Selecting your rod and reel
It can be overwhelming when checking out Amazon or your local sporting goods store for a rod and reel. There is a vast selection to choose from, but for right now all you need to do is keep it simple and in your budget.
When looking at rods try to find one that is somewhere between 5’ 6” and 6’, and is rated as either a light or medium action rod. These lighter rods allow the angler to feel how a bass is fighting and can prepare a beginner for how to properly play and reel in a fish. Start out targeting the little guys and get used to how they feel. The light rod will give you the thrill of feeling a smaller fish fight and pull drag.
When shopping for your rod it will be easier to select one with a reel already attached. These are called combos. However, if they only sell them separately just check the box on the reel to make sure it is rated to work with the action of the rod. You want to pair a light to a light, medium to medium.
A lot of combos will come with line already spooled, but if not, select a monofilament line in the 6-8-pound test range. Many sporting goods stores will apply the line for you.
Since you’re already at the store purchasing a rod, go ahead and grab some lures too. You’ll need a few crankbaits, spinnerbaits, as well as soft plastics.
You’ll want to select a shallow and deep diving crankbait. The information on how deep they run will be on the box, and can also be told by the size of the lip on the lure. The larger the lip the deeper it will run. Select two types of colors, one natural, and bright.
Again, you will want to select two different colors, one natural and one bright. The blade color should be gold and in a willow leaf pattern. There are a lot of different variations of skirt colors, blade styles, and blade colors, but for now it’s best to stick with the basics.
Grab an 8-10” ribbon tail worm, a crawfish, and a lizard. Pick out the colors green pumpkin, and then either select a black, or black and blue color. On clear days or in clear water use the green pumpkin, and on darker days in dark water use the black, or black and blue. Go to the tackle aisle and pick up a 3/0 or 4/0 sized straight shank hook and get a pack 1/8 oz bullet weights. You can use these to Texas rig your plastics.
How to Find Fish
It’s best to first start out on smaller farm ponds. These usually don’t get a lot of fishing pressure and the small size makes it easier to locate bass. However, if you don’t have access to private ponds, then a small public lake near you will work as well.
Bass love structure and cover. When first walking up to the lake be on the lookout for any lily pads, stumps, sunken trees or anything that stands out. Make those spots the first place you cast to.
If you have a boat with a sonar then you can drop your trolling motor and look for drop offs or schooling baitfish that bass may be targeting.
How to Catch Bass
A crankbait or a spinnerbait is the perfect lure to start your day with. Because of the speed with which they are retrieved they cover a lot of water quickly, which means you can find fish faster. Once you’ve hooked a fish with your crankbait or spinner, keep casting to that spot. And if you don’t get another strike switch up to one of your soft plastics. Chances are there are more fish in that spot, they just don’t want to chase something moving too quickly. Texas rig your soft plastic and allow it to bounce on the bottom with a slow retrieve. Any bites that occur will happen when the lure falls back to the bottom.