When most anglers think of the term ‘bass fishing’ they automatically think of things like famous reservoirs, powerful bass boats, and tournaments on television, but the truth of the matter is that many people who fish for bass do so in small to medium sized rivers throughout the country without even using a boat. These fishermen (of which I am one) instead choose to wade and catch bass. This is actually an extremely effective way to catch both large and smallmouth bass, and if you’ve never had the pleasure of catching a decent sized bass in this way, you owe it to yourself to read on.
In order to enjoy catching bass while wading some unique bass fishing gear needs to be employed, of which I will outline in this article. This gear is what I consider to be the basic bass fishing gear for a successful day of wading and catching bass. You will undoubtedly discover, or are already aware) of other gear that would come in handy, but I have found that this gear is enough to at the very least get you off on the “right foot” when it comes to wading and catching bass.
- A Fishing Vest – A fishing vest is the easiest and most convenient way to carry the necessary tackle while wading Many anglers think that fishing vests are only used by fly fishermen and this is a mistake. The very same vests that are used by fly fishermen are also applicable to a spin fisherman who is fishing for bass. These vests have a myriad of pockets zippered and otherwise which hold small tackle boxes, terminal tackle, extra fishing line, and even bait perfectly. A fishing vest is literally a way to carry your tackle box comfortably on your back, which when wading and fishing for bass is a very good thing, I promise you.
- An Assortment of Spoons & Spinners – When you are wading and fishing for bass in small rivers and streams some very effective baits are spinners (such as Panther Martins, Rooster Tails, Mepps, etc) and spoons (such as Kastmasters, Dare Devils, etc) and the easiest way to carry and access these bass baits while wading is to have a small 4 x 6 inch plastic tackle box or two to hold them and to simply place these small tackle boxes into the large side pockets of your fishing vest. The color, configuration, and size of the lure that will be effective will often vary from day to day, so having an assortment of spoon and spinners is integral to success when fishing far bass in this manner.
- A Bait Bag – One of the most effective baits to use when fishing in rivers and streams for bass are live fishing worms and if you are using live worms for bait while wading a piece of “must have” bass fishing gear is called a bait bag. A bait bag is simply a small pouch that clips to your fishing vest, belt loop, or shirt in which you place your live worms. This way your worms are always at your fingertips at all times, which makes baiting up and re-baiting a breeze. I personally love to drift fish with live worms, so a bait bag is probably my favorite piece of bass fishing gear.
- Plenty of Swivels – Whether you are “drift fishing” live bait or spinners or are casting and retrieving small crank baits, the current of the river tends to reek havoc on your fishing line. Between the current and the action of the lure that you are using, extreme line twist often happens when you are wading and fishing for bass. Using a swivel between your bait or lure and the end of your line helps to eliminate this problem. Swivels can be carried in a variety of ways, but I like to use an old film container (for those of you who remember actually having to put film into a camera).
Make sure that you have this basic bass fishing gear with you the next time that you hit your local river in search of some bass. If you do, you will have a much more enjoyable and successful time.