Bass Basics

Beginner’s Tacklebox: Tyler Rivet

Tyler Rivet is ready to fill a Plano 1500 tacklebox full of the tools any beginner needs to catch some bass.
Photo: Andy Crawford - Tyler Rivet is ready to fill a Plano 1500 tacklebox full of the tools any beginner needs to catch some bass.
First up is an STH Bait Company Spike, which he said is just deadly. “You can catch fish year-round with it,” he said. “It’s just something for the beginner; they need in the boat. It catches little fish, and it catches 10-pounders.<br><br> “You just throw it out there and let it sink and pop it a couple of times.”
Photo: Andy Crawford - First up is an STH Bait Company Spike, which he said is just deadly. “You can catch fish year-round with it,” he said. “It’s just something for the beginner; they need in the boat. It catches little fish, and it catches 10-pounders. “You just throw it out there and let it sink and pop it a couple of times.”
The Spike is rigged on an Owner wacky hook with a brush guard, allowing it to be used around fish-attracting cover.<br><br> “It’s weedless, and it’s strong as heck,” Rivet said. “You can’t beat it.”
Photo: Andy Crawford - The Spike is rigged on an Owner wacky hook with a brush guard, allowing it to be used around fish-attracting cover. “It’s weedless, and it’s strong as heck,” Rivet said. “You can’t beat it.”
The hook is pushed through the center of the Spike, with the point exposed.
Photo: Andy Crawford - The hook is pushed through the center of the Spike, with the point exposed.
The STH Spike goes into the first compartment of the tacklebox.
Photo: Andy Crawford - The STH Spike goes into the first compartment of the tacklebox.
Next on his list is a Z-Man Jack Hammer paired with a NetBait Spanky swimbait. <br><br> “I usually stick with the 1/2-ounce just because it’s a little heavier, and I can rip it out (of the grass) pretty quick,” the young pro explained. “There’s just something different about it, the way it’s connected to the head.<br><br> “I don’t know what it does, but I catch a lot of fish on it.”
Photo: Andy Crawford - Next on his list is a Z-Man Jack Hammer paired with a NetBait Spanky swimbait. “I usually stick with the 1/2-ounce just because it’s a little heavier, and I can rip it out (of the grass) pretty quick,” the young pro explained. “There’s just something different about it, the way it’s connected to the head. “I don’t know what it does, but I catch a lot of fish on it.”
He threads the Spanky onto the Jack Hammer, ensuring he lines it up to push the hook through the back of the lure. The swimbait just maximizes the lure’s appeal to bass.<br><br> “It just gives it way more action on the backside of the lure,” Rivet said. “It moves a lot more water, and it’s a great trailer to have.”
Photo: Andy Crawford - He threads the Spanky onto the Jack Hammer, ensuring he lines it up to push the hook through the back of the lure. The swimbait just maximizes the lure’s appeal to bass. “It just gives it way more action on the backside of the lure,” Rivet said. “It moves a lot more water, and it’s a great trailer to have.”
He then snugs the trailer up to the back of the Jack Hammer’s head to complete the fish-catching package. “It’s got a sharper hook, and the trailer keeper is awesome,” he explained. “You’ll never lose a trailer.”
Photo: Andy Crawford - He then snugs the trailer up to the back of the Jack Hammer’s head to complete the fish-catching package. “It’s got a sharper hook, and the trailer keeper is awesome,” he explained. “You’ll never lose a trailer.”
The completed bait is deadly when fished over and through submerged vegetation, Rivet said.
Photo: Andy Crawford - The completed bait is deadly when fished over and through submerged vegetation, Rivet said.
The Jack Hammer occupies the next tacklebox compartment.
Photo: Andy Crawford - The Jack Hammer occupies the next tacklebox compartment.
Rivet is a power fisherman, so he thinks any box should have a good complement of plastics. His next lure for the box is a junebug-colored NetBait Paca Slim, which he said is just an all-around fish-catcher. “It’s just something you need to have,” he said. “It’s an all-year bait. You can throw it on beds, you can throw it deep, you can throw it on a Carolina rig.<br><br> “It mimics a crawfish, so you can use it anywhere.”<br><br> He pairs it with a 3/8-ounce tungsten weight. “That’s my go-to weight,” he said.
Photo: Andy Crawford - Rivet is a power fisherman, so he thinks any box should have a good complement of plastics. His next lure for the box is a junebug-colored NetBait Paca Slim, which he said is just an all-around fish-catcher. “It’s just something you need to have,” he said. “It’s an all-year bait. You can throw it on beds, you can throw it deep, you can throw it on a Carolina rig. “It mimics a crawfish, so you can use it anywhere.” He pairs it with a 3/8-ounce tungsten weight. “That’s my go-to weight,” he said.
Rivet Texas rigs the Paca Slim, using a 3/0 Owner Jungle Flipping Hook that is stronger than a conventional carbon steel hook. “The Jungle Hook is made out of what they call Zo-Wire, and basically you cannot break it,” he explained. “It’s basically not bendable at all.”<br><br> He also likes the bait keeper on these hooks. “They don’t mess up your baits,” he said.
Photo: Andy Crawford - Rivet Texas rigs the Paca Slim, using a 3/0 Owner Jungle Flipping Hook that is stronger than a conventional carbon steel hook. “The Jungle Hook is made out of what they call Zo-Wire, and basically you cannot break it,” he explained. “It’s basically not bendable at all.” He also likes the bait keeper on these hooks. “They don’t mess up your baits,” he said.
The NetBait Paca Slim combo goes into the tacklebox.
Photo: Andy Crawford - The NetBait Paca Slim combo goes into the tacklebox.
His next flipping bait is a NetBait Dagger with the same hook and weight setup: A 3/0 Owner Jungle Flipping Hook and 3/8-ounce tungsten weight. <br><br> “It’s brand new,” he said. “It’s just a slick profile that gets through grass pretty easy. It’s definitely reaction bait: Just real quick, it goes right by bass and gets reactions. It’s a great punching and flipping bait.<br><br> “It looks just like a perch or a crawfish. It’s an all-year bait, and is one of the go-tos if you’re just starting out.”<br><br> If he uses the Dagger to punch vegetation mats, he will up the weight a bit.<br><br> “The Dagger is one my favorites to punch with,” he said. “I like punching with a weight that goes through the grass just enough so it gets through there.”
Photo: Andy Crawford - His next flipping bait is a NetBait Dagger with the same hook and weight setup: A 3/0 Owner Jungle Flipping Hook and 3/8-ounce tungsten weight. “It’s brand new,” he said. “It’s just a slick profile that gets through grass pretty easy. It’s definitely reaction bait: Just real quick, it goes right by bass and gets reactions. It’s a great punching and flipping bait. “It looks just like a perch or a crawfish. It’s an all-year bait, and is one of the go-tos if you’re just starting out.” If he uses the Dagger to punch vegetation mats, he will up the weight a bit. “The Dagger is one my favorites to punch with,” he said. “I like punching with a weight that goes through the grass just enough so it gets through there.”
He drops the Dagger into the Plano.
Photo: Andy Crawford - He drops the Dagger into the Plano.
He prefers to peg his flipping baits, and his go-to are Rougarou Punch Stops.
Photo: Andy Crawford - He prefers to peg his flipping baits, and his go-to are Rougarou Punch Stops.
He adds the Punch Stops into the box with his plastics.
Photo: Andy Crawford - He adds the Punch Stops into the box with his plastics.
A South Louisiana standard is next up. The Humdinger spinnerbait is something almost every angler around his home grew up fishing, Rivet is never caught without a handful — even though he’s not sponsored by the company.<br><br> “I like a 1/4-ounce version,” he said. “It’s light, and it’ll go straight through the grass without picking up any grass at all. It’s just something I grew up fishing; I’ve always had a Humdinger.”<br><br> He said it’s perfect for beginners. “You throw it out and reel it in,” he said. “It’s very simple, and it catches fish.”
Photo: Andy Crawford - A South Louisiana standard is next up. The Humdinger spinnerbait is something almost every angler around his home grew up fishing, Rivet is never caught without a handful — even though he’s not sponsored by the company. “I like a 1/4-ounce version,” he said. “It’s light, and it’ll go straight through the grass without picking up any grass at all. It’s just something I grew up fishing; I’ve always had a Humdinger.” He said it’s perfect for beginners. “You throw it out and reel it in,” he said. “It’s very simple, and it catches fish.”
He prefers a gold Colorado/willow leaf blade combination when he turns to a Humdinger. “I’ve alway had double gold willow leaf with a Colorado blade,” he said. “I don’t know why, but it’s my go-to. I’ve used it all over the country, and it catches fish.<br><br> He doesn’t use trailers when throwing spinnerbaits.
Photo: Andy Crawford - He prefers a gold Colorado/willow leaf blade combination when he turns to a Humdinger. “I’ve alway had double gold willow leaf with a Colorado blade,” he said. “I don’t know why, but it’s my go-to. I’ve used it all over the country, and it catches fish. He doesn’t use trailers when throwing spinnerbaits.
The Humdinger is placed in the next compartment of the box.
Photo: Andy Crawford - The Humdinger is placed in the next compartment of the box.
Any tacklebox has to have a crankbait, and Rivet’s choice is a custom-painted Blackjack Lures 1.5 square bill. “It’s got a different sound to it; it’s a big knocker,” he said. “We use it all over the place. I can use in rocks or grass.”<br><br> Blackjack is a South Louisiana company that customizes lures to Rivet’s specifications. “They’ll paint it however you want,” Rivet said. “It’s crazy how good he paints them. The are so realistic.
Photo: Andy Crawford - Any tacklebox has to have a crankbait, and Rivet’s choice is a custom-painted Blackjack Lures 1.5 square bill. “It’s got a different sound to it; it’s a big knocker,” he said. “We use it all over the place. I can use in rocks or grass.” Blackjack is a South Louisiana company that customizes lures to Rivet’s specifications. “They’ll paint it however you want,” Rivet said. “It’s crazy how good he paints them. The are so realistic."
The Blackjack 1.5 takes up the next tacklebox compartment.
Photo: Andy Crawford - The Blackjack 1.5 takes up the next tacklebox compartment.
Another perfect beginner lure is NetBait Spanky swimbait rigged on a 1/4-ounce Owner weighted hook.
Photo: Andy Crawford - Another perfect beginner lure is NetBait Spanky swimbait rigged on a 1/4-ounce Owner weighted hook.
The rigged Spanky is a streamlined weedless lure that’s a no-brainer. “You throw it out there and reel it in or twitch it, whatever you want,” he said. “It catches big fish, it catches small fish, it catches a lot of fish.”
Photo: Andy Crawford - The rigged Spanky is a streamlined weedless lure that’s a no-brainer. “You throw it out there and reel it in or twitch it, whatever you want,” he said. “It catches big fish, it catches small fish, it catches a lot of fish.”
He puts the Spanky into the next compartment.
Photo: Andy Crawford - He puts the Spanky into the next compartment.
Next up is another plastic worm, this time a NetBait Big Bopper. “You just rig it up Texas rigged, and it’s something that especially in prespawn and spawn is a great bait to use,” he said. “You can bounce it like a worm or just reel it in.<br><br> “It’s very universal and easy to use.”<br><br> He rigs it on a 3/16-ounce tungsten weight. “I rig it a little lighter to keep it up in the water column and work a little slower when I’m jigging it up and down,” Rivet said.
Photo: Andy Crawford - Next up is another plastic worm, this time a NetBait Big Bopper. “You just rig it up Texas rigged, and it’s something that especially in prespawn and spawn is a great bait to use,” he said. “You can bounce it like a worm or just reel it in. “It’s very universal and easy to use.” He rigs it on a 3/16-ounce tungsten weight. “I rig it a little lighter to keep it up in the water column and work a little slower when I’m jigging it up and down,” Rivet said.
He switches to a 3/0 Owner Wide Gap Hook when fishing worms. “Worms are a little longer, so you want to have that wider hook,” he said. “And it keeps it straight.”
Photo: Andy Crawford - He switches to a 3/0 Owner Wide Gap Hook when fishing worms. “Worms are a little longer, so you want to have that wider hook,” he said. “And it keeps it straight.”
He just tips the hook through the head of the worm so he can bury the point in the plastic and keep the worm straight.
Photo: Andy Crawford - He just tips the hook through the head of the worm so he can bury the point in the plastic and keep the worm straight.
The Big Bopper is dropped into the box.
Photo: Andy Crawford - The Big Bopper is dropped into the box.
Keeping with worms, he then pulls out a NetBait T-Mac Straight Tail Worm.<br><br> “It’s the same setup,” the angler said. “You can throw it anywhere, and it’s simple. It’s a real good reaction bait. It’s a little slower. This is what I began with.”
Photo: Andy Crawford - Keeping with worms, he then pulls out a NetBait T-Mac Straight Tail Worm. “It’s the same setup,” the angler said. “You can throw it anywhere, and it’s simple. It’s a real good reaction bait. It’s a little slower. This is what I began with.”
Again, he rigs it with a 3/0 Owner Wide Gap Hook and a 3/16-ounce weight.
Photo: Andy Crawford - Again, he rigs it with a 3/0 Owner Wide Gap Hook and a 3/16-ounce weight.
The T-Mac Straight Tail Worm occupies the next Plano compartment.
Photo: Andy Crawford - The T-Mac Straight Tail Worm occupies the next Plano compartment.
The final soft plastic lure in Rivet’s beginner box is a NetBait Finesse Worm, which he rigs just like the Big Bopper and Straight Tail Worm.<br><br> “It’s a little smaller, and sometimes they don’t want that big bait,” he explained. “Finesse is always a good thing to go to, and you can use it year-round as well. Just pop it around and do whatever you want with it, and you’ll catch fish.”
Photo: Andy Crawford - The final soft plastic lure in Rivet’s beginner box is a NetBait Finesse Worm, which he rigs just like the Big Bopper and Straight Tail Worm. “It’s a little smaller, and sometimes they don’t want that big bait,” he explained. “Finesse is always a good thing to go to, and you can use it year-round as well. Just pop it around and do whatever you want with it, and you’ll catch fish.”
Into the box goes the Finesse Worm.
Photo: Andy Crawford - Into the box goes the Finesse Worm.
What box would be complete without a topwater, and his choice is a Snag Proof Poppin’ Phattie frog.
Photo: Andy Crawford - What box would be complete without a topwater, and his choice is a Snag Proof Poppin’ Phattie frog.
The Poppin’ Phattie is a hollow-body frog that Rivet said is perfect over matted vegetation. “I always use popping frogs because I can walk the dog like a lot of people do, and it gives off a lot of water,” Rivet said. “It shows it’s there.”
Photo: Andy Crawford - The Poppin’ Phattie is a hollow-body frog that Rivet said is perfect over matted vegetation. “I always use popping frogs because I can walk the dog like a lot of people do, and it gives off a lot of water,” Rivet said. “It shows it’s there.”
He said the Poppin’ Phattie has a very soft body that is easily pushed out of the way on the strike, allowing the sharp double hooks to sink into bass’ mouths.<br><br> “It’s got great hooks on it, wide hooks,” he said. “It’s a mean bait. This is my No. 1 thing to do: If I’m not punching, I’m frog fishing. So, save the best for last.”
Photo: Andy Crawford - He said the Poppin’ Phattie has a very soft body that is easily pushed out of the way on the strike, allowing the sharp double hooks to sink into bass’ mouths. “It’s got great hooks on it, wide hooks,” he said. “It’s a mean bait. This is my No. 1 thing to do: If I’m not punching, I’m frog fishing. So, save the best for last.”
The Poppin’ Phattie occupies the final compartment in Rivet’s box.
Photo: Andy Crawford - The Poppin’ Phattie occupies the final compartment in Rivet’s box.
He said this single tray of baits will be plenty for a beginner angler to find and catch bass on any given day.
Photo: Andy Crawford - He said this single tray of baits will be plenty for a beginner angler to find and catch bass on any given day.