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Howdy! Recently I've got a bug up my butt to go fishing. The last time I went fishing I was under 10 and my father set up everything for me, only letting me cast. So, I think I can cast! But nothing else.

Last night I bought a reel/pole combo (6.2" or 6.6", I forget, with an open-faced reel), a cheapo 100 piece tackle set and a fishing license. I could probably return the pole if needed, but if I can work with what I've got that'd be great.

I live in Lakewood and the fishable ponds and lakes appear to be stocked with panfish (bluegill, crappie, sunfish), bass and trout (brown and rainbow, rainbow is seems to be catch and release only).

Honestly, what I'd love from you guys is if you could give me a basic setup, in some super, basic terms because fishing seems to be a foreign language with all these jiggers and spinners and bee-bobber-a-doo-dads. I keep trying to read stuff and watch videos, and while I thought I was a smart lady, this stuff is flying over my head. Your forum is really great and there's a lot of information here but I'm having a tough time putting all the pieces together. At this point I could make a lovely, painful necklace out of all the doodads in the tackle box, but not much else.

Any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks!
 

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You could use as simple of a setup as tying a hook on the line and putting a worm or some powerbait on it. Then about foot or two up depending on the depth of the water you can put your bobber on.
 

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What you have is fine. Lakewood has lots of fishable water.

Just getting started, I would suggest a small hook (the "J" style), a split shot--or tiny metal ball that clamps to your line (which is likely in your multi-box), and a bucket of minnows or some red worms or nightcrawlers. You can use a float if you choose (you likely have some red and white bobbers in your box)---I prefer the Thill or Eagle Claw stick floats though.

Hook minnows either just above the tail or behind the head, so they can move some, but don't die too quickly. Nightcrawlers, just don't "bunch them up" by threading them a hundred times on the hook.

Use the bait to find a location on a pond or lake that has fish... Once you catch one or two, you can switch to lures if you like, or just keep refining your bait fishing methods.

To find likely locations on a lake or pond, find shady areas on a hot day. When real hot, forget the float and cast to deeper spots with a small sinker or one or two splitshot a foot or more up the line from your hook.
Others will have better advice... This will get you going though. Good luck!!
 

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Additionally, seek cover. Cover can be downed tree limbs, big clumps of cat tails, etc... Think of cover as Linus's blanket for fish
 
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