Bass Basics

Beginner’s Tacklebox: Destin DeMarion

Bassmaster Elite Series pro Destin DeMarion puts together a tacklebox equipped with everything a beginner angler needs to be successful at any body of water.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - Bassmaster Elite Series pro Destin DeMarion puts together a tacklebox equipped with everything a beginner angler needs to be successful at any body of water. "It is a good mix of baits that will work in all situations, that are fairly simple for anyone to fish, and they catch fish."
Let’s fill the box up!
Photo: Justin Brouillard - Let’s fill the box up!
DeMarion starts off with a finesse style hard bait, the Berkley SPY Bait in the Stealth Gill color.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - DeMarion starts off with a finesse style hard bait, the Berkley SPY Bait in the Stealth Gill color. "Throw it where you have good visibility and better water clarity. Generally shallower water is the best, but I will throw it out to 10-feet. Focus on flats, high spots or anything that looks like it will hold fish."
First lure in the box is the Berkley SPY.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - First lure in the box is the Berkley SPY.
The next bait DeMarion pulls out is a Berkley Dredger 10.5 in the Old Blue color.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - The next bait DeMarion pulls out is a Berkley Dredger 10.5 in the Old Blue color. "It has a weighted disk on the front of the bait which helps to get the crankbait to the bottom. That is important to get the lure in the strike zone faster for beginners."
The Dredger goes in the second slot next to the SPY.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - The Dredger goes in the second slot next to the SPY.
Next up is a shallower running bait, the Berkley Bad Shad in Irish Gold color pattern.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - Next up is a shallower running bait, the Berkley Bad Shad in Irish Gold color pattern. "It will work well with a spinning rod setup with 8-pound Gamma fluorocarbon. That is a typical setup for a beginner, and this crankbait will work in all bodies of water.”
The smaller crankbait joins the other hard baits in the top of the box.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - The smaller crankbait joins the other hard baits in the top of the box.
DeMarion pulls out a Live Target Frog in the Brown Black color.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - DeMarion pulls out a Live Target Frog in the Brown Black color. "In the summertime when ponds get overgrown with weeds and scum, the frog offers beginners a weedless presentation. There is an excitement factor with it when a fish blows up."
The topwater frog occupies the first spot in the second divider in the Lure Lock box.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - The topwater frog occupies the first spot in the second divider in the Lure Lock box.
Another hard bait, but this time a topwater. The Berklety Choppo 90 in Bone color is one of DeMarion's favorite topwater baits.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - Another hard bait, but this time a topwater. The Berklety Choppo 90 in Bone color is one of DeMarion's favorite topwater baits. "This is the smaller size Choppo, and it can be used on a variety of setups. It’s fool proof — cast and reel it in. This one is also fun as the angler can watch the bite."
The Choppo joins the frog in the second section.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - The Choppo joins the frog in the second section.
Another crankbait joins the collection of hard baits ...
Photo: Justin Brouillard - Another crankbait joins the collection of hard baits ...
... it’s the Berkley Fritt Side 5 crankbait in Spray Tan color. This bait works great in shallow cover, and the unique bill deflects off any cover you can get it into. “The Fritt Side is a good one for shallow water, and it has a really tight wobble.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - ... it’s the Berkley Fritt Side 5 crankbait in Spray Tan color. This bait works great in shallow cover, and the unique bill deflects off any cover you can get it into. “The Fritt Side is a good one for shallow water, and it has a really tight wobble."
It also joins the box.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - It also joins the box.
The box is half full.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - The box is half full. "Let’s add some soft plastics to the mix now."
The Berkley MaxScent Flat Nose Minnow comes in at 4 inches and excels on a drop-shot rig.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - The Berkley MaxScent Flat Nose Minnow comes in at 4 inches and excels on a drop-shot rig.
DeMarion pairs it with an size 2 Owner Mosquito Hook and whichever size weight needed to build his dropshot rig.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - DeMarion pairs it with an size 2 Owner Mosquito Hook and whichever size weight needed to build his dropshot rig. "A finesse technique that will work shallow and deep, and the flat nose minnow is a good representation of a bait fish anywhere in the country."
The TakLogic gel holds the drop-shot rig in place to start off the third divider.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - The TakLogic gel holds the drop-shot rig in place to start off the third divider.
A soft plastic flipping technique is one DeMarion’s favorite ways to probe grass beds and other cover. He prefers the Berkley Power Bait Tube and pairs it with an Owner 4/0 Wide Gap hook and the correct size weight to perfect his presentation.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - A soft plastic flipping technique is one DeMarion’s favorite ways to probe grass beds and other cover. He prefers the Berkley Power Bait Tube and pairs it with an Owner 4/0 Wide Gap hook and the correct size weight to perfect his presentation.
The Texas rig sits nicely in his beginner box.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - The Texas rig sits nicely in his beginner box.
One of the most popular finesse techniques these days is a Ned rig. DeMarion uses a 4-inch Berkley Maxscent General and threads it on an Owner Block Head.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - One of the most popular finesse techniques these days is a Ned rig. DeMarion uses a 4-inch Berkley Maxscent General and threads it on an Owner Block Head.
He adds the Ned rig to the box and digs for something similar.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - He adds the Ned rig to the box and digs for something similar.
The same Berkley Maxscent General also makes a perfect wacky rig. It can be used with the 4-inch or 5-inch, and he uses an Owner Weedless Wacky Hook in size 1/0.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - The same Berkley Maxscent General also makes a perfect wacky rig. It can be used with the 4-inch or 5-inch, and he uses an Owner Weedless Wacky Hook in size 1/0. "It's a good technique for beginners as it will generate a lot of bites. The hook set is fool proof as you just reel into the bait."
The weedless wacky rig starts off the final divider in the box.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - The weedless wacky rig starts off the final divider in the box.
A swimbait joins the beginner box and DeMarion likes the 4.3-inch Berkley Power Swimmer paired with a 1/4-ounce swimbait head.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - A swimbait joins the beginner box and DeMarion likes the 4.3-inch Berkley Power Swimmer paired with a 1/4-ounce swimbait head.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - "It is a simple technique that is great for covering multiple levels of the water column and a simple bait for a beginner as you just cast and retrieve. Vary the speed until you find what the fish like."
The swimbait setup goes into the box.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - The swimbait setup goes into the box.
The final beginner bait is the 5-inch Berkley Powerbait Jerk Shad.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - The final beginner bait is the 5-inch Berkley Powerbait Jerk Shad.
DeMarion rigs it on a 4/0 Owner J Hook and adds it to the box.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - DeMarion rigs it on a 4/0 Owner J Hook and adds it to the box. "It is a finesse bait that will also help you work to cover water."
That fills out DeMarion’s box for beginner anglers.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - That fills out DeMarion’s box for beginner anglers.
There is a good mix of hard and soft plastics for beginner anglers.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - There is a good mix of hard and soft plastics for beginner anglers.
Thanks, Destin!
Photo: Justin Brouillard - Thanks, Destin!