Fishing for Beginners

  • digitalMedia
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Post 3+ Months Ago

My sons and I have recently been interested in fishing. The only problem is I really don't have any idea how. There's NO tradition of fishing in my family. I've got some rods and a license.

Does anyone have any advice on how to get started fishing in fresh water - lakes, creeks, and rivers? What specie should we be going after? What lures? Any tips or ideas on how to get started would be greatly appreciated.

...yes, I have googled this. :(
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Buy bait, don't be cheap like someone I know who uses lures and never catches anything.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Well...I guess I was hoping for some more practical advice. :) I guess it's trial and error, for now.
  • joebert
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I've only been freshwater fishing one time, I didn't catch a single fish untill the trip back to the dock when I let my line troll/drag behind the boat.

The only thing I know about fishing that may carry over into freshwater, is that it's important to keep the lure/bait moving. The moment movement stops and the fish gets a chance to check it out there's a chance the fish will get spooked.

If you keep it moving, and the fish are hungry, they're faced with the decision to take a chance or starve.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

That makes sense. I've been fishing once in the last 20 years and the guy that took me told me what to do, step by step. As I remember, we did keep the rubber worms moving.

So far, I've found out how to tie a knot. I found out that I was putting stuff on the end of the line incorrectly. And, I found out that I have no idea what species of fish are available or what to use to catch them, respectively.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

And make sure you have a plan just in case you would happen to catch a fish. That got me once the first time I ever went fishing all alone when I was 13 or 14. It caught me off guard and I was like "*plum* *plum* *plum* *plum*!" scrambling around trying to find a net and some pliers and stuff.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

You're from South Carolina and dont' fish? You must be the only one.:) I'd be more then happy to help you out.

First off, where do you want to try first. River fishing is a little different then lake fishing.

What kind of poles/reels did you buy?

What type of fish are you after? Bass, trout, catfish.....

Do you want to sit in a lawn chair, on a boat, or cast a whole bunch?
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Post 3+ Months Ago

jflynn wrote:
What type of fish are you after? Bass, trout, catfish.....



I'd say for fun with your kids right now, just fish for whatever happens to bite on to your line. I seriously have seen guys that were trying to get one certain species, but they caught a nice big one of another species and were mad because it wasn't what they wanted. But me, I just go for it and let what ever happens happen.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Fishing For Dummies (you just worded your subject line slightly wrong)

Catching the fish is easy. That's the man's job. It's your wife's responsibility to learn how to gut and clean them *wink.

Good luck! I've almost convinced myself to take up fishing again. I miss it.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Fishing is great. Go at least once a week. If it wasnt' for golf, I would go more often. lol

Fly fishing, bank fishing, trout, bass, catfish, steelhead, salmon....... being outdoors!!!!

I love it!
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Post 3+ Months Ago

And if you really want to have even more fun, buy a canoe. Keep an eye on craigslist or your local news paper for a cheap used one.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I went today and tried to catch Bream and/or Sunfish. No good though. I spent most of my time untagling my sons lines. I don't think it helped that it was 96 degrees outside.

I like the boat idea. The bank of Lake Murray wasn't much fun.

Thanks for pointing me towards the book. B&N is on my to-do list when I get a free moment.
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If it was 96 degrees the fish probably went down deep in the water, and that is when it is less easy to catch them. Right after dawn and just before dusk are the best times.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

kc0tma wrote:
If it was 96 degrees the fish probably went down deep in the water, and that is when it is less easy to catch them. Right after dawn and just before dusk are the best times.



That's funny! Those are the best times to take pictures too. :)
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Post 3+ Months Ago

72 degrees is the magic number here in Florida. :D
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I went fishing once, on lake Kariba, in Zimbabwe ... that was an amazing experience, not just the fishing but the whole country of Zimbabwe, some beautiful sites there ... anyway, I was about 8 at the stage and my uncle quickly showed me how this whole fishing thing worked, so I cast my hook into the water and I remember it landed in the water and not even 5 seconds later I had a bit and within 1 minute of casting, I caught my first fish ... that was really amazing.

I still don't know how to fish though ... I have the general concept but that's about it ...
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Post 3+ Months Ago

righteous_trespasser wrote:
I still don't know how to fish though ... I have the general concept but that's about it ...



That's pretty much where I am.

This is one of the first things that BOTH my sons have shown interest in, at the same time, and neither have complained about heat and walking and not catching fish. :thumbsup:
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I think the biggest thing is that there really isn't a step-by-step how to instructional thing on how to fish. Just wing it, after a few fishing trips you'll start figuring out what works and what doesn't.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

kc0tma wrote:
I think the biggest thing is that there really isn't a step-by-step how to instructional thing on how to fish. Just wing it, after a few fishing trips you'll start figuring out what works and what doesn't.


I think you're right. The folks I've talked to have all created a unique science about the way the fish. I think this is because of the amount of variables involved (Location, specie, weather, time of year, bait/lure, boat/bank, etc.).

I think the key is going to be trial and error, observation and talking to as many people as I can.

Even though we're having a lot of fun, my boys and I, we just want to get to a point where we actually catch a fish.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hello
hey I do a lot of fishing, I am from central Saskatchewan, Canada
Being from SC you should have bluegill, sunfish, bass and catfish

If you need help I just started a blog at
http://www.practicalsportmanfishing.com
this is designed to help new or beginner fisherman

I will try and help you

with your kids you may want to put a bobber and straight hook and weight on these lines.

Steps: if you did not purchase any bobbers go to your store and get some slip bobbers good size, straight J-hooks size 2 for bass size 10 for bluegill, and some crimp on or twist on weights and some bobber stoppers, can use thicker string for these and some 1/2 oz weights

Now before you head out fishing and here is where you have fun with the kids, have them dig up worms, catch crickets, or other bait.

Either before you head out or at the lake go and cut a willow with a V in it and about 4 feet long, cut of all branches, and leave the V about 4" long, sharpen the opposite end from the V, will push this into the ground.

set up thier rods
Before tying anything on your line pass the line through the top of the bobber and out the bottom. Now tie on the j-hook. about 2" above the hook crimp on a weight then about 2" above this crimp on a smaller weight. OK, now your bobber should be sitting against the top weight, take and pull about 4 - 6 feet of line roughly same length as your rod and tie the string or bobber stop on the line where it comes out of your rod tip eye.

Have each kid decide what type of bait they want to put on their hook, show them how to, if big worm may want to break in half first.

Let them decide where they want to fish from on the shore, and when they decide push the stick into the ground. Cast their line out
and set the rod on the ground at an agle to the stick and the rod resting in the V.

The bobber will come up the line to the stop and the hook will sink the 4 - 6 feet of line.

Congratulations you now have them float fishing.

Can also use the same principle for bottom fishing except you do not need a bobber and you want to use snell hooks and heavier weight

Tie the 1/2 to 3/4 oz weight to bottom of line, about 2 feet from bottom tie one snell hook on, about 2 feet above this tie on a second snell hook, now bait and cast this out, wait for it to hit bottom then slowly tighten line until tip is bowed slightly

The kids are watching for either the bobber to move or go under or the rod to bend or tip bounce. FISH ON.

Hope this helps
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Greg,
Thanks for this info, it is helpful.

We tried about 6 times last season and caught nothing. I was setting up the kids with a bobber rig - thing. The problem was they kept wanting to reel in and cast, which inevitably lead to disaster. 10 and 6 year olds just aren't patient people.

The excursions went something like...

1. Get everyone in the car at 6 AM.
2. Drive to the lake.
3. Setup kids rods with bobbers according to the local fishing reports for species, depths and distance from the shore.
4. Setup my own rod with a "Carolina Rig" for bottom fishing.
5. Before my first cast, I hear, "Dad! Help me!"
6. Begin the untangle/unsnag/re-rig process.
7. Now the other child..."Dad! Help me!".
8. Go back to my own rod..."Dad! Help me!"

...it's pretty much a loop from then on. I'm sure you can see how difficult it is for me to learn to fish, teach them to fish and enjoy fishing, all at once.

I'm thinking one of three things.
1. Take one rod for all of us to focus on.
2. Take only one child at a time (after a shouting match about who gets to go this time).
3. Go by myself until I've aquired a minimal understanding of the sport.

Honestly, I'm leaning toward 3. :)

I know I must sound like an idiot for not know how to fish at 40 years old, but I come from a family with no tradition of outdoor type stuff.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I'd be in a similar "boat" so-to-speak, and I'm 50. I fished as a kid, and fished once since then in 1992. I'd be learning all over again, myself.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I vote for the taking one at a time option.

If you work on making sure the others are busy on the day you want to go in advance, you should be able to work this angle at least a few times before they all catch on and argue.

Start by getting all of them together like a month in advance and having them pick a number, but don't tell them why. Then take the one who gets closest to your number first and if they catch on you can ask them if they remember picking a number for no reason a month ago, at which point they can't argue about fairness.
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Joebert, I just love how your mind works *lol
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I'm all for the one-at-a-time thing. The only catch is that my wife works on Saturday, so I would have to find somewhere to dump the other child which is a lot harder than it sounds. Not to mention the fact that the younger is doing soccer and I'm coaching - of course, that happens on Saturdays, too.

I guess a 4th option would be to wait until Sunday and bring the wife along for help. The caveat here is that my wife will have very little tolerance for weather that isn't remarkably pleasant.

Oh well. I'll keep pluging away. The solution and some form of success must be...somewhere. :)
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Post 3+ Months Ago

http://www.dnr.sc.gov/licensing.html


digital, this site gives good info and keeps you legal. In NY fines are stiff for offenders. Equipment is "you get what you pay for". Boats are nice but shore fishing can be productive and will help you guys increase your casting skills - stay away from trees at the beggining. Remember kids are going to want drinks and snacks after the first 1/2 hour. AND THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS - KNOW WHERE THE HOOK IS.

good luck
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I wish I didn't see fresh and saltwater as such different worlds, I went saltwater fishing what seems like every weekend or two when I was a kid.

I don't know what the freshwater equivilent of these would be, but I suppose they can still be food for thought. :D

I remember getting bored pier fishing, so my dad would rig up 4-5 tiny golden hooks on a small pole with just enough line to dip under the surface of the water from the pier and have me catch live greenbacks for him. It saved him from having to throw the cast net and gave me something to do besides tangling my line.

Another non-boring thing when pier fishing was using what are now called "docs gofy jigs" to go pompano fishing. Basically you use a flimsy pole with light line and tie a colorful weighted hook.
There's no casting involved, you just drop the hook to the bottom, pull out a few feet of slack, then proceed to whip the pole up just to the point that it will make the hook dance on the bottom every couple of seconds.
I guess fly fishing would the the closest thing.
Have you considered fly fishing ?
You'll probably have more tangled lines to deal with at first, but at least it's not just sitting there staring at a bobber.

Other times we would walk the shoreline for what seemed like miles mullet fishing with a cast net. I carried the bucket and watched silently so I didn't spook the fish in anticipation of getting to tear the mullets heads off and let them bleed out when he caught a net full.

Another option is to find non-fishing things to do while you setup and fish multiple lines by yourself, and hand those lines off to everyone else when they get a fish. That way everyone gets to fight fish and there isn't as much untangling to do.
Some deepsea charter boats have crew that does nothing but walks around baiting hooks and setting up lines while they're out on the water.
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david murphy wrote:
digital, this site gives good info and keeps you legal...AND THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS - KNOW WHERE THE HOOK IS.


Ha! Good advice about the hook. :) ...and I'm all legal. I won't have to renew until July. Maybe one day I can work my way up to a trout licence.

Thanks.

joebert wrote:
Another option is to find non-fishing things to do while you setup and fish multiple lines by yourself...


Ooo. That's a good idea. Gotta think on that.

Here are the species we have available where we fish - http://lakemurrayfun.com/fish.html
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Post 3+ Months Ago

this was a revived thread... I was Steelhead fishing on Sat. My friend landed 3. I got skunked. Oh well, I'm headed back out friday for a 4 day trip....

FISHING ROCKS!!!
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I'm finally moving out of Nebraska and up to Noxon MT on the Clark Fork River. The ice will be melting over the next couple of weeks and bugs and stuff are going to start hatching soon, so I'm excited!
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Kids just want to see the bobber go down and then reel them in.
Well my 5 and 7 yr old do.
Yours are 11 or so?
Our nephew was 12ish when we went and was pretty self sufficient. He more wanted to just cast and catch something. For him it was easy to put on a daredevil type spoon and cast for northerns. (WI here)

Some things:
If it is the first real times fishing, just use worms and bobbers.
From shore, find areas with shade, trees that have fallen into the water, etc. Morning and evening are the best times, but panfish eat all day long. Find the depth of the spot by using a tall bobber and setting it "deep" to see if it capsizes. Find about 2 feet off the bottom on hot days.

Throw near the overhang/shade but not into it. The initial splash scares fish, throw it out about 5 feet past if you can and reel it in towards the objects, and wait.

NightCrawlers are the best, you want to use half a worm, and double hook them, first at an end, then wrap it around the hook and another one so the end can dangle, wiggle, look yummy.

When the bobber starts bouncing, don't yank yet. Wait until it is submerged and moving. Panfish especially smaller ones nibble and nibble. If you get just nibbles try going deeper on your bobber.

Also keep reeling it in so if you yank you don't just get line slack, being on shore most often the current will push the bobber towards you. Boat is ideal.

I let them hold the poles and then if they get a bite, set the hook and then let them reel it in.
We always release.

But being 10 they may want to cast. In that case, just go outside down a street or whatever and put a neutered heavy bait on the end and let them practice. There are some weighted practice things that look like fish.

Fish are very sensitive to disturbances in the water. Make sure they aren't throwing rocks in the water even 20 feet near the area.

It takes time to improve on catching fish.
But really, it isn't about the fishing anyways.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I went out to Big Pier 60 here in Clearwater today at the spur of the moment. I never fished this pier before and the aerial view from Mapquest or Google earth or whatever it was didn't help much. I got skunked for the most part while the people in the good spot were pulling up Spanish Makeral all day long with bobbers and shrimp.

I caught a sammich-sized sheephead free-lining a shrimp next to the boat marker though.

Attachments:
13-inch-sheephead.jpg

13 inches from nose to inside of tail fork, just enough for a sammich!

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Good sandwich? ;)
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I don't know yet, I forgot today was Easter and I'm already stuffed. I'll eat it for lunch tomarrow. Sheephead aren't exactly a super-tasty fish to begin with, it will last untill then. :)

I didn't find any worms when I cleaned it which is good. The family of fish sheephead are part of have a higher chance of having worms in their flesh with the larger they are.

Here's a Black Drum I caught under the north side of the Skyway along the rock jetti that's about twice the size of that sheephead, it was full of worms and I ended up using it as fertilizer instead of eating it.

Attachments:
drum.jpg
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I've done fishing before...cool(^-^)


visit this one http://www.youtube.com/results?search_t ... hing&uni=1
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Trying my hand at an 8-hour sport fishing trip at Orange Beach next month. Last time I tried it, we watched all the other boats ride off in the other direction and we basically took a 6-hour tour - we didn't pay. heh

Always enjoyed party boats, hope this pans out for me - I'll hafta post some pics and count sammiches! :)
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janecaniete wrote:
I've done fishing before...cool(^-^)


visit this one http://www.youtube.com/results?search_t ... hing&uni=1

I've always wanted to try fly fishing.
One of these days I'll get out on the flats and try it, I hear the pompano like flies and I like pompano. :D

UPSGuy wrote:
Trying my hand at an 8-hour sport fishing trip at Orange Beach next month. Last time I tried it, we watched all the other boats ride off in the other direction and we basically took a 6-hour tour - we didn't pay. heh

Always enjoyed party boats, hope this pans out for me - I'll hafta post some pics and count sammiches! :)

Try to get there early so you can get a spot on the back of the boat if you don't have to reserve your place ahead of time, that's where the fish-finder/depth-guage is mounted. ;)

Oh wait, sport fishing, like deep water ?
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Yep, deep water, a friend and I are chartering one for our wives and ourselves...ok, ok...for ourselves and the wives are maybe going. :)
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I went out on the pier again yesterday, sunburn from 2 days ago and all.
Brought home 11 Spanish Mackerel this time.

I was going to spell out OZZU with fish and take a picture, but I was two fish short and didn't have any newspaper, so I just shot the ones on top in the cooler before I cleaned them. :D

Attachments:
spanish-mackerel.jpg

Spanish Mackerel



Here's a tip for cleaning Mackerel.
When you catch them put them in a cooler full of ice and take the time to make sure they stay straight as you put more in.
Hours later when you go to clean them, they will be straight and stiff as a board from the ice, this makes them a LOT easier to clean.
I can filet a mackerel in a few seconds when I keep them like that. :D
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Mmmm, I like me some pan-seared mackerel.
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I'm trying to McGuyver together a smoker at the moment.

So far I have a broken electric Wok that I bypassed the switch in to get working again and a few ideas for enclosures.
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You'll have to post some pics of your MacGuyver smoker when you get it finished, homemade stuff like that is cool.

The best damn fish I've ever eaten was about 9 years ago. I did a week long canoe trip in Minnesota and Ontario with the boy scouts and one of our adult leaders caught a nice big pike, big enough to feed all 9 of us with seconds. It was only dead long enough to clean it and cut it into steaks before we started cooking it. We just wrapped it in foil and put it on the grill over hot coals, I can't remember what else we did for seasoning or anything though. Man that was some good fish!
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I was just about to get a galvanized steel trash can from Home Depot thinking it would make the perfect smoking enclosure. Then I learned that heating galvanized metal can give off poisonous zinc-oxide fumes that can give you heavy metal poisoning and kill you.

I could probably burn the galvanizing off by setting fires inside the can or using acid baths, but if I'm going to put that much work into it I might as well just buy one from Walmart.

Back to the drawing board, didn't get to use this batch of fish to test it, but better safe than sorry I guess.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Just get a kettle grill. They're cheap and it's not hard to smoke in them. :my2cents:
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Kettle grill ? :scratchhead:
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Post 3+ Months Ago

joebert wrote:
Kettle grill ? :scratchhead:


Google is your friend
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I grew up using a square metal box with a dozen or so metal trays stacked up and separated by short wooden blocks with an electric heating element on the bottom with a cast iron skillet full of wood chips.

I'm still thinking things through, but the current idea is to build short wooden frames, about 2x15x15 or so, tacking small wood blocks inside of the frame corners that are the same height but offset up about halfway up the tray so I can stack them, then tacking rigid screens about halfway into the frame.

Then I can have a firebox that extends about 18 inches from the ground made from wood and lined with metal/foil, and stack the trays on top of that with the chip smolderer inside of it.

A setup like that will make it easy to add and remove trays as needed depending on how much meat is going in. :)
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Alright, but if you change your mind...
http://www.elise.com/recipes/archives/0 ... smoker.php

:)


//btw: I really disagree with the way the author 'cues the meat - especially Boston butts for pulled pork. You should never cook the meat in a sauce. The sugars will just burn.
  • joebert
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  • Genius
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  • Loc: Florida

Post 3+ Months Ago

Yeah I've already got a grill like that. I want to build something electric with a woodchip pan because I think tending the coals in a normal grill is a PITA and forces me to take the fish out of the grill to tend the coals. :)
  • kc0tma
  • o|||||||o
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  • Loc: Trout Creek, MT

Post 3+ Months Ago

You could try making a smoker out of an old refridgerator.

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