Are you a beginner fisherman and struggling with where to get started?
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If you are a beginner fisherman, or maybe just want to get your kids into fishing – we thought it would be a good idea to break down 10 “must haves” in any well-rounded tackle box.
1. Fishing License
Pretty self-explanatory here, but unless you’re under the age of 16, pretty much every state requires a state issued fishing license. Make sure you buy one, and spend a few minutes going over the regulations pertinent to the area you’re fishing. It pays to know about size and bag limits, permitted fishing methods, and even special regulations for certain species.
2. A Rod, Reel, And Line
Well, obviously… When getting started, focus on getting just one or two combos that can cover a wide variety of presentations. A decent quality medium action spinning combo spooled with 10 pound monofilament is a great place to start.
3. Hooks and Sinkers
Without a hook you’re not going to catch anything, so get a few different types to cover all your bases. For panfish, simple size 6 or 8 Aberdeen hooks are excellent. If you’re a bass fisherman, get a couple packs of offset shank worm hooks, in 3/0 or 4/0. You’ll also need some split shot or sliding sinkers to keep your baits down.
Swivels are great for preventing line twist, tying advanced rigs like the Carolina rig or three-way rig, and they can also come with a snap on one end – which makes changing baits a breeze for a beginner fisherman. Grab a few packs and you’ll be surprised at all their uses.
If you plan on doing any live bait fishing, you’ll probably want to get yourself some bobbers. The thin or pencil style tend to be more sensitive than the traditional round plastic ones, but they all work just fine.
Crankbaits, jerkbaits, lipless cranks, and topwaters are all dynamite fish catchers, so you’ll want to have a couple options to tie on when you’re looking for a hard bait bite. Don’t overdo it; you’ll only need a couple to start out. Consider a topwater, like a popper or walking bait, a shallow depth crank or stick bait, and a deep diver like the Yo-Zuri 3DB Mid – then you’ll have all depths covered.
7. Inline Spinners
An alternative to the hard bait is the spinner – a bait that uses a rotating blade to produce flash and thump that mimics a baitfish. Inline spinners like the Eco-Pro Tungsten are absolutely deadly and come in sizes small enough for panfish, all the way up to giant ones intended for pike and musky. No tackle box should be without at least one or two spinners.
8. Soft Plastics
Often thought of as strictly bass baits, soft plastics are actually downright deadly for anything that swims. Grab a few packs and try them out when you’re not getting bit on other artificials. Tiny tubes and grubs are killer on panfish, ring worms and paddle tails are excellent walleye plastics, and worms, craws, and creatures are top picks for bass. Try something various species would love like the Reins Bubbling Shaker!
A well rounded tackle box will also have a good jig selection. From ball-head live bait jigs to skirted bass jigs – you should have several styles on hand so you can fine tune your presentation no matter what the conditions are. First one to tie on for a beginner fisherman: The All-Terrain Tackle Football Jig.
Once you’re set up, you’re probably going to catch a lot more fish – necessitating this last piece of gear. Needle nose pliers are a necessity any time you’re fishing. For panfish, they help you get the hook out of those little mouths, and for gamefish they allow you to get the hook out without injuring the fish (or your hands if you catch a toothy critter). Always keep a pair handy when you’re on the water.
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