Bass Fishing: Prepare for a Fishing Trip
If you are just starting or thinking about starting bass fishing then you will need a rod and reel. For beginners I highly recommend a spinning reel because they are much more user friendly than a baitcaster reel. Many companies have rod and reel combos and these are great to start out because they are usually cheaper than buying the parts individually and you know the parts work together. As far as length I would recommend between a 6'6” through a 7' tall, medium action rod. That length and the medium action is a very versatile combination so you should get a lot of use out of it.
You will also need a tackle box to store your lures and other tools. There are many kinds of tackle boxes and they really are a personal preference, I would just recommend that you consider where you will be fishing when you are choosing. For example if you have to hike to get to your fishing spot then you may want a backpack tackle box. As far as filling your tackle box with lures I would recommend crankbaits, and soft plastics to start. Pick a natural color pattern and a very bright version of each lure to give you some versatility. You also want to have a pair of needle nose pliers in your tackle box, to help get the hook out of the fish. Also something to cut the fishing line with encase you get your lure stuck or want to change lures.
Please make sure you have a fishing license and that you understand the laws for your particular state. The license is usually only a few bucks and many states use the revenue from the licenses to protect the fish's habitat. So do yourself and the fish a favor and just get the license. Most states have rules that state how big the fish must be if you are going to keep them and how many you can keep per day, so make sure you are aware of these rules.
The day before
Check the weather to make sure the conditions are favorable for fishing. Also get a map of the place to want to go fishing and mark out some good spots to try. After the trip record which ones were productive, if you plan to go there again you can keep a more detailed log. Write down what time you caught fish, on what lures, and how you were fishing. This will help you develop a understanding of the fish and can better prepare you for your next trip.
As far as preparing yourself for fishing you will need sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, and appropriate attire. The first 3 are important to keep you safe, when you are on the water the sun reflects off the surface so you are receiving twice as much sun as your normally would. And if you get polarized sunglasses they can also help you see the fish in the water, they look like black shadows darting around. As far as the attire, I prefer athletic clothing that is very breathable and filters the UV rays from the sun.
Catch and release is becoming more and more important today. With so many people out fishing it puts a lot of pressure on the bass population so we need to do our part to protect the bass. So unless you are going to consume the fish you catch it is best to release them. I always tell my friends, catch, take a picture, and release. The picture will last longer than the fish would anyway.