The only tackle you really need.
Serious anglers usually have tackle boxes loaded with a shiny assortment of lures, but the beauty is you can catch plenty of fish with a hook, sinker, bobber and bait. To make things even easier, you can buy Zebco fishing kits which come with everything you need except bait.
WormsWhile it’s pretty old school, you can catch just about any kind of fish on a “crawler”. You can also cut them into smaller pieces to conserve your bait. Grub worms can work nicely, too.
MinnowsBaitfish form the primary diet of many fish, so they can be hard to beat for getting bites. Again, match the size to the fish you’re after. Choose “crappie minnows” for panfish and fatheads or shiners for larger game fish.
LeechesIf you can get over the gross factor, leeches are a convenient bait option. They’re sold at most bait shops, are easier to keep alive than minnows and their wiggling action can entice bites from many fish, especially walleyes. They work best in summer.
Artificial BaitFor minimal mess and hassle, buy some artificial trout, panfish or catfish bait (often sold in chunks, pellets or dough form). They’re usually made with biodegradable fish attractant. And they won’t wiggle out of your hands while putting them on your hook.
CricketsEspecially popular in the Southeast, crickets are a great way to ring panfishes’ dinner bell. Just hook them behind the head (not too deeply) on a light wire hook, make a gentle cast and let the action begin.
JigsPanfish are often such aggressive feeders, you can catch them without any bait at all. Just choose a jig dressed out to imitate small baitfish or insects, cast it out there and retrieve slowly while occasionally twitching your rod tip to start a feeding frenzy.
Don’t forget your fishing license!
Getting a fishing license isn’t just a legality, it’s also the right thing to do. States use money from fishing licenses to support fish stocking programs, provide angler education and protect our waterways for future generations. So make sure you have the appropriate licenses and understand the local, state or federal fishing regulations before you go fishing. Remember, some states have a limited season on certain fish species (making it illegal to fish for those species during some of the year). In most states, children under the age of 16 don’t need a license but adults will. Find complete details about fishing licenses and regulations in your state.