Beginner's Tacklebox

Beginner’s Tacklebox with Mark Menendez

Mark Menendez of Paducah, Kentucky, is a veteran professional anglers who knows what it takes to catch bass all across the North American continent. The following slides show what he feels every beginning bass angler should have in his or her tackle collection.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Mark Menendez of Paducah, Kentucky, is a veteran professional anglers who knows what it takes to catch bass all across the North American continent. The following slides show what he feels every beginning bass angler should have in his or her tackle collection.
A spinnerbait shouldn't be surprise. Most consider Menendez the best spinnerbait angler alive.
Photo: Thomas Allen - A spinnerbait shouldn't be surprise. Most consider Menendez the best spinnerbait angler alive.
He said to keep this gallery clean, the Plano compartment dividers were left out.
Photo: Thomas Allen - He said to keep this gallery clean, the Plano compartment dividers were left out.
A couple squarebill crankbaits like this Strike King KVD 1.5 is a fine example. He said to work them in and around woody cover.
Photo: Thomas Allen - A couple squarebill crankbaits like this Strike King KVD 1.5 is a fine example. He said to work them in and around woody cover.
But don't bypass rock jetties or shorelines.
Photo: Thomas Allen - But don't bypass rock jetties or shorelines.
Shad swim in most of America's best bass waters, so you need to have a shad-colored swimbait handy at all times.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Shad swim in most of America's best bass waters, so you need to have a shad-colored swimbait handy at all times.
Menendez said swimbaits work all year long, and can produce some of the largest bass an angler could hope to catch.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Menendez said swimbaits work all year long, and can produce some of the largest bass an angler could hope to catch.
He digs deeper into a front storage compartment in his Skeeter bass boat.
Photo: Thomas Allen - He digs deeper into a front storage compartment in his Skeeter bass boat.
Photo: Thomas Allen - "You gotta have one of these," he said.
A suspending jerkbait will catch a tremendous amount of fish, especially in the spring. But don't overlook their effectiveness during a strong cold front.
Photo: Thomas Allen - A suspending jerkbait will catch a tremendous amount of fish, especially in the spring. But don't overlook their effectiveness during a strong cold front.
Into the Plano StowAway it goes.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Into the Plano StowAway it goes.
A topwater like the Strike King Popping Perch will work in dense vegetation and along grass lines.
Photo: Thomas Allen - A topwater like the Strike King Popping Perch will work in dense vegetation and along grass lines.
He said many colors will work, but he likes white for most scenarios.
Photo: Thomas Allen - He said many colors will work, but he likes white for most scenarios.
And jigs. He suggested to keep a healthy supply of jigs on hand. He loves black-and-blue combos, but he may switch to green pumpkin, too.
Photo: Thomas Allen - And jigs. He suggested to keep a healthy supply of jigs on hand. He loves black-and-blue combos, but he may switch to green pumpkin, too.
He adds the jig to the Plano tray.
Photo: Thomas Allen - He adds the jig to the Plano tray.
A Strike King KVD Perfect Plastic straighttail finesse worm will get a lot of play from Menendez.
Photo: Thomas Allen - A Strike King KVD Perfect Plastic straighttail finesse worm will get a lot of play from Menendez.
For the purpose of this project, he put the worm in the tray. Under normal circumstances, he keeps plastics in their original packaging. A good tip to add longevity to your bait collection.
Photo: Thomas Allen - For the purpose of this project, he put the worm in the tray. Under normal circumstances, he keeps plastics in their original packaging. A good tip to add longevity to your bait collection.
How about a popper? A KVD Splash gets a lot of water time from Menendez's boat. He suggested working this lure slowly around obvious wood and rock cover early in the morning, or when the day's skies are overcast.
Photo: Thomas Allen - How about a popper? A KVD Splash gets a lot of water time from Menendez's boat. He suggested working this lure slowly around obvious wood and rock cover early in the morning, or when the day's skies are overcast.
The tray is beginning to fill up with Menendez's suggestions.
Photo: Thomas Allen - The tray is beginning to fill up with Menendez's suggestions.
Strike King creature baits are a must, as well. You can rig them as a jig trailer, or as a punch rig, or Texas rigged all by itself. Bass love big creatures, he said.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Strike King creature baits are a must, as well. You can rig them as a jig trailer, or as a punch rig, or Texas rigged all by itself. Bass love big creatures, he said.
He also said adding a creature of some sort to the back of your buzzbaits might add buoyancy, which helps getting the blades to begin churning at the end of your cast.
Photo: Thomas Allen - He also said adding a creature of some sort to the back of your buzzbaits might add buoyancy, which helps getting the blades to begin churning at the end of your cast.
A Strike King Ocho is a solid choice for a stick bait.
Photo: Thomas Allen - A Strike King Ocho is a solid choice for a stick bait.
Menendez said you can rig it Texas style, wacky or weightless. All of which work well under a myriad of conditions.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Menendez said you can rig it Texas style, wacky or weightless. All of which work well under a myriad of conditions.
He thought of another color worth including.
Photo: Thomas Allen - He thought of another color worth including.
This is a very sexy looking Strike King KVD 1.5 squarebill. That color is very realistic, isn't it?
Photo: Thomas Allen - This is a very sexy looking Strike King KVD 1.5 squarebill. That color is very realistic, isn't it?
The box is looking better by the minute.
Photo: Thomas Allen - The box is looking better by the minute.
Photo: Thomas Allen - "Hold on," he said. "Can't forget terminal tackle." He added a worm weight and hook to the mix.
Whether you're using a creature or an Ocho, a nose weight will allow you to achieve different depths depending on the size of weight. Menendez suggested to get a collection of different weights.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Whether you're using a creature or an Ocho, a nose weight will allow you to achieve different depths depending on the size of weight. Menendez suggested to get a collection of different weights.
Always keep a multi-tool handy. It cuts, and can be critical to unhooking a bass. He said it's a tool that does it all for him, and he always keeps one within arm's reach.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Always keep a multi-tool handy. It cuts, and can be critical to unhooking a bass. He said it's a tool that does it all for him, and he always keeps one within arm's reach.
Thanks Mark!
Photo: Thomas Allen - Thanks Mark!