Fishing with Kenny | Bassin’ on a Budget
article by KENNY COVINGTON
All fishermen like a deal. No matter if we are talking about a bulk of hooks, a spool of line or a sale on our favorite rod or reel. If there is a way or a better price to get what we want and, even better, catch more fish because of it, we are hooked. Fishermen like a good bargain and you can include this angler to be among them.
In fishing, it seems every day something is introduced as bigger, and better than yesterday’s products. The technological advancements, while popular, come with a high price tag. Modern boats resemble small, open, spaceship shaped water-based vehicles and are priced accordingly. Today’s electronics require the knowledge of a NASA engineer to use and the cost of them equals that as well. The sport of bass fishing, slowly but surely, is becoming a rich man’s game. Or is it?
Many anglers, who are choosing to upgrade their boats by buying a new one, are putting high quality used boats on the market. By using the internet anglers can easily shop the boat markets to find the best deal possible to fit their budget. There are several websites that focus on the buying and selling of boats and these sites can also provide you updated information as well as the pros and cons of what type and style of boat you might be looking for.
When it comes to trolling motors and electronics the same process used for buying a boat comes into play. Anglers are always looking to upgrade the equipment they already have, so the opportunity to purchase quality used equipment at a more affordable price is a viable option. Talk to other anglers, visit the boat dealerships and mechanics, or search the internet; all are good ways to find capable products that you can purchase at a much lower cost than buying something new. Just because things have an older date on them doesn’t mean they can’t or don’t work just as well as the new products.
One of the good things about the modern advances to our sport is the quality of the low-end products. Anglers can buy a good rod and reel combination for less than $150 now when years ago, that wasn’t the case. Twenty years ago, it was considered high dollar if you paid more than $100 for a rod or a reel. Nowadays, high end rods can cost an angler in excess of $300 dollars and the same can be said of the reels many choose to use. Overkill? Perhaps, but always remember, your equipment alone will not make you a better angler.
Speaking of “bassin’ on a budget,” what about the cost of lures, soft plastics in particular? One of the best fisherman friendly companies I have found is Big Bite Baits. Their choice of soft plastics, as well as some other popular fish catching lures, is very impressive and they have the prices to match. For years, I have chosen the BBB CrawTube as well as the Fighting Frog as my flipping and pitching soft plastics in the spring and early summer. The BBB Kamikaze is as good a Chatterbait/Spinnerbait trailer as you can find and on occasion I have used it on my Buzzbaits as well. When it comes to sight fishing, the Warmouth, designed by Dean Rojas, is arguably one of the best soft plastics ever introduced for this technique.
These soft plastics are just a small sample of what Big Bite Baits has to offer. They have an extensive catalog of lures that you can find on their website as well as the more popular selections found in several of our local tackle and sporting goods stores. Fishing catching soft plastics at an affordable price, now that is what I call a great deal!
Here’s another cost friendly way to make your time on the water more wallet friendly this year. How about fishing line? Ever notice how often you go to the tackle shop and buy another small spool of line for an upcoming trip the following weekend? While many anglers are specific on their line of choice, one thing I have found is I save money when I buy my line in the larger bulk spools. If you are just getting into the sport, I would recommend buying the Berkley Big Game monofilament in their smaller bulk spools. For our area fisheries the only size line an angler needs are the 15 and 20 lb. versions. Both sizes, when used correctly, will cover 95% of the fishing techniques you will use.
If you are an angler who prefers using braid, a good choice, no matter what brand of braid you use, is to select the larger 300-yard spools. This will allow you to adequately spool up four to six rods and the braid should easily last you throughout the rest of the year. I have kept braid on one of my frog rods for almost two years before I finally felt it necessary to change it.
I have been asked if I could only choose one size of braided line which would it be, and 30 lb. braid would be my choice. I can feel confident in flipping/pitching, throwing a frog or topwater, using a spinnerbait or a squarebill crankbait in most fishing scenarios and on most lakes. My theory has always been if a fish can break 30 lb. braided line, chances are he probably could have broken 50 lb. braid as well.
Well, it looks as though we have run out of space and time again for another month. As I stated earlier, the fish aren’t interested in how much you pay for a boat or that you are using a name brand rod and reel. The art of fishing is one that can be learned and the best way to get started is to find equipment you are comfortable with and learn how to use it properly. Great fishermen aren’t created because of how much money they spend on their equipment, great fishermen are created because they learn how to effectively use the equipment they have!
Catch one for me and I will see you next month!!!