As an outdoor writer for over 12 years, I still get ideas and inspiration from the people I interact with.

Not long ago a newcomer to Kayak Fishing Skool said “I have looked through all of your articles.   I have not seen anything that is in line with A Beginners Tackle Box.”   I promised I would address the request.

It really doesn’t differ a great deal from the folks who have been doing it a long time.     The longer you fish, the less stuff you are going to take with you.     You really don’t need to take everything you own.   If you are organized, you can, but it is really not necessary.

Fishing around Tampa Bay, the basics for any angler, beginner or not:

Multiple rods.     If you have multiple rods you can rig them with different lures eliminating the need to “cut and retie on a new lure.”      A minimum of three rods is probably a good choice.


If you don’t use soft plastic lures, you don’t catch as many fish as we do.    We use plastic baits 90% of the time.    My sponsor, 12 Fathom I would recommend getting the Mullet, SlamR and Buzz Tail Shad.     With these three options you have it all covered.   You need to rig it on a jighead.     Find one you like in a weight of 1/8 or 3/16-ounce.

Hard baits are great when either the pinfish or the pufferfish are dreadful.    Soft baits get destroyed by these species.     Changing over to another option, these fish cannot damage certain kinds of lures.

  • The gold or silver spoon is always a good un-destroyable bait to keep around
  • Mirrolure topwater lures: If it has the word Dog or Pup in the name, it is going to float.   Topwaters are great fun.   My first choice:  Top Dog Junior in the color “18”
  • Subsurface hard baits:  In the Mirrolure line most people choose the Mirrodine.     Standard size is great.    It is also offered in “Mini” and “XL.”    My choice?    “Mirrominnow.”    Less utilized than the Mirrodine, I like this slim bait.

For the beginner and “keeping it simple” I would just gear up with what I have listed here.     Cost:    12 Fathom lures, $4 per bad.   Jigheads, $4 for a bag of 3 jigheads; Mirrolures are $7 to $9.   Spoons are $5 to $7.    For about $35 you will have everything you need.   As you run out replace your supplies.

Fishing is fun and really it is pretty easy.    Gear up with what they will eat and get in the right spots.


Neil Taylor

PH:  727-692-6345

Neil Taylor
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