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My wife and I retired from being public school teachers in Mid December 2018, sold our home in Miami, FL and moved to the Tri-Cities area. Why? Best VA Hospital in the country. Between active duty and Reserves I did 14 years as a US Army Infantry Officer. Hence the moniker of ExSoldier (+ my age: 62). I’m also a competitive shooter and an NRA Instructor for 31 years. I’m a writer with a literary agent. I hold a Masters Degree in National Security with concentrations in Intelligence Analysis & Counterterrorism. What I am NOT is a freshwater fisherman! Never, EVER. Only saltwater. So. Total noob here! I discovered a liking for Trout thanks to the Cracker Barrel Restaurant when we moved to Johnson City. I’ve never used a lure to fish, only live shrimp. I did get my license complete with Trout stamps at Bass Pro when I bought my spinning rig. I need all kinds of help on where to fish and how. I can only get so far with YouTube! I don’t want to waste my retirement sitting around the house, playing online video games and sipping Fireball whiskey. I want to get out and enjoy this new environment! If there’s anybody in the he vicinity of Johnson City going after Trout and you want company and don’t mind putting up with my ignorance, I’d love to join an experienced fisherman!
On Saturday, I went out and fished for the first time in 10+ years. I've successfully upheld my family's tradition of not catching anything, too! Since my "please help a noob" post last week, I've tried to follow the advice everyone posted, again thanks for the responses! Spent more than I'm willing to admit on fishing gear, but that's one of the fun things about it, right? Woke up at 6am (to the dismay of my cats and family) and was at the bait & tackle shop around 6:45 to get a bucket of minnows (figured I'd just buy some to start since I had no idea where to get them from nature at the time). Asked for 2 dozen and drove down the road to the state park. Arrived at the pier about 7:15 and there were already people setup and fishing, as expected. I setup shop away from everyone and realized I had no idea how to actually put a minnow on a hook (thankfully brought my phone and looked up the info I was missing). I brought 2 poles, one I had bought back when I fished with my father 20-something years ago, and the other was a "new" one that I had purchased from "Discount Supplies" (out of business) and re-tipped; apparently I did it right because no problems with it at all. Both were roughly 6' spinning rods. I had planned to stay out there until 9am, but stayed longer until 10am since I was enjoying the atmosphere as well as continued practicing knots, rigs, and casting. I had quite a bit of trouble casting from the pier since it was covered (obliterated a minnow on the side of the rail, poor thing - turtle appreciated the food though) , and even then I am thinking my rods (or bad skill) is keeping me from casting very far. I have a ~9' rod I'm tempted to try, don't know if it's worth it. As mentioned previously, didn't catch a thing. A small turtle helped keep the water clean by eating my bait (pic), and then had the nerve to get caught by some other fisherman. Around 9, I packed up most my stuff and went shore-fishing with just one rod and a fake-bait. Started with a Rapala SR-07 with a No-Snagg, but on my second cast I ended up throwing the whole rig out into the water - guess it was too heavy for my knot? "Knot" sure, as it broke at the swivel. I swapped to just a Rapala SR-08 and practiced moving that through the water. As I was bringing it to shore, I noticed small schools of minnows chasing it which was cool to see. I drove to a different area away from everyone to a more secluded area that had a lot more weeds and looked like it was "less fished". I saw fish jumping out of the water, so I swapped back to the Minnows and casted to those locations. Rig was weight-bobber-hook to keep the minnow from going to deep, but I figured as it was getting warmer out and closer to 10am that the fish would be deeper, so gave more distance on my leader-line from hook to bobber. Again, as I reeled to shore, small schools of minnows were chasing the one I had hooked. For the fun of it, I dropped a bare hook into the water where I had led some minnows, and one of the little guys swallowed the hook and immediately spat it out; guess he didn't like the flavor of bare metal haha. Gave me some great ideas of where to place some minnow traps in the future, though. When I was done, I packed everything up and scouted other fishing locations I had looked up. I'm likely going to hit Chester Frost next weekend and see how that goes. Age-old question I have is, how do I actually catch something? I never had much luck pier or shore-fishing, but I plan on Kayak fishing in the near future. I assume just looking for where fish are jumping and just cast there and hope for the best? Open to any advice and tips, thanks for reading!