Learning to fresh water fish for my grandson

Bluegill, crappie, redear sunfish and other panfish.
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Boosh
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Learning to fresh water fish for my grandson

Post by Boosh »

All my life I've been a salt water guy, had multiple boats, normally around the 21' range and I'd go looking for tuna. Sold all of that including my gear many years ago, my back just couldn't handle the pounding any longer (3 compressed disks).

My grandson has spina bifida so has a hard time walking and with balance. I decided to buy a small boat to take him to the lakes and do some freshwater fishing, he needs a hobby he can be good at. A flat lake is much easier for him to maintain his balance then any salt water fishing scenario. So now I'm trying to learn how to fresh water fish :D First few times I went on my own to make sure the boat was good to go and try my hand at bass fishing (watched YouTube to try and figure it out). Went to San Vicente, got hammered 4x on a ned rig with 6lb test and they ran into bushes/rocks/trees and broke off every time :x Now I know why my buddy doesn’t like fishing SV, the water is so high there’s nothing but trees and bushes under the shorelines.

Took my grandson to Lake Jennings a couple times, caught a couple trout on powerbait and some bluegill on some worms, he was pretty stoked. Then I took him to El Cap to try and catch some bass, skunked (all plastic worms that day). He told me I wasn't a very good fisherman :D We went back to El Cap yesterday this time with big night crawlers and redworms...I needed to redeem myself! Got there to a closed gate....damn it! First Friday of the month. Backed the boat down the road and had a hell of a time getting her turned around. Back to Jennings…. Water is really low there while they fix something by the damm, but really clear!

Found a spot where we caught some bluegill with worms but I couldn’t catch any bass. I know that lake has bass, in fact I saw a big fatty by the boat ramp cruising around. Anyways, my quest goes on to learn how to fish these lakes and put a smile on my grandson’s face. I probably need to get on a boat one day with someone that knows what the hell they’re doing…lol. Here’s a couple of photos. He’s in casts right now from a surgery to try and help him walk better.

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camobass
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Re: Learning to fresh water fish for my grandson

Post by camobass »

Nice!
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Re: Learning to fresh water fish for my grandson

Post by Midnightpass »

WTG!... You are a wonderful Grandfather, if lousy bass fisherman. ;) ... As a fellow Grandfather and lousy bass fisherman, I applaud you... Sorry I can't help you with the bass fishing, but hope you keep trying with your Grandson... I'm sure you two will do just fine...
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Re: Learning to fresh water fish for my grandson

Post by Neuroshima »

What a wonderful read. IMO, the basics of freshwater fishing is the same as saltwater: find the structure, match the hatch. Freshwater seems to be more determined by the time of the day due to insect hatches and plankton blooms dictated by the sun, hence sunrise and sunset are typically the best times. There are much more accomplished bass anglers here that can give you better tips.

One suggestion if you just want to get your grandson on hard pulling fish is to fish for carp at Henshaw or Morena. People catch dozens on corn and bread, and conditions are ideal right now.
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Re: Learning to fresh water fish for my grandson

Post by MistrRocko »

2 simplest suggestions I can give you are:

1. Forget about freshwater fishing, it's tough as heck in San Diego. The bays are loaded with fish and you'll both have a ton of fun catching spotties, with the occasional other species showing up. Your boat looks pretty well suited for it, just wash up thoroughly afterwards.

2. The dock at Barrett. Do some practice yourself on a light/ultralight setup to learn how to crush the huge gills and crappie and pass the technique on your grandson. He will be grinning ear to ear as he pulls up panfish and the occasional bass for hours. You can fish for bass while he does that if you want, but I personally find the ultralight more enjoyable. I'd rather catch a 2lb crappie every 2 minutes than a 2lb bass every 15.

Bass fishing on other lakes really does take a skilled hand but if you put in the time, you can figure it out. For your grandson, San V has a robust population of big redear sunfish, and Murray holds some monsters too though I've never been able to really dial in on them. San V is my favorite lake and imo the finest non Barrett freshwater fishery we have.

May not seem as exciting or glamorous but a can of corn for carp or some mackerel or chicken livers for catfish is sure to get your grandson on fish. Carp is imo the funnest thing you can catch here in freshwater. If you could target them with artificials on conventional gear, nobody would ever fish for bass again. I'd recommend El Cap as it has a nice population of carp/catfish as well as being a great bass fishery.
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Re: Learning to fresh water fish for my grandson

Post by Boosh »

MistrRocko wrote: Tue Jun 11, 2024 12:04 pm 2 simplest suggestions I can give you are:

1. Forget about freshwater fishing, it's tough as heck in San Diego. The bays are loaded with fish and you'll both have a ton of fun catching spotties, with the occasional other species showing up. Your boat looks pretty well suited for it, just wash up thoroughly afterwards.

2. The dock at Barrett. Do some practice yourself on a light/ultralight setup to learn how to crush the huge gills and crappie and pass the technique on your grandson. He will be grinning ear to ear as he pulls up panfish and the occasional bass for hours. You can fish for bass while he does that if you want, but I personally find the ultralight more enjoyable. I'd rather catch a 2lb crappie every 2 minutes than a 2lb bass every 15.

Bass fishing on other lakes really does take a skilled hand but if you put in the time, you can figure it out. For your grandson, San V has a robust population of big redear sunfish, and Murray holds some monsters too though I've never been able to really dial in on them. San V is my favorite lake and imo the finest non Barrett freshwater fishery we have.

May not seem as exciting or glamorous but a can of corn for carp or some mackerel or chicken livers for catfish is sure to get your grandson on fish. Carp is imo the funnest thing you can catch here in freshwater. If you could target them with artificials on conventional gear, nobody would ever fish for bass again. I'd recommend El Cap as it has a nice population of carp/catfish as well as being a great bass fishery.
Thanks for that info :) I had no idea El Cap had carp. I do plan on taking him to the bay one day. We shall see how his legs come out from this operation first. I've got to lug him around right now and it's like carrying a sack of concrete in and out of the boat.
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