Just like anything else in life, bass fishing can be as expensive, or as cheap as you want it to be. Big bass can be caught on lures that cost less than a dollar, or baits that require you to take out a second mortgage on your house. But it does take some money to get your bases covered. And as you try to grow your arsenal, it’s wildly important you make baits last. Whether you are a tackle junkie or a penny pincher, there are things you can do to make your dollar go a little further.
Yeah, we’ve all been there. Rapidly clicking image previews of JDM baits with immaculate paint jobs on Tackle Warehouse as a dribble of drool drops on your mousepad.
You reach for your credit card but are suddenly halted with a vision of lengthy divorce documents slammed on the table in front of you. Shockingly, you realize your wife will not be “cool with it” if you spend $300+ on something that goes in a fish’s mouth.
You close your laptop softly as a tear rolls down your cheek.
Tackle Does Not Grow on Trees
I once was a young lad, fresh into the workforce at my favorite tackle store with a passion for fishing and reckless lack of understanding for financial responsibility. I failed to realize that I would have to actually pay for college, I know, but in my defense people hardly ever talk about how expensive college is!
Thankfully, beginning to dig myself out of a considerable hole of debt really has made me wise old fisherman. Also, totally unrelated but bassinwithburg merch will be dropping soon..
This blog will help you buy smart, fish smart, and use your baits smart. You and your wallet are welcome. And with the money you save you can treat yourself to a bassinwithburg t-shirt.
Buying Without Breaking the Bank
I have a real talent for purchasing tackle. What can I say, it’s a real gift. But I’ll be the first guy to put my hand up and say: I have more tackle than I probably need.
In fact, the vast majority of fisherman do. Especially the one’s you see on youtube and on TV. And as a man who’s spent an embarrassing amount of time scrolling through tackle warehouse and pacing up and down the BPS aisles like a crackhead, if you’re looking to expand your collection, or begin to fill up your tackle box; this is not the way to do it.
Tackle warehouse or your local tackle shop are FANTASTIC options for two situations.
Tackle warehouse or your local tackle shop are FANTASTIC options for two situations.
Scenario #1: You have a specific NEED. You ran out of 3/0 hooks. You need a heavier weighted Jig. Not “I’m just going to buy a few baits in a few colors” that kind of talk leads you straight to the poor house.
Scenario #2: You have a fixed budget. Maybe you got a gift card, or grandma gave you some spending cash. Whatever way you’ve acquired your wealth, take only that with you and leave the credit card at home.
The Best Way To Grow Your Collection
Say you’re just starting out. You have a few baits but are really looking to try new techniques out and learn more about fishing. Or say you’re a degenerate like myself, and you spend money like Floyd Mayweather after each retirement on every bait that gives you sweet eyes.
If you really don’t have anything specific you are looking for, 100% of the time the best thing for you to do is peruse these three places and look for a “tackle lot” or “bait lot”. This is just a large quantity of tackle sold to you all at once for a DISGUSTINGLY cheap price compared to what you’d pay at a store.
- Facebook Marketplace- This is my favorite place to look for deals because it’s local, it’s updated frequently, and people are looking to get rid of their stuff. Rods, reels, baits, hooks, kayaks, boats, you name it.
- BassResource Flea Market– Here you can find plenty of experienced fisherman looking to sell their gear. Deals aren’t as good as facebook, and it isn’t local, but occasionally you can find some diamonds in the rough. If you are looking to buy some higher end rods and reels or larger quantity tackle lots, the flea market is the place to look.
- Craig’s List- Definitely my least favorite of the three but occasionally there is a bargain. Worth at least a check.
Tackle Tips to Keep Your Wallet Happy
Now that I’ve got the more general stuff out of the way, I can get into the real juicy secrets. All that noise up above, while wildly important and extremely shrewd advice if I do say so myself (great work burg), it lacks the WOW factor of these tricks I’m about to explain.
So just remember how your life is now, because it’ll never be the same again.
Saving Senko Lives
The #1 thing I hear from people when talking about senkos besides “well it’s the only thing I throw really” is that they can only land a few fish before it’s completely torn apart. And up until last year I had the same problem.
One day I picked up these and even the day my firstborn child takes their first breath it still won’t be as life-changing as the day I bought those hooks.
These are Mustad KVD Grip-Pin hooks, you can click the link there to get them on tackle warehouse. You know when you hook up on a fish, and she jumps, head shakes, and fights on its way back back into the boat? And your worm either slides right up your line or even just flies right off into the water? Happens all the time, and seemingly every single time you had JUST put a fresh Yammamoto on.
I’ve never had that happen with these hooks. It’s absolutely incredible. Every time I get bit on these hooks the worm stays put right at the top of the eyelet, and the tail end simply slides a about an inch into the center of the hook. I can not recommend these hooks enough, they’ll increase your number of fish per worm and save you LOADS of money.
It’s ABSOLUTELY CRUCIAL you buy the 3/0 size if you plan to use these hooks for senkos. I have fished it on the 4/0 and it tears through the worm probably a little less than a normal EWG, but not even close to as little as the 3/0. I prefer the 4/0 for my weighted texas rigs, beaver baits, creature baits, etc.
Now That You’re Saving Worms, Save Them Some More
The one time in a blue moon that you will end up putting on a new worm with those hooks, take your old worm, put it in a ziplock or back into your box. Congratulations, you now have a wacky worm. Or maybe the fish really tore it up that day and your worm is halfway ripped at the hook point. Well rip it all the way and now you have yourself a ned rig worm.
It sounds so obvious but I don’t see enough fisherman do it. Mainly because they psyche themselves out, thinking they won’t catch fish on a bait that isn’t fresh out of the package. I get that, I think that way sometimes myself, especially when things are tough, but that isn’t the case. Trust me, throw on an o-ring, and if you feel so inclined, maybe you hit it with a dose of scent and you’ll catch fish just fine.
While You’re at it, Save Your Swimbaits Too
I LOVE fishing a nice keitech. It really gets the juices flowing. But let’s be honest with ourselves, those things lose their boots like a hiker with stub feet. AT LEAST once a day you’ll get a dink that thinks they’re hungry tear the paddle of your keitech clean off. It used to drive me INSANE.
One day I watched Matt Allen from Tactical Bassin’ talk about chatterbait fishing and he explained how much he hates rigging a keitech as a trailer because the action is slow and sloppy due to the vibration of the blade.
His suggestion was to either rig it upside down, or snip the boot clean off. This is the PERFECT use for the baits you can’t fish with anymore. The action is incredible and next time your paddle gets jacked you won’t wanna throw your set-up in the lake.
Finally, Be a Man and Go Skirt Shopping
I have a very committed long-term relationship with Dirty Jigs, we’re going steady, I’ve stopped seeing other jigs. But I also have a very intimate relationship with jig fishing in general and when I discovered I was poor, I simply couldn’t spend $4.99 per jig.
So I started buying packs of jig heads and dressing them up in skirts myself, and getting over double of the same quality jig, for the price of a single jig.
The best Jig heads I found are BOSS Jigs. It comes ready to rock with a skirt keeper, molded plastic keeper, a silicone weedguard, and a Mustad hook. If I’m being perfectly honest, it’s a step down from a Dirty Jigs jig head, but for the price they absolutely get the job done. The ones you see here are the Brent Ehrler Flipping/Casting Jig which sell in a 4 pack for $6.99.
And of course, I couldn’t help myself but pair it up with the Dirty Jigs skirts that go for $4.99 for a 5 pack.
I really can’t speak highly enough of their colors and skirt components. They’re absolutely to die for, they look so good I would eat em.
I was just about to put a bow this gift to you all when I realized I wasn’t done yet. I’m gonna rattle a few key money savers before I hit you with the good ole’ Tight Lines
- Pick up a bottle of Mend-it. It’ll literally saves bait lives. When your rage craw gets a claw ripped off, or your paddletails, or senkos. Literally you could just disregard everything I’ve said in this blog just by buying this soft bait glue.
- Put backing on all your reels. Whether you’re going braid to fluro, mono to Fluorocarbon, whatever. Fill most of your spool with some nice gross Trilene XL Monofiliament, the stuff you buy like 600 yards of for $5 and tie a connecting not to your nice line. Waste not, want not.
- Pick up a hook file. You’ll keep those puppies sharp and keep those fish pinned.
- Go out and get a Lure Retriever. It’s 2019. You’re a straight fool if you don’t have one in your boat. I like the Hound Dog.
- Get your reels serviced/supertuned. If you don’t know how to take apart your reel yourself (like me) then ship them off once a year to get a super clean. Your reels will last longer and you’ll cast farther.
And that’ll do it for the “don’t spend all your money blog”. The main takeaway from this long-winded compilation of utter hypocrisy is to do as I say and not as I do. Follow that advice and you’ll be able to spank some serious bass with both your live well and wallet full.
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