The Tackle Shop

by Keith Sarasin (c) 2001


Oh no! I only wanted to spend $100.

Have you ever been faced with the choices at a tackle shop, or better yet a chain store?

The aisles in the fishing section are a virtual nightmare, especially to the new angler. Row after row of various baits, spinners, cranks, hooks, lures, plugs, plastics, jig heads, etc. You get the picture.

It's usually an overwhelming display that leaves you with one question--- what are you going to buy for this trip?

Someone told you that the pike where biting a certain bait at Bones Point, so you spend 20 minutes searching the wall and you find it all right. But it comes in seven colours and four different sizes! Do you buy them all or ask one of the guys working here? Wait a minute--- how would he know, he wasn't at Bone's Point fishing yesterday.

So the thoughts start running through your head faster than line peeling off a reel.

Maybe I can't afford to go fishing after all. If I have to buy just one of everything here I will be bankrupt. I wish I had kept that last article I read on pike fishing; they gave a detailed list of different lures that worked.

Does any of this sound familiar?

Often when I have visited these stores to stock up on new or lost items, I have asked myself how novice fisher-people know what to purchase? Usually, if you know what fish you are after, you can visualize what they may feed on. Small fish such as perch will probably take smaller baits; larger fish such as pike will most likely take large baits. Wouldn't it be great if the stores put the tackle into target categories? Pike Tackle, Walleye Tackle, Bass Tackle etc. Put everything in its own section. I know it would make life a lot easier.

Local bait shops in the area you plan to fish will most often be able to tell you the different kinds of tackle being used at the time. Usually they keep a large selection of these lures in stock at any given time of the season. If you are going to be travelling to one of the many lodges in Ontario, don't forget to ask what's hot as you are making the reservations.

Now let's try and simplify things. Purchasing tackle breaks down into logical progression. If you have an unlimited budget you can buy the fishing section at Wal-Mart and enough tackle boxes to store it all. But if you are like the rest of us, you make a few decisions and purchase accordingly. Here's the breakdown:

1/ Type of Fish ----panfish, bass, walleye, etc.
2/ Where you will fish----lake, river, pond, stream
3/What foods your target fish eat in the area you intend to fish them
4/Time of year you are fishing

Numbers 3 and 4 will considerably narrow down your choice of tackle, as you will try to simulate the foods the fish normally prey on. So let's have a look at some lure choices.

Let's say you intend to fish bass, both small and largemouth, at the height of the summer (late July and into August). The lake you will be fishing is not very large and fairly clear. Weeds are common and so are gravel beds on the points and the mouth of the river that feeds the lake.

Lures you would likely choose would be as follows:

-Plastics, such as worms, leeches, crayfish, (various colours)
-Suspending crank baits (brown, smoke, green)
-Weedless hooks or spoons
-Deep diving baits (red, blue, yellow; old "reliables" that usually produce)

Choosing tackle is chiefly a matter of doing a little research. Buy what you need to get the job done, and have fun adding to your arsenal each time you visit the store. New products come out all the time, and that's the other fun part of fishing.

 

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