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I get questions regularly about what baits I use and my rod and reel set up. A lot of times, I get a crazy look back from people when I show them all of my tackle or tell them what I think the fish “might” be biting on. Most people don’t realize how many options are out there that might intrigue a fish or what kind of rod/reel would be best for what baits nor do they realize how quickly you can spend a TON of money when first getting serious about kayak fishing. That is, for the most part, because most people are recreational fishermen. The “run into Walmart and grab a few new lures and maybe a cheap rod and reel combo to use on the river” type of fishermen. %99 of my best friends and fishing buddies are exactly that type of person and so are a lot of the people who want my opinion on gear selection lately and since it is such a popular thing, I want to show you guys 3 great lures for the every day recreational fisherman.

To start things off, I want to explain the deciding factors that led me to suggest these baits. Availability: I wanted to choose baits that you can find just about anywhere. Experience required: I wanted baits that anyone can pick up and use anytime without a huge learning curve. Price: There are a lot of good baits out there that are $20 on up to $200 or more and for this article that just doesn’t work. These are all baits that are under $8. Rod requirement: I wanted to pick baits that didn’t need specialty rods or reels to use. 

First off, the square bill/diving crank bait. These can be found pretty much anywhere that sells tackle, including Walmart. They are relatively inexpensive, starting at around $5 and going on up from there.  These are also very easy to fish and do not REQUIRE a lot of technique. I say require because there are a lot of different ways to fish a crank bait but a person can also just cast it out and reel it back in and still catch a lot of fish. These baits do their best work in the spring and fall in the lakes and rivers that I fish but I use them year round. These baits are extremely versatile and are made in a variety of colors, patterns and are even made with rattles so you can use them in just about any situation. I like to fish them fast, bouncing them off of the bottom and running them into rocks and cover. 

Next up is the buzz bait. The buzz bait is funny looking to a new fishermen. Your first time fishing it will throw you off. You will think that you’re doing it wrong and it will make you question why they even made a fishing lure like that. I can promise you though, the first time a fish blows one up, you will be just as hooked on buzz bait fishing as the fish. I have seen the price of these baits range from $2 on up but the majority of the decent ones are around $6-$10. I don’t get too hung up on color but I tend to stick with white or chartreuse and white.  There isn’t a lot of technique to them but I prefer to fish them just fast enough to keep them above the water with my rod tip slightly up. Also, when a fish grabs the bait, don’t set the hook immediately. Drop your rod tip slightly, wait for 1-2 seconds and then set the hook. Rod selection doesn’t matter too much. I wouldn’t go lighter than a medium action and wouldn’t go heavier than a medium heavy but you do need a medium-fast speed reel to keep the bait on top of the water. Fish it next to brush or over any cover that it just under the water and it will be a huge success! This bait is generally best in the warmer months and its also a great bait for night fishing in the dead of summer. 

Last but not least is the Ned Rig. I have a love hate relationship with the Ned Rig. It is so easy and so productive that I fall back on it way too often instead of reading the waters and learning what the fish are biting on. I honestly can’t tell you what makes the Ned Rig so awesome but it always seems to catch fish. You really need to buy the Z-man brand. This is by no means an endorsement for them but they have mastered this system and the material that they make their soft plastic from is almost indestructible. It is a 2 part system; the soft plastic bait and the flat top jig head. The jig heads are around $4 per package and the soft plastics are around $6 per package. These are fairly easy to find and though Walmart doesn’t carry them, pretty much everyone else does. This bait is so easy to fish. You literally just cast it out, let it sink all the way to the bottom, move your rod tip up and down about an inch 3 or 4 times and then let it sit for a few seconds. Reel up the slack and do the same thing again. Its very very easy and you will catch a lot of fish with it. They wont always be huge but it will keep you catching fish. 

These lures are all very easy and will produce fish for you. I use these regularly and this summer I have used them all on the same rod and reel. I will be posting a video soon on my experiences this summer and it is all about simplifying your fishing techniques. Check back in a couple of weeks for that and as always, thanks for reading. I hope this article was helpful! If you find success from this, let me know! Look me up on facebook and send me a picture of your catch!