Gear Up! Bass

While I can argue few people are better trout fisherman than myself, the same is not true for bass. I love bass fishing, but in Oregon, it’s hard to consider yourself a serious bass fisherman just because of the limited fisheries we have here. Still, I catch a lot of bass, and I can help you do the same. I’ve landed thousands of bass, with most of those being Largemouth Bass and Smallmouth Bass. There are a few Spotted Bass, Striped Bass, White Bass, and Yellow Bass mixed in. I haven’t landed my ten-pounder (apart from Stripers) yet, but it will come with time.

This was arguably my favorite bass in recent years. It wasn’t the biggest, but this four-pounder crushed a crappie jig and put up an awesome fight on my ultralight.

The most serious bass fishermen keep a dozen or more specialized rods on their boat at any given time. I’m serious, but not that serious. I usually carry two rods when fishing from shore and three to five when fishing on my boat, each with a specialized purpose.

Swimbaits or most hardbaits?
My First Choice: Lews Speed Stick TP-1 IM8.
Value Pick: Ugly Stik Elite.

Senkos, other plastics, or jigs?
My First Choice: G. Loomis E6X.
Value Pick: Shimano Convergence.

Massive lures?
My First Choice: Shimano Trevala S 135.
Value Pick: Ugly Stik Elite Salmon Rod.


Baitcasters look cool, but they don’t add functionality to most bass fishing. For that reason, I almost exclusively use spinning reels. It’s not traditional, but why go out with a less effective setup? I mean, that’s what flyfishing is for!

My First Choice: Shimano Stradic Ci4+.
Value Pick: Pflueger 6940 President.

Swimbaits or most hardbaits?
Use Trilene Sensation – 12 lb.

Senkos, other plastics, or jigs?
Use Power Pro Super Slick – 20 or 30 lb.
For leader P-Line Fluoroclear – 20 lb.

If you’re throwing massive swimbaits, crankbaits, or topwaters…
Use Power Pro Super Slick – 50 lb.
For leader P-Line Fluoroclear – 30 lb.


Most bass fisherman lip their bass. If you do choose to use a net, try these out.

Fishing with a friend?
Use an Ego S2 Slider 22-Inch.

Fishing alone?
Use an Ego Small Rubber Landing Net.

You can throw whatever you want, but more bass have been caught on 5-inch Senkos than anything else, and i’s not even close. Grab at least half a dozen colors of these. My perennial favorites are Black, Bubblegum, Cream White, Smoke, and Watermelon.

Use Gary Yamamoto 5″ Senkos.
Rig wacky or weedless on Gamakatsu 3/0.


Some game cut a Senko in half, put it on a 1/4 Ounce jighead, and named it after himself. This is the lure that gets laughed at, but it works. Don’t waste money on Ned Plastics; instead just wait until a bass breaks your Senko in half and extend its life by using it as a Ned Rig.

Use a Ned/Mushroom Jighead.


There is so much out there, it’s hard to list. I honestly never use lizards or crawfish, but they can be effective. Just experiment and find your “specialty” lures.

If I could only use one bass lure, it would probably be these in an assortment of White, Black, Green, and Purple.

Use 4.8” Keitech Swing Impact.
Use VMC 1/4 or 1/2 Oz Jigheads.


There are a lot out there, but it’s hard to beat the 4- or 5-inch cheap stuff.

Use a WildEye Swim Shad.
For river smallies, use LiveTarget Goby.


My First Choice: Huddleston 8″ Rainbow Trout.
Value Pick: Savage Gear 3D Real Trout.

I’ve tried others, but you’re better off just having a selection of these.

Use a Rebel Pop-R.


Don’t expect to work it for more than an hour because you’ll get tired, but I like both a smaller and larger walking bait handy.

Use a smaller Zara Puppy.
Use a larger Zara Super Spook.


It goes without saying you need some Buzzbaits. I’ve never noticed a difference with color choice because I usually only use them in low light.

Use a Small Whopper Plopper
Use a Large Whopper Plopper.


Read more about Bass Fishing or continue the Gear Up! process generally, or in detail for each species and style of fishing:

Gear Up! Bottomfish
Gear Up! Micro
Gear Up! Sturgeon
Gear Up! Trout

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