Chances are that if you like fishing and regularly fish, you would periodically upgrade your gear. We as anglers always want the flashiest new thing that shows up at iCast, or one of myriad of fishing magazines, whether if it's a rod, reel, lure, or line. I remember the iBobber craze that started among bass fishermen here in the Mid Atlantic after several fishing YouTubers posted videos featuring them. The sheer size and assortment of baits and terminal tackle on sale ensures that you will never leave a tackle shop without buying a few items. Whether or not that new gimmicky catches you fish or not is another story. What's certain is that the costs of buying "just one bait" here and another there, even if they are good baits, adds up, and quickly. Regardless if you binge buy or only buy quality items.
Above: As bass fishermen, we are constantly bombarded by aggressive advertising, promotions, and even flashy buildings; it's easy to see why so many anglers buy things that they really don't need.
If you are a corporate executive, banker, or big shot musician, you probably don't need to read the rest of this article. However, ordinary folks and students are often tightly restricted in terms of budget on what they could buy. I remember buying a dusty old Zebco baitcasting combo as my first baitcaster because that was all I could afford at the time. It's easy to cut corners on quality when you have a tightly restricted budget. However, at the same time, many people who are struggling to upgrade their fishing tackle often have a lot of fishing stuff they don't need, such as their first rod.
A fast and easy way to earn a little money to spend on new tackle is by selling your old tackle. The two most common outlets for this are online (such as ebay) or at yard sales (preferably ones for the community; that way you can reach more people).
I prefer yard sales for larger items that aren't expensive but would cost a lot to ship, such as lower end rods and tackle boxes. I usually mark down the prices of used items by half or slight over a half of the initial price. Before selling the product, make sure to wipe it with a wet towel to clean off any stains that may cause it to look old and thus command a lower price. Be ready to haggle.
For smaller items that are at least mid-range in terms of price (higher end baits, reels, expensive rods, etc), I like to sell online, especially if the item in question is higher end or for a niche application. An example of this would be those expensive and highly specialized crankbaits that have depth diving controls; an ordinary person at a yard sale won't realize the truly value of the item but a bass angler browsing online would, and will buy it from you at a fair price. You only want to sell items with a higher cost because shipping will deduct from your profits. Shipping is fairly cheap for smaller items; you can ship them in larger envelope with USPS First Class Package ($2.50), which includes tracking. The cost of shipping rods varies, from $15-30, depending on your post office. Shipping reels and other medium sized items can be done in a Small Flat Rate box, which costs $6.50.
It's a nice, beautiful sunrise at the lake. You can already see the bass swirling at the surface of the water, surrounding a shoal of hapless bluegill. Your heart thumps with excitement, and you race towards the shoreline, rod in hand.
You spot a nice pile of structure, a log jam. You can already see 3lb+ fish cruising around, looking for anything to bite. Your heart feels like it's going to burst out of it's chest. You quickly pull out your rod and cast towards the structure pile. In your excitement to catch a fish, you got careless and made a sloppy cast, snagging your $15 jerkbait on a large pierce of wood.
The first thing you do is swear. That's the natural reaction to these kinds of things. Then you tug on the line, hopping to pop the bait right on out. Unfortunately, it doesn't. Your heart drops, and that feverish excitement fades for a brief moment. You bite the line with your teeth, tie on a new bait, and make a more careful cast this time. You are promptly rewarded with a 3lber, and tat excitement once again returns. You continue fishing.
Above: Pretty much any sturdy knife can work as a fishing knife.
However, a month later, when you show up at your dentist's office, he takes one look at your teeth an wags his finger at you. Your tooth is chipped. And that's just one of the more visible side effects of your teeth as an all-purpose fishing tool. Not only do you chip your teeth when you bite on fishing line, you also run the risk of swallowing/ingesting harmful chemicals that may have been in contact with your line.
A better option would be to buy a sturdy knife to cut line with and cut up bait, or dig one up in your basement (everyone has a knife somewhere in their house). You don't have to buy a very expensive one, just about any knife will do the trick here.
As covered in our previous article, crayfish make great bait, not only for bass, but for other fish as well. However, crayfish often die and go foul before you take them to the lake. I remember the first time that I went fishing with crayfish. After catching about 40 of them at a local creek, I put them in a bucket with a lid and left them for about a week. I didn't drill any air holes, have an aerator installed, or change the water. Needless to say, when I opened up the bucket a week after, a foul smell and maggots greeted me. In this article we will go in depth about the proper storage and care of live crayfish before you use them to go fishing.
Above: When storing them in water without an aerator, make sure that the water is not over their heads; otherwise, they can drown.
Most people store their live crayfish by putting them in a bucket, filled with water, with an air pump, similar to how one would store live minnows for bait. While that method does work for short term storage, it certainly isn't ideal.
Crayfish are unlike fish in that they have specialized gills that can breathe underwater as well as outside of water, provided that the gills are kept moist. If you have ever bought or kept pet hermit crabs, they have a similar kind of gill, only even more specialized. Of course, in order to breathe air, they must first have access to it. These specialized gills have evolved to allow crayfish to live in oxygen poor aquatic environments, such as swamps and ditches, thus, they prefer shallow water. If you keep crayfish in deep, oxygen poor water with no means of getting out of it, they will "drown". While the aerator work for a time to keep oxygen in the water, eventually the bottom, where the crayfish are, will be oxygen deleted, and they will drown; unlike fish, crayfish can't swim up the water column to near the surface, where there is more oxygen. The aerator not only will be a waste of electricity, it may also not work in keeping your bait alive. I used to use the before mentioned method, but I would often have massive die backs.
The method I prefer will not require an aerator, so it will save you method. It involves cleaning up a plastic tub (crayfish are sensitive to some metals and chemicals, such as copper), and filling it with a layer of 0.5"-1" with stream water. Make sure the water is not too high so that the crayfish can drown. Drill some air holes and put on a lid; crayfish are very talented escape artists, Next, add some stones that are above water level so the crayfish can crawl out of the water to breathe.
Finally, add your crayfish. Don't overcrowd them; if you do, crayfish will fight and some will die. Put the tub into a fridge, near the door. The cool air will slow down their metabolism so they don't need as much oxygen and don't pollute the water as much.
Hi. I am Ian, an extremely avid bass fisherman living in Howard County, MD. I like to bank fish and fish at local ponds and small creeks. I will explore budget friendly options for people to use in this blog. I hope I can teach you something.