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  1. #15
    Senior Member FresnoJack's Avatar
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    Re: Please help a frustrated fisherman!

    You might start with hiring a guide. There are a few at Clear Lake, not sure about Mammoth.
    There are any number of fly fishing guides in the area.

    This way you can learn about the gear, lures, techniques and how to locate fish.

    Check with your local tackle shops. There may be clubs or interest groups that that you can go fish with.
    The guy at the shop might be amenable to taking you fishing or hooking you up with some one who can take you out.

    As mentioned, YouTube can be a great source on information.

    I know that there are some really good beach fishing videos that can show you how to read the water to find the most likely spots as well as techniques.
    David

    Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day; deport him and you will not have to feed him again.
    Trump 20:16


  2. #14
    Senior Member LURKER916's Avatar
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    Re: Please help a frustrated fisherman!

    Another option for you.....

    Hire a guide. Go with one of the delta guides for stripers.
    They will help you with what gear, what to use and what type of water you are looking for.

    The species you are targeting are commonly caught on flies as well, so you might consider "switching gears" and getting to another aspect of the sport.

    Again if you do I would consider a guide as well for fly fishing. And if you have zero casting experience take a lesson ....

    And lastly, since you live so close to the ocean if you don't have one already GET A DAMN KAYAK!!!!
    And then you can start catching all sorts of fun stuff in the salt.

    And in kayak fishing you can also hire a guide. They can help you get started and teach the basics.

    Increase your species you target. I know some guys say stay focused on one but I say do the exact opposite. That way if you get skunked on one species consistently you can switch it up and target other species and get refocused.

    Good luck man.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

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  4. #13
    Senior Member Bret1972's Avatar
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    Re: Please help a frustrated fisherman!

    Yesterday I saw some guys in a boat throwing swimbaits and hairraisers near the San Rafael bridge and didn't see them get a thing. Today I saw a guy with his two kids doing the same thing and they got probably 20-30 strippers... granted only 3 were legal size. They were fishing about 45 minutes before the high tide. If fishing for strippers, try to fish a couple hours before high tide until the tide change... it may help.
    Much of the time it's just being in the right place at the right time.... but I will say this, I'm 45 and I remember as a child going to the Marin rod n gun club with my grandparents. I would get tons of bullheads and my grandparents would get a lot of flounder.... I ain't seen a bullhead or flounder on the end of my line since.... maybe when I was a kid? Fishing has gotten worse.


    Quote Originally Posted by dreadpyrat View Post
    Hello all, firstly, my apologies for not replying sooner - I was on a business trip, then a week of vacation with no internet (self imposed!) But I want to say thank you kindly to everyone for the advice and considerations. I really appreciate it. I'll try to answer the main questions as best I can.


    My gear:
    I have a lightweight 7 foot pole with a spinning reel - nothing fancy or expensive, loaded up with 8 lb (greenish colored) line. For gear, I buy whatever the bait shop tells me to buy.

    Where I can fish:
    From the shore in the North Bay of SanFrancisco (so, Stripers, I guess), or at Alpine and Bon Tempe Lakes (bass/trout?)

    Where I want to focus:
    Honestly, whatever is going to give me the most likelihood for success. I'm guessing that is Bay Stripers? Accessibility is a consideration and the Bay is very easy to get to. I've heard the shoreline behind Central San Rafael (around the Target) is supposed to be good. Bon Tempe Lake has relatively easy shore access but the water looks shallow and full of reeds.

    I'll start looking at Youtube for video on Stripers but if anyone has advice on BonTempe/Alpine spots and what to use, I'd be most appreciative!
    Rob
    It’s better to be fishing and thinking about God then to be in church thinking about fishing.

  5. #12
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    Re: Please help a frustrated fisherman!

    If you're in Marin, you could go to the beach and try for Surf Perch and Striper. Surf perch should be the easiest to catch on Carolina rigs or hi-lo rigs, with Bekeley Gulp Sand worms and/or live Sand Crabs.

  6. #11
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    Re: Please help a frustrated fisherman!

    Hello all, firstly, my apologies for not replying sooner - I was on a business trip, then a week of vacation with no internet (self imposed!) But I want to say thank you kindly to everyone for the advice and considerations. I really appreciate it. I'll try to answer the main questions as best I can.


    My gear:
    I have a lightweight 7 foot pole with a spinning reel - nothing fancy or expensive, loaded up with 8 lb (greenish colored) line. For gear, I buy whatever the bait shop tells me to buy.

    Where I can fish:
    From the shore in the North Bay of SanFrancisco (so, Stripers, I guess), or at Alpine and Bon Tempe Lakes (bass/trout?)

    Where I want to focus:
    Honestly, whatever is going to give me the most likelihood for success. I'm guessing that is Bay Stripers? Accessibility is a consideration and the Bay is very easy to get to. I've heard the shoreline behind Central San Rafael (around the Target) is supposed to be good. Bon Tempe Lake has relatively easy shore access but the water looks shallow and full of reeds.

    I'll start looking at Youtube for video on Stripers but if anyone has advice on BonTempe/Alpine spots and what to use, I'd be most appreciative!
    Rob

  7. #10
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    Re: Please help a frustrated fisherman!

    Rob if you are available during the week I can offer to take you out in my boat. However cannot grantee relief for all of your frustration might just add to it depending on if the fish want to play if you are interested, contact me and we can see about working something out. I generally fish Berryessa for trout or Bodega for salmon/rock fish Bodega is dependent on the weather conditions and this time of year it is really hit or miss

  8. #9
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    Re: Please help a frustrated fisherman!

    I bass fish 75% of the time on foothill lakes. When I don't fish from a boat which is very unusual for me now I keep it really simple. I use a brown or green 5-6" plastic worm 18" below a split shot. All you need is a spinning rod and reel with 6 to 8 pound line. Drag it very slowly back to you. Cast towards any rock or piece of wood you see. That is how we used to fish small ponds and we did well. At first light a topwater will work but so will a lot of other things. I would keep it very simple until you find a few fish.

    I know there are a million other ways but just to catch a few fish dragging a worm works. If you want a larger presentation use a brush hog. I didn't drop shot much a few years ago but now I do that a lot and it can be done from the bank very effectively if you want to try that.

    If you were closer I would offer to take you out in my boat but you are 3-4 hours away from me. However if you are still frustrated and you are interested, contact me in late October and we can see about working something out.

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  10. #8
    Senior Member Waterdog's Avatar
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    Re: Please help a frustrated fisherman!

    First welcome to the boards. You'll find a lot of knowledgeable and helpful people here. I going to provide some general information to get you started.
    You mention 3 species. You need to pick one and concentrate on that until you gain knowledge and start finding success. You can fish for other species but concentrate on one. 3 out of 4 trips should be be for the same fish. If you take a scattered approach it will take forever to become knowledgeable.
    Ill say something about the 3 species you mentioned.
    Trout- bank fishing for trout in the hot summer is not the most productive. The trout seek deeper cooler water often not accessible from shore. Cold mountain lakes like Alpine and others you may find greater success fishing from shore. There is a book by Cal Kellogg of the Fishsniffer titled Trout Tactics. An excellent excellent book packed full of information. Get it, it will help you greatly. Also as BigUn said search the net and videos, lots of good info there. Again Cal Kellogg has some good videos for free on the net ot YouTube.
    Large mouth bass and others - all I'll say is to be really successful you really need a boat or kayak or something to locate them, their habitat and structure. You can find them in large lakes and the delta but without a boat you are really limited. I've caught many bass fishing off docks but other than that very few just setting up on shore.
    Striper - living close to the bay should easily be able to pursue Striper. Again search the net and videos/YouTube. I believe Cal has some out there covering Striper too. Go to bait shops and when you buy bait pick their brain for type of bait, location and techniques. Depending on the shop they can be a wealth of information. If one doesn't provide much info try another. The better you do the better they do in repeat business.
    Consider looking into surf fishing. You can catch strippers, and who knows what else. It's great fun and just awesome being at the ocean.
    Equipment - it is specific to species, technique and location. So give us a species you want to go after, a general location like the bay, delta, a lake or stream etc. also indicate technique like casting lures, bait fishing, fishing with a bobber and so on. Tell us what you are using now for trout, bass or whatever, including type of line and line weight. You do not have to necessarily spend a lot of money on equipment. (Believe me that will come in time). You can catch trout from shore with a $29 spinning combo outfit.
    Finally just for fun you may want to go out with a guide a couple times for different species. Even though it wouldnt be shore fishing you'll have fun, get some good general knowledge and more than likely catch fish.
    Ask some more specific questions and we will be able to better help you.
    Tight Lines
    Last edited by Waterdog; 07-27-2017 at 01:24 PM.
    Hunting, Fishing and Labrador Retrievers and at the end of the day a glass of Buffalo Trace Whiskey- Life is Sweet.

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  12. #7
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    Re: Please help a frustrated fisherman!

    Quote Originally Posted by dreadpyrat View Post
    Hi all, first post here. I've long lurked for info on fishing reports and really appreciate the resources the site has to offer. I'd consider myself someone who is returning to the sport after a long long absence. I fished a great deal as a kid/teen and then lost site of it in college and into my career.

    I'm 42 now so, yeah, its been a while. I used to be quite good! Now I cant catch anything and its left me frustrated and ready to give up. But the call of the water is still there and I need help!

    I live in Marin County, CA, near the SF Bay. I've tried fishing the reservoirs, lakes, and even the bay from the shore and from fishing piers. I've gone to hot spots like Clear Lake and Mammoth - but time and again, I catch nothing. Not even bites. I feel like I'm asking the right questions and buying the gear the locals tell me is working. So I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong. I feel like I spend most of my time lugging gear, untangling lines, and losing gear due to snags underwater. i'm not getting any of the satisfaction that I used to associate with fishing. Yes, I know it is work, but this is just the pits.

    Maybe its about when I go? How I'm casting? The bait/lures I use? Really, I dont even care what I catch anymore, I jut want the satisfaction of being on or at the water, and to feel a bite on my line.

    Short of reading every thread on this site, I'm hoping some folks here will give me some basic advice to get me pointed in the right direction. Let me know if I can clarify anything about what I'm doing or not doing - and thank you in advance for any help that you can offer!

    Regards,
    Rob
    Rob, it's July and I've only caught one bass this year. I feel your pain. Don't get discouraged. I actually went back to fishing like when I was a kid. Weird huh? back to basics for me. weightless Senkos, texas rig worm and creatures, buzz bait and morning or late evening fishing. I even busted out the ole' rooster tail. I was trying to hard to fish. I'm just keeping it simple. Plus, bass still get hungry and eat like when you were a kid. The bass have not changed, we have. Get a 7 ft medium or medium heavy set up and keep it simple. Go late at night or early morning and start with a buzzbait or top water. I hope you don't stop, it will come back and you will fall in love again. I know it will happen to me. So keep trucking.

  13. #6
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    Re: Please help a frustrated fisherman!

    Start small, with gear and lures. If bass fishing, figure out how to rig a drop shot or shakyhead. Even small Texas rigged crawfish plastics. You're basically targeting numbers, which generally will be smaller fish, but big picture you will figure out the food chain. You'll figure out what the fish are doing. It's a great way to reset, especially if you've been away from the game, or new to a body of water. I can relate my most recent experience. I've only been in Cali for a month or so, and of course was hyped up about the Delta. First couple trips I found a small fish pattern, but left it looking for those big fish the Delta is known for. I quickly grew frustrated. In hindsight, I needed to figure out where the fish were, and what they were doing in general. I needed to get a feel for where fish reside in that mess of vegetation. So the third and fourth trip I settled for those small fish patterns, but in doing so I learned quite a bit about the Delta. It's counterintuitive but it works. Heck, I grew up fishing ultralight 4-6lb test with 1/16th oz jigheads and 1 inch soft plastics in rivers and streams for bluegill, bass, and whatever else. Doing that allowed me to figure out the whole food chain and fish movements in a given body of water. THEN I had a great idea of where to target bigger fish. Last but not least, you regain confidence when catching, which is another benefit of downsizing.

    A great start is a 7 ft medium action spinning rod, with 15-20 lb braid, 8-10 lb flouro leader. This is great for drop shot, shaky heads, or light Texas rigged lures....or small topwaters. You will be surprised at the fish you find in areas where you're currently not getting bit doing other stuff. My 8 year old boy and 6 year old girl do this on the back of the boat when they are out with me. Wacky rigged senko, and other light stuff, they clean house.

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