Walking into Bass Pro Shops or other outdoor stores and venturing down the bait & tackle aisles can be overwhelming for a beginning bass angler. In this article we will talk a little about what to look for in a tackle box, some of the key items you should stock in it and a little about the different lures you should have. One of the biggest mistakes made by new anglers to the sport is to just start grabbing a little bit of everything and stuffing it into your tackle box. With a little planning you can do a good job stocking your tackle box and still keep within a reasonable budget.
Your Tackle Box
Tackle boxes come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and colors. At the end of the day the specific tackle box you end up purchasing should be driven your personal preferences, but here we will discuss a couple of basic types and makes some recommendations.
Hard Tackle Boxes
Hard tackle boxes are typically plastic or metal storage boxes with a set of tray or drawers for storing your lures, tools, weights, and extra fishing line. When looking for a good hard sided tackle box, be sure to look for one with lots of spaces for different kinds of lures (like spinnerbaits – which take up a lot of space if you don’t have the right type of storage area). It also nice to find one that lets you separate and easily access your often used baits and lures. For example the Plano 44 Magnum Tackle Box is well reviewed and has lots of space for all types of bait, lures and tools.
Soft Tackle Bags
Soft tackle bags are a great alternative to the hard tackle boxes, many of the soft tackle bags provide you with a series of trays you use to hold your tackle and then place them in the bags. This is nice if you have a lot of lures and baits since you can switch out the specific trays based on the time of year or fishing conditions. The Plano Game Day Camo Tackle Bag with Three 3650 Stowaways is well reviewed and is fairly inexpensive
Must have items for your tackle box
- Lures and baits – we talk more about what types later
- Needle nose pliers – preferably long ones in case the fish takes a hook deep
- Extra fishing line
- Knife – pocket or fishing, you never know when you are going to need it
Lures to stock in your tackle box
Spinnerbaits - a must have lure for bass fishing, a white / chartreuse color combination is pretty versatile.
Crankbaits - there is a lot of variety in crankbaits, you should have both lipped (deeper diving) and lipless (shallow or surface) crankbaits in your tackle box. Shad and gold colors tend to work well.
Propellerbaits - similar to crankbaits – but have a propeller, to help make noise and turbulence, good for murky waters and times when the fish are slow because of the cooler temps.
Jig (Jig ‘n Pig) – One of the best lures for bass fishing, it is very versatile and can be fished many ways. A black / blue and white / chartreuse color combination are know to work well.
Various Hooks / Weights / Plastics – Make sure your tackle box is stocked with a variety of different sizes and shapes.