Where do I start?

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Where do I start?

Postby salvasaur » Sep Fri 06, 2019 11:07 am

Hey all! New member and new angler here.

Truthfully, I can't call myself a fisherman (I've only been a couple of times, with experienced others). I just moved to Albany Park, down the block from River Park, and couldn't help but notice the river and dam. A cursory "googling" has revealed this is one of the better spots in the city to fish. I'd like to start taking my kids down, but need to learn what I'm doing first. Where do I start?
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Re: Where do I start?

Postby Grain » Sep Fri 06, 2019 11:37 am

If the kids are young, the easiest and most fun thing to do is bluegills - I'd say short, under 5', ultralight rod, spinning reel, 4-6lb mono line, hook, sinker, bobber and worms. You can probably pick up a complete set up on FB or Craigslist for no more than $20. I'd also say - do not bring a rod for yourself - you'll spend all your time putting on worms, unhooking fish, and untangling lines.

PS. Ponds could be easier than the river.
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Re: Where do I start?

Postby Rambler » Sep Fri 06, 2019 1:36 pm

^^^What grain said. Be sure to buy small hooks - size 1 or 2. Presnelled hooks & swivels will save lots of time. eBay is another good source for gear. Have fun!
Keep calm and fish on...

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Re: Where do I start?

Postby salvasaur » Sep Fri 06, 2019 3:22 pm

Thanks guys!

The kids are young. Sunfish it is. Anything specific you would recommend for any of the aforementioned gear? Bang for the buck brands, or stuff to stay far away from?
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Re: Where do I start?

Postby cletedius » Sep Fri 06, 2019 5:19 pm

If fishing is a relatively new endeavor, I'd highly recommend hiring a guide for a day. It will greatly expedite the learning curve & give you something to work from going forward on your own. Seems expensive up front, but money well-spent, IMO.
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Re: Where do I start?

Postby ganz1960 » Sep Fri 06, 2019 5:55 pm

I like the suggestions here re: hiring a guide and what Grain and Rambler said.

Also, if you want more info on the Albany Park spot, I might suggest you check out some of the videos from GeoFishing. For instance:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KvxKOV6QBtg&t=2s

https://youtu.be/UjkbMca-mjE
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Re: Where do I start?

Postby Grain » Sep Fri 06, 2019 7:01 pm

Shakespear/Ugly Stik rod, if you buy new it probably will be available as a combo with a reel that's good enough for your purposes, and may even have line. Stren or Trilene line. Hooks - there is no right answer - I tried smallest hooks, medium-sized hooks, Aberdeen hooks, there will be a bluegill that will manage to swallow it so bad it will be next to impossible to unhook. Hook color does not matter, and neither does the brand. Needlenose pliers. Basic red/white bobbers, some small sinkers. Learn Palomar knot and practice it . That's it I think.
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Re: Where do I start?

Postby DPMike » Sep Fri 06, 2019 7:42 pm

I would recommend using pencil bobbers, much easier to see bites, especially for the kids.

Enjoy the time with them, the fish are a bonus
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Re: Where do I start?

Postby Busse Jim » Sep Fri 06, 2019 9:30 pm

Welcome aboard!

Your right to “need to learn what I’m doing first” if you want to get the kids in to it. Won’t take you long
Grain’s right about the tackle and bait, but remember, Bass are just bigger Sunfish, and are even more fun to catch and almost as easy.
Shakespear/ ugly stick combo’s, needle nose pliers :thumbup:

Your shore fishing, You don’t need a guide, doubt you’d find one for that anyway, and the cost :roll:
Besides you now have WCF, anything you need to learn you can learn here.

Ganz1960 is right, GEO is the man to read and watch, try Personal messaging him, maybe he’ll help you out. Read his old post too , he went under the handle of GeorgeW for most of them.

Good luck out there, and remember at least half the fun is just being out in nature.
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Re: Where do I start?

Postby billebob5 » Sep Fri 06, 2019 9:49 pm

Buy them Dock Demon fishing poles to start. Rugged and kid sized. Bobbers and a hook with worms. Good luck
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Re: Where do I start?

Postby bobberwatcher » Sep Fri 06, 2019 10:47 pm

Kids get bored with it so fast, expecting to catch something the minute the bait touches the water. To speed things up a bit for them, you might want to take them to one of the trout stocking locations nearby (not familiar with your location so I can't recommend one, maybe someone else can- or check the ifishil website, there's a trout stocking link) The next stocking is coming up soon, 3rd Saturday in October. It's a good way for anyone, old or young, to get started fishing. Good luck and have fun!
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Re: Where do I start?

Postby cletedius » Sep Sat 07, 2019 2:06 am

Busse Jim wrote:
Your shore fishing, You don’t need a guide, doubt you’d find one for that anyway, and the cost :roll:

Ill have to withdraw my previous suggestion.
Things like how to (properly):
Use a spinning reel
Bait a hook
Cast
land/handle a fish
Not get tangles
get tangles out quickly
Tie on a hook/lure
+ a few hundred other things
Dont apply to newbies fishing from shore. & for any that do, you could just watch a youtube video :roll:

But more seriously,

if your better than most, youll put a serious dent in that partial-list in about 2-3 seasons. I do suspect that youll have spent far more than 200-300$ a guide would charge to take you & the kids out for a 1/2 or 3/4 day of fishing, though, & possibly not have as many quality fish to show for it or any solid info/experience to work from.
Dont get me wrong, 2or3 hundred bucks IS a lot of money, but as the hobby of fishing goes, its a small drop in the bucket when looking at the bigger picture.
Wanna light a fire under a kids a** about fishing? Have them catch a decent fish or 3 BEFORE their patience has left town.

Growing up, I fished with a guide 2X(thanks dad! Even though I could count on 1 hand the # of times I ever saw you use a fishing rod & knew you kinda loathed it, you were 1 of the smartest anglers I ever met). Once when I was 11(wolf river @ winneconne) & once @ 14(bull shoals in AR). What I can promise you is this: what I learned in those 2 days stuck with me since & has caught me thousands of fish from dozens of places from a boat, shore( :wink: ) , or waders.
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Re: Where do I start?

Postby UglyStick » Sep Sat 07, 2019 5:18 pm

Don't forget decent shoes and bug spray. A slip and fall can end a trip quickly.
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Re: Where do I start?

Postby Rambler » Sep Sun 08, 2019 8:31 am

Check out Gompers Park. Close to you.
Keep calm and fish on...

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Re: Where do I start?

Postby FishinMatt » Sep Sun 08, 2019 9:01 am

Some good advice given here. My 2 cents....

Know what you are doing a little bit before you take the kids out. Basic rigging, casting, how to untangle lines, taking off a fish etc. Scout some places first and make sure the place you are taking them is going to have consistent action. The quickest way for them to lose interest is if you take them out to an unknown spot and there is no action.

Gear is REALLY simple for panfish. I just ran a fishing derby for my employer and many of the kids had never caught a fish. The lake we fished had a million small bluegills. With the rigs I had set up every kid was able to get a fish within their first few casts. I got a bunch of cheap setups on Amazon. Dock Demons, Lightning MCQueen, Frozen rods, etc. It is much easier for smaller kids to handle smaller rods. The terminal tackle is simple as well. Small Thill balsa floats with 1/64th ounce minimite jig head with a wax worm. Stay away from the round bobbers. With the Thill setup, a 3 inch bluegill will down the float and the fish feel very little resistance.

Finally, do not force the fishing. Kids like to explore and check out all kinds of things when in nature. I am often stuck holding a rod and calling one of my kids over when a fish is on. They also may want to leave after an hour or so, regardless of the fishing. Over time you will see if they grow a further interest because if they like it, they will probably be asking you to go all the time!

Good luck!
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