7 Go-To Tackle Box Essentials for More Bass

fishing-tackle-box-full-of-assorted lures-and-gear

Lighten Your Load & Catch More Fish with These 7 Tackle Box Essentials

Different situations call for drastically different baits. This can cause problems for anglers working on a budget, or anglers severely lacking in storage space. Personally, I carry 5 tackle boxes, and I still come up short when it comes to bait.

However, if I was told I could only carry one tackle box, I feel like I know what I would need. The assortment, of course, varies by locale but can be adapted to fit basically any environment. By the end of this article, I hope to leave you with a list of essentials for your tackle boxes or bass fishing bags that can lighten your load and add to your livewells!

EWG Hooks 

The very first thing I am sure to bring along on any fishing trip is a quantity of extra wide gap (EWG) bass hooks. Size is something often debated between fishermen, but I find that 2/0 tends to be the sweet spot. The reason I choose EWG is that it allows for a wider range of mouth sizes to clamp down on the bait, meaning more hookups and less frustration. I tend to use Gamakatsu, but any old brand will work just the same.

See on Amazon

Be sure before you even leave the house that your hooks are super sharp, to the point that they readily scratch the surface of your nail with little to no pressure. This ensures that you can penetrate even the toughest of mouths, and drastically improves your hook up ratio.

Stick Baits 

The second item going in my essentials tackle box or is a pack of stick baits. The most popular brand tends to be Yamamoto Senkos, but I find that any soft plastic of similar appearance tends to get the job done.

See on Amazon

These baits are extremely versatile and can be fished in numerous ways. The most popular way is to throw it weightless towards cover, and allow the bait to fall freely on a slack line. Done correctly, your line should peel out in no time! However, don’t let this lead you to believe that it’s the ONLY way to fish a stick bait.

You can also add a bullet sinker and fish it like any other soft plastic, leave it weightless and fish it like a jerkbait, rip it in half and thread it onto a jig head Ned-rig style, etc. The possibilities are limitless!

Crawdad Soft Plastic Lures 

Thirdly, I’m going to include a pack of soft plastic crawdads. Big bass in my area feed primarily – almost exclusively – on live crawfish. Slow moving and packed full of protein, they provide a relatively painless and hearty meal, one that almost can’t be turned up. As with the Senkos, there are numerous ways to fish these.

See on Amazon

Thread them onto a jig and hop them along the bottom for lunkers, texas rig them and fish them like a worm, or leave them weightless and skim them across the surface for explosive topwater action.

 

Arbogast Hula Popper 

The fourth thing getting packed into my tackle bag is a Fred Arbogast Hula Popper. They’ve been around for almost 90 years now, and for good reason, too – they are one of the best bass fishing lures of all time!

See on Amazon

Cast it out and allow the bait to sit unmoved for a few moments. After resting, pop your rod slightly and the bait’s concave mouth creates a disturbance in the water, resulting in an audible “ploink” that bass can’t resist.

During the spring, this is often the only bait I bring with me on a trip, as it simply never fails to produce. The best places to cast this are shallow flats lacking in vegetation.

Arkie Jig 

In the fifth spot, I pack a few Arkie-style jigs in green pumpkin and blue/black color combinations. I’m honestly not sure what they’re supposed to mimic without a trailer, but they’ve been winning tournaments for decades.

See on Amazon

Throw a crawdad on it and hop it around. Rip a swimbait in half and thread the tail end on, and swim it through the lake. Add the back half of a Senko and let it sit. No matter what you thread on, the undulating rubber skirt tends to entice even the most lethargic bass into a strike.

Unlike the other baits mentioned, however, the strikes on a jig tend to be soft and, often times, unnoticeable. Be sure to watch your line closely, and set the hook HARD to ensure you get past the built-in fiber weed guard.

Silver Minnow Crankbait 

Sixth, I’ll pack a 2-4 inch minnow-shaped silver crankbait, regarded by many seasoned anglers as some of the best crankbaits for largemouth bass. Personally, I’ve had limited success with hard baits, but the silver/minnow combination –  seems to work just about anywhere, and at any time.

See on Amazon

A slow retrieve resembles a calm baitfish, while a quicker cadence lends towards a stressed/wounded minnow separated from the pack. Be sure to throw in a few pops and jerks to really sell the wounded part, and big bass will be slamming it regardless.

Spinnerbait 

Finally, I would pack a spinnerbait, preferably one with a smaller (3/8ths oz) profile. Arguably the most effective bait on the market, spinners allow you to cover a lot of water, and bass just love them.

See on Amazon

If nothing else in the box is working, the spinner tends to do wonders. By zooming through the lake, the spinnerbait allows you to locate where the fish are holding, even if it’s only to target them with other lures.

Used correctly, it’ll fill your livewell before the midday heat kicks in, leaving you plenty of time to clean the haul and watch others get frantic. From ponds and creeks, all the way up to the oceans, it’s hard to top a small spinner.

Now, this definitely isn’t the end-all-be-all of lists, but it’s for sure all the baits I wouldn’t be caught dead without. Any time I leave the house, you can bet I have multiples of everything listed, and that I’ll throw one of these first.

Your experience might differ, but this list tends to cover all bodies of water I’ve ever visited, and all points in the water column that bass hold at. So, get out there and catch some fish!

Good luck and tight lines!

See Similar Posts:

offshore big game casting reel

8 Types of Fishing Reels Most Commonly Used

 8 Most Used Types of Fishing Reels by Anglers Most of us who are involved with recreational fishing know what a ...
Read More
best watch for fishing

Quality Time on the Water: The Citizen BN0151-09L Promaster Diver Watch

A Wristwatch Built for Adventure on the Water I've had a love affair with watches since the time I also ...
Read More
bass fishing tackle selection guide

Bass Fishing Buyer’s Guide: Essential Gear for Largemouth

Welcome to our Bass Fishing Buyer's Guide! This is a comprehensive rundown of the most critical equipment you need to ...
Read More
auger drilling hole for ice fishing

Lithium-Ion and the Evolution of Electric Ice Fishing Augers

If you’re looking to buy a new fishing auger for the winter season you’ve likely seen an increase in electric ...
Read More
 tiller outboard motor on small boat

Parsun vs Mercury vs Tohatsu: Three 20 HP 4-Stroke Outboard Values

Three 20 Horsepower 4-Stroke Bargains Reviewed and Compared The 20 HP outboard motor is a popular choice for anglers and ...
Read More
inflatable fishing boat with motor

Complete Guide to Buying the Best Inflatable Fishing Boat for You

One of the great things about fishing is that it is a sport of almost unlimited possibilities and options. That ...
Read More
ice chest filled with beverages

6 Top High-End Outdoor Coolers Rated

6 High-Quality Coolers for Fishing, Hunting, Camping and Everything Else Outdoors Fishing, like many other outdoor recreational activities, requires a ...
Read More
best baitcasting rod under 100

4 Baitcasting Rod Bargains Too Good to Pass Up

4 Outstanding Baitcasting Rods on the Cheap If you’ve been following our website lately, you may have seen our feature ...
Read More
Loading...

1 thought on “7 Go-To Tackle Box Essentials for More Bass

  1. Bailey Thomas

    Good tips! The only thing I would add is a six-pack of your favorite beverage, but I imagine that’s a prerequisite for any angler, lol.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *