holder and she was well away from the water, climbing up a tree acquiring a tick.

My advice to you is to cast it out there for them or drop it in the water, however you prefer, but use a rod holder. I like the coiled rod holders, they really keep a strong grip on the pole. Then set up some chairs a few steps back or better yet, off the dock, and start a side activity. My daughter likes kids card games, like Crazy Eight or Go Fish. Your kids will get a whole lot more out of hanging out at the shore with dad, digging up bugs or playing their favorite game than sitting around in the sun holding a stick, bored to heck. I think most kids don't spend enough time with their dad, I know my kid doesn't. So we both enjoy the opportunity to do something we both like doing, while the rod is in the rod holder.

I have never seen a kid under ten with the patience to hold a rod, hold still, and much less keep his mouth shut. It's just not in their nature. So do plan a side activity for you and the kids while the rod holder does its job, if you want to make this as enjoyable for them as it is for you. ;)

Blood Vessel
06-30-2011, 07:43 AM
I have to agree with Troutghost on this one....
I take kids fishing all the time since thats what my Dad, Uncles, & Grandfathers did for me. On reflection it was more about hanging out with them then the intensity of the fishing. If the lake has bluegills I would target them, as the are easy to catch & keep the kids entertained. But even with cathcing loads of bluegills the kids can get bored. Bring lots of games & lots of conversation. I get to the point where I will just let them throw rocks & do what they want just so they have a great experience. BELIEVE ME, they will want to go again & again. Thats why we still do it.
Also, if they have a marina look into renting a boat. Most kids think that a boat ride is an adventure in itself. Just buy some flashers or dodgers trailed with your favorite bait or lure & you have a good chance at hooking something up.
If you just remain on the dock, cast your poles out far with some bait & set them up with Kastmasters or any trout lure & let them cast until their arms fall off. Hiking the shoreline & fishing as you go is another way to burn some energy.

Last but not least, Bring a ton of snacks. If these kids are like the ones I always take, they will eat as much as they fish!

Good Luck & enjoy your day. Hopefully you come back with a great story & let them know they can stretch the truth if they have too. Thats Rule #1 in fishing!

SuckerPunch
06-30-2011, 08:14 AM
As for the fishing side of it, it looks like DFG isn't planting Pillsbury. So, if you want trout, you'll be after holdover/wild fish, which are a bit tougher to catch than some truck trout just shot out of the tube. If you're going to bait fish, I'd use more natural baits such as nightcrawlers over commercial baits such as PowerBait.

I think there're green sunfish in Pillsbury - if so, plunking a small jig or chunk of nightcrawler between rocks should give the kids plenty of enjoyment.

Fish_R_Us
06-30-2011, 03:40 PM
If you are fishing at Lk Pillsbury, then if you can get to where the Eel River dumps into the lake, that might be a good place because the water will be a bit cooler than the top and middle thermoclines of the lake. Also, since it's summer and the trout are getting lethargic, then bass & bluegills might be the best bite. There use to be a good pike population but I don't know if DF&G poisioned the lake in an attempt to exterminate the pike. We use to troll some large crankbaits and catch those toothy fish. Last time we camped/fished the lake was about 10 years ago and the lake was at drought level. We camped at Poggi Point Campground and were able to walk across to the island in the middle of the lake. The island had alot of deep areas that still held alot of bass and sunfish around the edges. Good luck.

JTroutMan
06-30-2011, 07:24 PM
If you are fishing at Lk Pillsbury, then if you can get to where the Eel River dumps into the lake, that might be a good place because the water will be a bit cooler than the top and middle thermoclines of the lake. Also, since it's summer and the trout are getting lethargic, then bass & bluegills might be the best bite. There use to be a good pike population but I don't know if DF&G poisioned the lake in an attempt to exterminate the pike. We use to troll some large crankbaits and catch those toothy fish. Last time we camped/fished the lake was about 10 years ago and the lake was at drought level. We camped at Poggi Point Campground and were able to walk across to the island in the middle of the lake. The island had alot of deep areas that still held alot of bass and sunfish around the edges. Good luck.

Agree, and my advice for kids - buy some of those flureosant slightly weighted bobbers. Kids love to look at them floating, and I've been surprised the number of times I've scored some decent rainbows with worms under the bobber (hook at several feet below bobber), closer if shallower....

SuckerPunch
07-01-2011, 08:10 AM
If you are fishing at Lk Pillsbury, then if you can get to where the Eel River dumps into the lake, that might be a good place because the water will be a bit cooler than the top and middle thermoclines of the lake. Also, since it's summer and the trout are getting lethargic, then bass & bluegills might be the best bite. There use to be a good pike population but I don't know if DF&G poisioned the lake in an attempt to exterminate the pike. We use to troll some large crankbaits and catch those toothy fish. Last time we camped/fished the lake was about 10 years ago and the lake was at drought level. We camped at Poggi Point Campground and were able to walk across to the island in the middle of the lake. The island had alot of deep areas that still held alot of bass and sunfish around the edges. Good luck.

??? Sacramento pikeminnow were introduced to Pillsbury, and they don't have any teeth in the mouth. Northern pike were never introduced to Pillsbury, and they do have big teeth in the mouth. So, I'm not sure to what "toothy fish" you're referring.

Given the cold winter and spring, the water temperature at the surface of the lake may still be cool enough for trout. If it's in the low-60s or lower, you should be able to get trout shallow as long as the light is low.

jackelmyer
07-02-2011, 07:46 PM
Thanks for the advice all. After chatting with you all and a few others, I think i'm going to shoot for some Blue Gill. Wish me luck!

Brutus20
07-02-2011, 10:35 PM
As usual some very good advice from fellow sniffers. I would agree that targeting Bluegill is the way to go to help keep the youngsters entertained. I have fished this lake in the past and I dont believe we ever did real well with Trout. But blue gill fishing should be excellent. I used to tie a bobber on for the kids and they loved it. Whatever you decide have a fun safe trip.

............Brutus...