Selecting Your Tackle & Gear
Regardless of the type of fishing you do, your experience will be most enjoyable if you use the proper tackle or gear designed for the fish species you target. We all have the same problems of picking the right tackle or gear for our own type of fishing task, although there are some general guidelines to make this much easier.
The popular spincast reel is easy to use making it a great choice to start with and will handle most types of fishing. Bait casting reels which are best for heavy tackle have made advances in magnetic cast controls and improved designs to be more trouble free today. Spinning reels have undergone changes in the drag system, skirted spools and modified easy-to-use full bails of today are great for most fishing and best for light tackle. Rods are built with better components for smooth casting with materials for better feel and more sensitivity and even longer rods are available for the shore anglers to help get that bait out there.
Here are a few guidelines to help get started selecting the best tackle or gear for most common types of fishing: First you need to look at what fish you are pursuing and how big do they get? Often anglers pick tackle that is heavier than needed and spool their reels with line stronger than necessary.
For Panfish or FunFish as we call them, such as the Bluegill may be small but are mighty and can be a real kick to catch on ultra-light tackle making these fish pursued by most everyone. Bluegills can be found in most waters that are easily accessible but Big Bluegills are cautious, found in deeper water and not always easy to catch. Good baits are meal worms, wax worms, crickets, part of a crawler or juicy grubs fished around weedy areas. Bluegills have a small mouth, so use a hook size of #6 or 8 and you won't miss many. You can use 4#-6# line, not a lot of weight needed and be sure to use small bobbers.
The Crappie has a larger and tender mouth and they prefer a lively minnow on a #4 or #2 Aberdeen hook or a small jig. You will catch nice Crappies in or around sunken brush pile by dangling a small lead-head jig with a minnow or tube bait and many are finding the Gulp minnows work really well too. For this we would use 6# line on spinning reels with a medium-light action rod.
Bass have a varied diet and there are literally thousands of lures to choose from such as crankbaits, spinnerbaits, jigs and the deadly plastic worm being a true go to bait for many Bass fanatics. Bass are found around cover in lakes and ponds such as lily pads, cattails, around or under docks, logs and other weedy areas. In reservoirs bass love the flooded timber, bushes, an old road and creek beds or channel edges. And just because a pond is very small, there can still be some very big bass in it. Try sizes 1 to 8/0 hooks on 10 to 14 pound line and a medium action rod for most presentations but a medium-heavy rod is best to get that fish out of that heavy cover or weeds while jigging or worming.
Catfish do not always rate top billing as a game fish, but his size and fight gets him many an applause. They have voracious eating habits and can be caught on shad, cut baits, chicken liver, manufactured baits or our favorite dip bait, Hossís Hawg Bait. Anglers may argue about which bait is best for Catfish, but most will agree on tackle. For those 5- 15 pound fish, try trebles in sizes 4 or 6 but those that tip the scales at 20 pounds and over, choose hooks from size 1/0 up to 8/0 and spool a baitcasting reel with 20-30# big game line on a stout rod.
Walleye are elusive fish that spend much time looking for food and always on the move. They can be found near rocky banks or points, along weed edges and along breaks off flats. Walleye like to pursue the small minnows that live in and around weeds so always fish on the deep side of weed edges. They avoid bright light and seek out darker, cooler water and remember that Walleye are predatory fish and eat lots of smaller fish, along with worms and other aquatic life. Octopus style hooks in sizes 6, 4, and 2 are favored by many walleye anglers when fishing with natural baits. Treble hooks about size 10 are used as stinger hooks on some larger jigs and spinner rigs.
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Till Next Time, GOD BLESS & GOOD FISHING.!