Hello all, my first post here.
I am looking for advice on tackle and lure selection for my area. I live a few steps from the Metedeconk River and have direct access via a community beach with fishing dock, 2 miles from the Mantaloking Bridge, and 3 miles from the ocean.
I won't be fishing from a boat - shore only.
I've never fished before in my life, but had a crazy dream one night of catching fish to eat from the beach - yeah, a bit out of nowhere, but I live near all this water and fishing population, I thought it would be good to try and I'd prefer to catch my own fish than eat out of a restaurant or from the grocery store.
So, my dream turned reel life when I scored a deal on a Penn Battle II 8000 combo at Dick's (10' graphite rod, 6oz, Med-Fast Action, Heavy Power) for $112.33 out the door.
I then got the spool wound with 400yd of 20# mono at West Marine.
I've been reading, watching videos, talking to friends, but am still feeling a bit lost. I did go out a week ago with a work friend in 30-40mph winds to Brick beach III to practice casting with a loaned small black swivel clip for the end of my line and a 2oz diamond lure with green tube and hook. I didn't hook myself, break anything, or catch anything. I focused on a smooth cast.
I've grown up by the water and am a diver, so reading the beach and water is somewhat natural to me. However, I have very little knowledge of the hierarchy of bait and predatory fish along with the interplay with water conditions, weather conditions and the other less scientific characteristics (like good 'ole experience) when it comes to selecting what goes on the end of the line.
I looked through the Striper 101 list of lures and scored a deal on a Bomber A-Salt in purple/black in good used condition on eBay for $0.14 - I had eBay bucks to blow, so I went for it.
I went to Dick's yesterday to pick up 4-5 lures and use a $10-off $50 coupon that expires at the end of the month, but came up $3 short and had to bail on the purchase - I was also running late for another appointment. Nonetheless, in thinking about what I was picking up, there wasn't any rythme or reason other than going by the name of the lure. I'm glad I didn't buy anything because it does seem foolish to spend $40+ on stuff you have no idea if it is the right stuff for the area, the right weight, color, or do I have the rest of the tackle needed to make it work, etc.
My initial target fish is a Striper - I'd like a fish that is good to eat - so, fluke/flounder is on the table too, but I think it probably makes sense to focus on one species first before I go crazy buying stuff to cater to each.
I'm looking for guidance on where to start and literally not spend a fortune in lures for every conceivable condition. I'm going to be a fair weather, day time to early evening fisherman on the river, bay and beach.
I'm not against bait - I bought a Bass Hi/Lo rig, 3oz, 4oz and 5oz pyrimid sinkers and a 3oz diamond with green tube/hook from Pell's last weekend as per the kid's recommendation there - though he did show me nearly a dozen lures and my head nearly exploded from the variety :\
Other than what I've bought so far, I have some free Eagle Claw 8/0 hooks from the NJ Catch & Release program, and don't have anything else tackle-wise, or dedicated fishing tool-wise.
Bait shops that are nearly within walking distance: Pell's and Jersey Coast Bait & Tackle. A few minutes farther West Marine, Dick's
So, hello to everyone