Hook & Barrel
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Top Bass Lures, Gear & Apparel

With warmer weather upon us, many are getting the itch to gear up for the first fishing trip of the season. Whether you’re a newcomer to the sport or a seasoned pro, there’s always new gear hitting the market to make our trips more comfortable or new bass fishing tackle launched with promises of fish on the line. Read on for our top picks of essential bass gear to toss in your tacklebox this season.

Four Largemouth Bass Fun Facts

1) The largest largemouth bass on record weighed 22 pounds 4 ounces. It was caught by George Perry in 1932, only later tied by Manabu Kurita but never surpassed.

2) Golden largemouth bass are considered the rarest of all bass, due to a genetic mutation resulting in their unique yellow color.

3) The average lifespan of a largemouth is approximately 10-15 years, while smallmouth typically range between 6-12 years.

4) Not sure what you caught? The upper jaw of a largemouth bass extends past its eye while remaining in line with the eye of a smallmouth bass.

Bass Fishing Tackle & Gear Must-Haves

Rapala: PXR Mavrik 110

New to the Precision Extreme Series of lures from Rapala is the Mavrik 110. The specialized Long Cast System incorporated into this lure enables you to reach further out to maximize your time in the strike zone. It’s best to take it nice and easy on the retrieve, adding an occasional twitch or jerk of the rod to further mimic an injured minnow or shad. For more information visit rapala.com.

Rapala: PXR Mavrik 110

Berkley: PowerBait MaxScent The General

Quite a departure from your grandfather’s trusty old nightcrawler, The General from Berkley’s PowerBait MaxScent line amps things up a bit. Constructed from an all-new material packing a powerful punch of scent attractant, the unique texture, coloration, and movement of this stick-bait-styled lure aims to present itself as a tasty meal to otherwise cautious bass. For more information visit berkley-fishing.com.

Berkley: PowerBait MaxScent The General

Bass Pro Shops: XPS Chaos Shad

Living up to its name, the XPS Chaos Shad from Bass Pro creates a wake of chaos due to the innovative design of its cupped propellor tail. If the commotion this lure causes doesn’t catch the fish’s attention, the familiar shape of one of its favorite meals, an unlucky shad, sure will! For more information visit basspro.com.

Bass Pro Shops: XPS Chaos Shad

Gerber: Linedriver

Knowing a traditional multi-tool wouldn’t appease the avid fisherman, Gerber developed this tool to assist with common fishing tasks. Features include a hook threader, eyelet clearing spike, spinning line vise, scissor snips, and a pocket clip and tether ring for easy access. There’s even a split-shot crimper tossed in the mix, so you don’t have to go old-school and chomp down on it yourself… we’ve all done it! For more information visit gerbergear.com.

Gerber: Linedriver

Simms: Dry Creek Z Gear Pouch

Whenever near water, it’s never a bad idea to have a dry bag to keep essentials protected. While Simms offers up a variety, the small 2-liter Dry Creek Z Gear Pouch is an ideal size for storing keys, a cell phone, and other small items. Utilize the webbing to strap to your pack, or simply toss it in your tackle box. The clear window allows you to find what you need quickly, while the zippered closure remains waterproof even when submerged. For more information visit simmsfishing.com.

Simms: Dry Creek Z Gear Pouch

Sportsman’s Guide: Eagle Claw Lazer Sharp Ultimate Bass Rigging Kit

You can have endless tackle and live bait at your disposal, but it won’t do any good without a way to rig it to your line. Sportsman’s Guide offers countless solutions, but when in doubt… get them all! This 156-piece kit released by Eagle Claw provides an assortment of hooks, weights, swivels, and more to ensure when that fish bites, it’s securely hooked the whole fight back to shore. For more information visit sportsmansguide.com.

Sportsman’s Guide: Eagle Claw Lazer Sharp Ultimate Bass Rigging Kit

Pure Fishing: Plano Guide Series Worm Wrap

Children of the Eighties unite! Pure Fishing keeps things organized Trapper Keeper style by offering the Plano Guide Series Worm Wrap. Eight “files” are easily flipped through to find the worm du jour, while the case zippers shut while not in use. An additional internal zippered pocket easily fits additional swivels, hooks, fishing licenses, and other essential gear. For more information visit purefishing.com.

Pure Fishing: Plano Guide Series Worm Wrap

PENN: Performance Hooded Sun Shirt

While it’s not something you’d necessarily toss in your bass fishing tackle box, it is most certainly a wardrobe must-have when out on the open water with the sun shining bright. The Performance Hooded Sun Shirt from Penn is created from a microfiber polyester jersey blend, which offers 50+ UPF protection while whisking away moisture from your skin keeping you cool and sunburn-free. For more information visit pennfishing.com.

PENN: Performance Hooded Sun Shirt

Cabelas: Arnette Uka-Uka AN4290 Polarized Sunglasses

Nothing can ruin a fishing trip like leaving your favorite pair of eye pro at home. The next time you’re shopping at Cabelas, be sure to check out Arnette’s Uka-Uka polarized sunglasses. The polarized and mirrored lenses greatly reduce glare, while the bio-plastic frames keep them light and comfortable during a long day of fishing. For more information visit cabelas.com.

Cabelas: Arnette Uka-Uka AN4290 Polarized Sunglasses

XTRATUF: Sharkbyte 2.0 ECO Deck Shoe 

Keeping fisherman from slipping and sliding, XTRATUF has released their new Sharkbyte 2.0 ECO deck shoe. A DWR coating keeps them water-resistant, while their mesh lining keeps the air flowing for optimal freshness. The slip-resistant outsole keeps you solidly perched atop your boat deck when the waves start rocking. These shoes are offered in a wide array of colors, patterns, and sizes for both men and women. For more information visit xtratuf.com.

XTRATUF: Sharkbyte 2.0 ECO Deck Shoe 

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