In my opinion, for the beginner fisherman, a live bait may offer the best opportunity for success. When I first went fishing, we used live bait, in this case worms. I was fishing with my Dad and my uncle Curt, and Curtis was an old fisherman.... read more
Way to complex a question without a lot more info. But; assuming you are using a light weight spin casting reel/rod and you are fishing a small lake from the shore; hook, worm and bobber would offer the most fun and chance for success. You may want to have a few small (1/16-1/8) lead head jigs and chartreuse colored tails in the tackle basket. These will catch pan fish and small bass.
If you are looking for bass the Senko worm (5 inch) texas rig is the best.
They say live bait produces the best results and biggest fish, and for me its hard to say otherwise. If you are casual you should do a little bit of both, it is fun to mix it up. Cut bait will catch you some big catfish.