Stock up on tackle for spring time well in advance of the first signs of warming weather and avoid extra trips to the tackle shop when you’d rather be on the water fishing. Plus, you’ll have the best selection of spring fishing gear to choose from if you buy early and get multiples of the items you tend to use the most. Find out how to get prepared for warmer weather and productive fishing days by checking out these eight spring time fishing tackle must-haves.
1. Extra-Wide Gap Hooks
Several packages of extra-wide gap hooks are at the top of the list of must-have freshwater spring fishing supplies. These hooks are made with a wider bend than round bend offset hooks, making them a better choice for us with bulky soft plastic creature baits. You’ll want to have a selection of hooks in your tackle box that range from sizes 2/0 to 4/0. Use the 2/0 and 4/0 EWG hooks (extra-wide gap) for worms, craws, and lizards by matching the hook size to the diameter of the soft plastic.
2. Fishing Line
When freshwater fishing for bass, the fishing line you’ll want to have spooled on your reels will vary depending on the type of areas you plan to fish and the presentations you’ll be using. Stock up on 8 to 12-pound monofilament or fluorocarbon if you plan to fish with smaller baits and lighter weight presentations (such as weightless Texas rigs or Ned rigs) using spinning tackle. When fishing around heavier cover or for more sensitivity to detect light bites, stock up on 15- or 20-pound braid. If you plan to cast crankbaits, jigs and topwater lures on a baitcasting set-up around heavy cover, you’ll want to have a couple spools of braid in the 30 to 50-pound test range on hand.
3. Soft Plastic Lizards
Texas-rigging soft plastic lizards is one of the top spring fishing bait presentations for largemouth bass. Lizards trigger an aggressive response from bass when they are protecting eggs and fry. By Texas-rigging, you can fish the lizard through areas of vegetation or cover at a slow to moderate speed without burying the bait in the grass or mud.
4. Hard-Bodied Jerkbaits
Next on the list of best spring fishing lures for largemouth bass are hard-bodied jerkbaits. Fishing a jerkbait around points with steep drop-offs, near brush piles, and around laydowns (trees lying in the water) can be incredibly effective as lake waters start to warm. You can also fish jerkbaits around docks and other types of floating cover that provide shade and create ambush points for spring bass.
Slow-roll spinnerbaits just beneath the surface around submerged brush and isolated cover, particularly on windy spring days. Spinnerbaits also work well as bass start moving towards their spawning grounds on grassy flats. If you’re not sure which blade combination to choose, try a willow/Colorado blade for the flash of the willow-leaf blade paired with the vibration of the Colorado blade. The willow/Colorado blade combination is often considered the best all-around choice.
6. Multi-Purpose Fishing Pliers
Even if you already have a pair of fishing pliers, it never hurts to have a back-up pair in your tackle box. Look for pliers that are made from corrosion-resistant materials such as titanium or stainless steel. If you fish in both fresh and saltwater, titanium pliers might be more of an initial investment, but will hold up a lot longer – especially if you clean your pliers and wipe them dry after every use.
Now that you know how to stock up on tackle for spring, head over to the Places to Fish and Boat Map to find a few new spots to fish this coming spring.