Learn to Fish With Kelly West — Step 1: Build A Basic Tackle Box
I have been fishing since I was about 2 years old. My daddy used to take me to the Unita Mountains in Wyoming and we would fish for hours. We would lake fish and river fish. I've always known how to fish and what I need for fishing. However, some people do not.
My friend and I were talking and I said the word "snelled" and she looked at me like I was talking a different language or something. To her I guess I was, since she does not fish. She did express that she wanted to learn but didn't know where to start.
The best place to start would be to have a desire to go fishing and want to hang out in the great outdoors. The second thing would be to have the right equipment.
Your tackle box or fishing box needs to have stuff in it that is useful for fishing. You can't go fishing without a pole, lure or line. Those things you will need for sure. It's not fishing if you don't lose at least one lure or more, so stocking up on those is a good idea.
Here's a handy start-up list I have provided for you that should help get you started and provide you some basic fishing knowledge.
What you need to get ready:
Besides your regular fishing pole or a regular bait casting rod, your basic tackle box should have:
Snelled or un-snelled hooks: You can buy these from any store. Snelled basically keeps the hook in place with the leader. Every tackle box should have at least 10 or 15 per fishing trip. Four, six or eight are the best and eight is the smallest, by the way. These hooks will handle worms, crawfish, minnows, dough balls, stinkbait, salmon eggs and many more. Always remember it is easier to catch a big fish on a small hook. You can buy the assortment at any of your local fishing stores.
Lures: [Spinner] There are several different kinds of lures, but my favorite is the Panther Martin spinner in the 1/8-ounce to 3/8-ounce range. I just like the way that the Panther Martin makes their spinners and the colors. Rooster tail makes some awesome spinners as well.
My go-to spinner is a red and black Panther Martin. It is always good to have at least one red spinner in your tackle box. I remember I went fishing with my brother Rusty in Wyoming at Flaming Gorge and we were catching nothing but a cold that day. Neither one of us had a red spinner. I remembered that I had a red hair tie in the truck so I went and got it. I used my trusty knife and cut a couple of pieces off for both of us. After that we didn't stop catching fish. Fish love red.
Jig: Jig is another form of a lure. It is the most versatile of all lures. You can use it in a river, lake, pond, stream or even in the ocean. Jig means bounce up and down and that is exactly what you do with it. I have to admit, though, I do jig my spinner.
Spoon: The best spoon you can get is the black and red or white and red stripes. They are always good in a pinch. You can get spoons that are 3/16, 1/4 or 2/5 of an ounce and they even make them 3 1/4 ounces. Stick with the first three until you get good because the last one really is too heavy for now.
Minnow Lure: There is nothing wrong with having at least two or three lures that look like minnows in your new tackle box. You can jig with them and the fish will think it is a minnow that is ready to die. If things go well, they will come and try to eat it and boom! You got yourself a fish with a fake fish.
Sinkers or weights: Buy a variety pack of split-shot sinkers and most likely you will have everything you need for a while unless you lose them at the bottom of the water. Split-shot means they are split in the middle so they are easy to put on your fishing line to make it heavier.
Snap Swivel: Snap swivels are the best because they will prevent your line from getting kinked all up. An inch long will do it. It will also help with your snelled hook if you use one. Perfect to change in and out.
Bobbers or Bob: The best is always the good old red and white plastic bob. They are very inexpensive so stock yourself up with a few different sizes.
Stringer: It is exactly how it sounds. It is string to keep your fish in the water so they will not spoil after you have caught them. Get the long safety pin-looking kind. I still have mine from 15 years ago. Very trusty.
Tools: Pliers and a knife or a trusty Swiss army knife will always do. Matches are good to have for survival and you need to keep them in a moisture-tight container.
There you have it. 'Hook, line and sinker,' baby, just the way I like it. Your basic tackle box. You can always add things, but for your first fishing trip, all of this stuff should do.
And always remember to keep an eye on other anglers. Most likely they have caught some fish that day and you can cheat and see what they are using.