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First Timer Advice

1514 Views 15 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Trevfishin
Hi all. I was here a few years back asking for advice on surf fishing. Got a LOT of excellent advice and felt well educated on surf fishing. But with 2 little kids at home, it ended being too much to try and do while at the beach. Now my son is almost 6 and LOVES fishing. We chase smallmouth in our local river (Upper Potomac). So we will definitely be hitting the beach this year. This is geared around my son, who can proficiently handle a 6/6" ML rod with a 30 size Pflueger President spinning reel. Wanted to run my plan/setup by you guys and see what you think. Any advice, recommendations, criticism is welcome!! FWIW, we'll be staying in Nags Head the first week in June. Not really sure what fish to except that time of year, but I'm sure you guys can help.

2 Penn Pursuit 4000's on 7' medium rod combos (need to purchase)
- 15-20# braid (for extra line capacity in case we need to cast further out)
- Double Drop Bottom Rigs with #4, #2, 1/0 and 2/0 Owner Circles
- 2-4oz Pyramid sinkers
These will be used to fish the first holes, drops, troughs, etc.

The same combos above will also be used for casting jigs and metal.

Abu Garcia Ambassadeur 5500 C3 on 7' M/H Ugly Stik Catfish Rod (already owned)
- 20+# braid (again, for line capacity) w/ appropriate size shock leader
- Fish finder rig with 4/0(ish) size circle hooks tied with same mono as shock leader
- Up to 5 oz pyramid sinkers
This setup will be our "heaver". I'm not planning on slinging 8 n bait as hard and as far as I can. But having a little heavier setup that we can get further out might luck us into something bigger.

Bottom Rig Bait
Sand fleas (FREE!!)
Sand fleas fish bites
Fresh shrimp

Fishfinder Rig Bait
Fresh Cut Mullet
Not sure what else here??

I'm thinking the above setups will cover the basics minus a giant heaver with heavy weight and bait, which we don't need anyway. We can soak bait in the suds, cast lures into the surf and get one out a little closer to the second bar with a bigger presentation.

This is our annual family vacation that consists of a 4 year old a 6 year old and 3 adults. About a 6 hour drive for us and space is at a premium. Planning on a PVC rod holder attached to the roof rack of the car to carry the rods down. Something like this...


Everything else goes in a 5 gallon bucket that will be the carry all when we fish as well. Plan to make 3 of my own sand spikes out of PVC. Just 4' or so simple ones with a 45 degree cut at the bottom. Pliers, towel, wood and hammer (for pounding in sand spike), and tools/lube for reel disassembly when (not if, he's 6) one gets dropped in the sand/water. Anything else I'm missing?
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One surprising difference can be the short strikes. Many days it’s not worth holding the rod to set the hook, keep it in the pvc until the fish hook themselves. Easier said than done LOL:rolleyes::)
Then again, your son can stand in 2 inches of water and catch the biggest fish of the day at his feet (without a tight line). I had my kids run up the beach to land fish when they were young. Just stay close(!) as those waves can sneak up on him. Head on a swivel as they say.
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