Tackle for the Average Bass Fisherman

Here I will discuss what selection of artificial baits an average fisherman should have in his tackle box. The average fisherman should have a varied selection of jig combinations. A jig consists of two parts. The jig head is basically a hook with a weight near the eye. You should have several different sizes of hooks and weights. I recommend a selection of 1/16, 1/8 and ¼ ounce jig heads. You will next need a collection of skirts. The skirt is what you place on the hook to entice the bass. Skirts are generally made of plastic. They can be in the form of a worm with twister tail or perhaps a more traditional skirt. The key is color and size. Choose an ample supply of many different colors, sizes and styles. These skirts will need to be replaced often so have enough in your box.

Crankbaits are artificial bait all fishermen should have in their boxes. A crankbait is generally made from wood or in some cases plastic. It is shaped like a fish and has a plastic lip directly near the eye. This lip determines how deep the lure will go. Some crankbait are designed to run 2-4 deep while others go much deeper. I always keep about 5 shallow runners and 5 deep runners in my tackle box. Again choose a variety of colors, sizes and shapes. Always before you fish make sure your hooks on these baits are sharp. If not sharpen or replace them. A hook sharpener is a tool all fishermen should have in their tackle box.

Spinnerbaits are a very effective artificial lure when fishing in weeds, lily pads and even trees. Again the key is variety. Spinnerbaits come with round blades and willow leaf blades. The round blades are shaped like a spoon and are designed to make noise through vibration as they are retrieved. Willow leaf blades provide more flash and are more visual. They also come with skirts of many different colors. You need a varied selection in your arsenal to make trips successful.

You can also use topwater baits. The most exciting moment in fishing is when you see a bass attack a topwater bait you are using. These baits however require more skill and experience than the others I have listed. They may not be for the average fisherman.

I advise a variety of traditional spinners as well. Mepps spinners I have found are excellent lures for bass. Again the key is variety. You need to keep several different sizes and colors.

There is also some terminal tackle that is required. You should have a variety of hooks and weights, especially if you plan to do live bait fishing. I also recommend having a supply of snap swivels for attaching tackle to your line. A hook sharpener is a very important piece of equipment. You should also have maintenance items such as grease for your reel.

This covers the basics. If you plan to do most of your fishing from a boat then a fish finder is a valuable piece of equipment. Not so much for finding fish but more for knowing the depth of the water you are fishing. You also will see the weedlines and other pieces of structure. This information is critical in determining where to fish.

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Dan Eggertsen is a fellow bass fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on bass fishing since 2004.

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