For the most part, my fishing tackle collection is set. I have a small store of inventory in the garage which allows me to chase just about any fish species, any time of year. I’m also equipped with enough fishing rods of various types (spin cast, spinning, bait cast, fly) that I can serve as fishing guide for at least 6 kids. (More on fishing rod quantity later.) However, I have noticed that there are some staple items which always seem to need to be reloaded.
These items tend to vary somewhat, depending on the season but here are a few tackle basics that always return along with the milk, bread, and eggs.
1) The specific hook size for the current hot bite.
The right size hook can mean the difference between a successful hook set and a miss. If you want to catch small fish or are ice fishing, scale down the size of the hook. Or, if you want to discourage the little fish, upgrade. Hook size selection also is dependent on that ideal bait or lure size.
2) Spit shot for the rate of the current, uh, current.
For swift streams and rivers, more weight will help hold the lure in the strike zone. The right sinking rate can trigger a bite too. Split shot weights help you add or subtract fishing depth in small increments.
3) And, a fresh pack of the hot color of soft-plastic lures.
In my neck of the woods, dark green grubs consistently out fish other soft plastic lures for smallmouth bass. I noticed that the recent issue of Bassmaster magazine also had this lure on their short list for catching largemouth bass through ice.
What are your staples?
Andy Whitcomb is a columnist, outdoor humorist, and stressed-out Dad living in Pennsylvania. Visit him at www.justkeepreeling.com.