I am often approached at boat and tackle shows or fishing seminars by both men women and young people
wanting to know how to get started Bass fishing. Where can you go to get the basic information on how to fish, not just the equipment and tackle needed, but how to get started from scratch? How do you rig the bait or lures, how do you
tie a knot, what kind of rod and reel?
To most of us in the Bass-fishing world, these are things we learned growing up. But many people have missed the outdoors and now they don’t know where to go to give their children the things they missed in the outdoor world. I will
try to cover some of the basics.
I will talk about the fish I like to pursue, bass. Bass are part of the perch family also (bream and perch), just on the larger side. Smallmouth and spotted bass are usually found in deep clear-water lakes, some rivers, they are tough to catch picky eaters and typically stay in deeper water. Black bass on the other hand, are probably the most pursued freshwater
fish. Although they will hit live shad and shiners, most anglers use artificial baits. There are hundreds of bass tournaments around the USA every weekend and we still haven’t figured out how to outsmart the black bass.
Black bass can be found in shallow to deep water at all times of the year. Spinnerbaits, lipless crankbaits, diving crankbaits, Texas and Carolina-rigged worms, grubs and centipede type baits all work well, some better at different
times of the year than others. Colors can vary also, but the best rule of thumb is dark colors on dark days, light colors on bright days and sticking to the colors that most closely resemble the food source of the fish.
Let’s look at the fishing equipment and tackle that you might need to get started. If you are just starting out and
don’t know or are not going to concentrate on a particular fish group, I would recommend getting a Lews Speed Spool bait caster or a Lews Speed Spool spinning reel. The fishing line will be Vicious copolymer in 10-pound test.
This will be good for most of the fish mentioned. The other basic tackle that I think you need include the following. Some size #6 or #8 live bait hooks, a good fishing rod of your choice. (I fish with 21 Carrot Gold Stix), a few 1/4- and 3/8-ounce bell weights, a small cork or float. This will cover any live bait fishing you may do and should cost less than $20.00.
I would recommend that you use artificial, less trouble and not as messy. To get started with artificial baits you will need a package of Daiichi 1/0 offset worm hooks, some 3/16-ounce bullet worm weights and a package of 4-inch watermelon and green pumpkin Strike King Finesse worms, for Texas rig worm fishing. One or two, 1/4-ounce Strike King Pro Model shad pattern spinning baits and a couple of 1/4-ounce Strike King chrome/blue back lipless crank baits. For crappie, perch and other pan fish, a few small white and chartreuse Blakemore Road Runner.
This should cost you less than $50.00 and give you the basic tackle to catch a variety of species.
As your knowledge and skills improve, so will your choice of tackle change to adapt to the ability that comes with experience. If you’re helping to get a new angler started, just keep it simple in the beginning and make it fun.
This should get you started with some basics. I think the best advice I can give for now is to read as many magazine articles as you can and watch the fishing shows on TV. Rent or buy fishing tapes to watch and gain as much knowledge as you can about fish and fishing, you never can learn enough. If you have any questions email me and I will try to answer your questions.