What I take Lure Fishing.
Heading out lure fishing it’s important to have everything you need easily on hand ready for if and when you need it. Personally, I carry quite a few things with me when I’m out, but they all tend to be essential. If I can do without it, it doesn’t come. Over the last few years while I’ve been taking my lure fishing seriously, getting out a lot and meeting experienced anglers along the way, there’s a list of essential items I’ve picked up through experience that I will always try to bring out with me when I hit the coast.
Personally, I carry my gear in a Japanese style PFD Lure Vest, they aren’t for everyone, but for me I like having everything on myself easily to hand and when wading there is nothing better, they also double up as great safety devices should you misjudge a gully in rough conditions or take a fall. I do like hip bags though especially if you’re not wading that much, a shoulder strap is invaluable with them though and something worth checking for or adding to your hip bags if not already on it.
So, what do I carry in these?
Lure Boxes – I carry the double sided washable boxes, the likes of which are available from Snowbee and Leeda, they allow me to carry up to 10 lures (5 per side) I try to organise it a little for topwaters one side and shallow divers the other, the next then is filled with soft plastics that are rigged on jigheads along with any additional shallow divers and a few deeper divers. I do change the contents of my box depending on what kind of mark I’m heading for but for the most part I like to think I can pick up my stuff and my lures will work almost anywhere.
Soft Plastics – For the kind of soft plastics that I tend to fish weightless or with belly weighted hooks I prefer to keep them in their packets, it takes up less room and they tend to keep better this way. I tend to have one ready rigged, mainly because sometimes the hook will rust and there’s nothing worse than finding a whole pack of soft plastics stained with rust marks. So at least for convenience sake I’m only sacrificing one.
Whistle – It may sound a little strange at first, but a whistle is in my opinion pretty important for when out fishing, it serves two purposes, mainly for safety, if I’ve had a fall or in danger, a whistle close to hand can hopefully allow me to signal attention for help. It also is really handy for signalling the attention of anyone you may be fishing with when you’ve hooked up and may need a hand in landing the fish, or to call them to your area (should you want to share the mark that is). Dual purpose but something that should things go bad you may be very grateful for.
Head Torch – It goes without saying, fishing at night without a head torch is difficult, albeit when I’m actually fishing it’s very rarely on, its essential for getting to marks and navigating cliffs and rocky reefs. I do keep the light off the water whenever possible and if I’m near water’s edge and I have to use the headtorch it’s nearly always red mode for my use. The Petzl RXP I have, its adjustable reactive light is awesome for walking at night and it has a great red mode that you can set so it’s instantly on and no other modes are needed to flick through.
Leader Material – Personally I’m a fan of a leader, some go without it but I guess it’s a confidence thing, some may disagree but I feel a lot happier with fluoro touching a rock than straight braid. I use an FG knot and trust it impeccably. A very worthwhile knot to learn! For myself, I use Berkley Trilene in 15 or 20lb depending on the breaking strain of my mainline. Yes, there are fancier Japanese fluorocarbons but for I trust this and I don’t want to worry about the cost of the material, if the leader is chaffed in a way it’s getting changed no stressing as to the cost.
Chapstick – This may sound odd…but let me explain, wind knots, we’ve all experienced them, especially with braid but believe it or not most the time they can be pulled through. The main problem and what leads to the line snapping is friction and the line biting into itself. If you coat the knot in chapstick along with a few inches of line either side and pull it slowly, the knot will can pull out and you’re back to fishing. A very, very handy little thing to have and one that I’ve recommended to mates and has saved them a couple yards in braid. Get one with SPF in it and you could also save a burnt nose on a surprise sunny day…
Weigh sling and scales – I try to carry this with me all the time. Especially since being caught out with nothing to weigh a good fish before. It can be out of the back of my vest within seconds, the bass put inside (wet the sack first) then weighed and after released the weight of the sling deducted. It’s a great way to weigh Bass and also serves as a great pre-release recovery station. The scales I use are the Reuben Heaton Little Gem scales – small and accurate.
Refreshments – More often than not these are stuffed down my waders or in the front pocket. Chocolate bar, bottle of water and another handy drink I was recommended – Capri Suns, very refreshing and once drunk they take up zero room in your bag as an empty packet.
Other items include the mandatory essentials of;
Hooks – All in a sealed plastic bag to keep dry, still in original packets
Rag – Nothing worse than not being able to dry your hands, especially on a cold night
Sunglasses – Invaluable for reading the water, spotting fish and eye protection from both UV and flying hooks.
Hopefully you may take away from this list things that may be worth taking yourself and inspire you when getting your Bass gear together in pre-season preparation. Feel free to add suggestions of your own in the comments. Also, interesting to pick up little tips and tricks.
Only a handful of soft plastics on various weight jigheads were needed to tempt this Bass out the surf.
Text and images ©Nathaniel James read more @ Hook’n’Surf
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