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Old 02-08-2015, 10:20   #1
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Marina fishing for the kids

Hello Everyone,

I'm trying to teach my 2 young boys (5 and 7) to "LOVE" fishing. I grew up freshwater fishing in the midwest, but now I live in San Diego. We have a boat that we keep in a marina in San Diego Bay and I'm trying to find them "catching", not fishing.

When I was a kid, we'd go fishing for Bluegills or Crappies and always enjoyed it because we were 'catching' little fish with the occasional bass, pike, or walleye. I loved it!

I've tried fishing in the marina with the boys, but the small bait fish (1 to 3 inches) are tough to get on the hook. I'm looking for suggestions on bait, hook sizes, lures, and techniques for catching fish commonly found in the SD Bay marinas.

Also, we've baited the schooling bait fish with cat food and snorkeled to observe. I've noticed 'a lot' of larger fish just below the baitfish. They are in the 3 - 8 inch range and eat the bigger chunks. I also see an occasional 'flash of silver' that comes up and takes the bigger bait fish (about 8 - 10 feet down).

Right now I use light action spin casting rods with small hooks and pieces of shrimp, chicken, hotdog or steak. We've caught a handful of the little bait fish (3 inches), but we miss 95% of the nibbles.

Any suggestions and/or advice is greatly appreciated! Thanks and have a great one!

Todd
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Old 02-08-2015, 10:29   #2
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Re: Marina fishing for the kids

Take the dinghy out into better places? Try night fishing with lights? Dawn/dusk fishing? Use livebait to go for the bigger stuff grabbing the baitfish? I only speak Oz or Teutonian fishese, not sure what you've got there but their habits are all similar. What're the smallest hooks you have?
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Old 02-08-2015, 10:37   #3
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Re: Marina fishing for the kids

Take the boat out of the marina. Hate it when the kids leave hooks stuck on the dock lines.
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Old 02-08-2015, 12:43   #4
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Re: Marina fishing for the kids

Wander around on the pier (preferably with your kids) and ask the people fishing what they have found to be best. It's good to have your kids with you so you can point out who you are trying to fish with as the people fishing are probably after bigger stuff where it sounds like you would rather catch 30 little fish than one 30" fish per afternoon. Each little area is different and that way you can get some targeted advice for what works where you are.
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Old 03-08-2015, 09:07   #5
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Re: Marina fishing for the kids

IMHO
Heavy line, plastic lures, worms, squid, whatever, various colours.
Less time baiting the hooks and less chance of loosing anything caught.
Bill
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Old 03-08-2015, 09:15   #6
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Re: Marina fishing for the kids

We use worms shrimp or mussels up in the lagoon in Carlsbad. We always ask at the bait shop what we should use for the day/conditions & they are always down to leak the secret information haha! have fun.
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Old 03-08-2015, 09:27   #7
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Re: Marina fishing for the kids

Give up on the Marina, get some cane poles and crickets and find a good spot under a big ole Live Oak tree and catch brim and crappies.
Hey, it's what got you and I to enjoy fishing didn't it?
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Old 03-08-2015, 09:39   #8
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Re: Marina fishing for the kids

Grew up fishing on the docks of the Mission Bay YC. We used to twist a mussel off the pilings, crack it open and use it as bait. The yellow meat is soft, and the fish can steal it of the hook, but there is a darker piece we called the 'heart' which is tougher and we were more successful with it. Many hours of good fun.
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Old 03-08-2015, 10:41   #9
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Re: Marina fishing for the kids

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Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
Take the boat out of the marina. Hate it when the kids leave hooks stuck on the dock lines.
Agreed. We pay a lot of $$ for the dock. I've found hooks and lines on my mainsail cover and wrapped around my prop. While I encourage your enthusiasm for fishing, make sure to do it away from other peoples boats. They would likely have a ton more fun if they had a dinghy or skiff to take out fishing.
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Old 03-08-2015, 12:21   #10
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Re: Marina fishing for the kids

Reminds me of trying to catch small Bream out of Georgia ponds. I went with a very small hook. Do not remember size but less than 1/4" in the bend and just a small piece of bait on the tip. Probably missed as many strikes as I caught but I wound up with a 5 gallon bucket of little brim that fried up extra crispy and we ate fins and all. It was the most fun.
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Old 03-08-2015, 12:30   #11
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Re: Marina fishing for the kids

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Originally Posted by hamburking View Post
Agreed. We pay a lot of $$ for the dock. I've found hooks and lines on my mainsail cover and wrapped around my prop. While I encourage your enthusiasm for fishing, make sure to do it away from other peoples boats. They would likely have a ton more fun if they had a dinghy or skiff to take out fishing.
Fortunately, my marina forbids fishing. Doesn't yours?
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Old 03-08-2015, 14:13   #12
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Re: Marina fishing for the kids

I would add, don't be too disappointed if your kids don't take to fishing. My wife and I each have our own passions in life and we would have liked to pass them on to our kids. In some cases that happened, and in some cases it did not. Kids grow up to be their own people, with their own passions. Try too hard to push your passions onto them and they are likely to push back. All you can do is introduce them to experiences in the most positive way that you are able, and then let them choose their own path in life.

Good luck.
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Old 03-08-2015, 15:33   #13
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Re: Marina fishing for the kids

some grouchy old farts on here today... I guess "don't fish near my boat" is the on water equivalent of "get off my lawn" haha! Have fun, and be sure to smile.
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Old 03-08-2015, 16:29   #14
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Re: Marina fishing for the kids

My wife is 7th generation San Diego dock fisher.
She says try a small ball of cheese on a small hook.
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Old 03-08-2015, 19:29   #15
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Re: Marina fishing for the kids

Marina fishing? It's illegal to fish in most marinas here in Australia due to the heavy contamination from anti-fouling paints which flows on to the fish and the problem of loose hooks already mentioned. It's a wonder that the environmentally aware Yanks still allow it
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