4 Tips for Fishing on a Budget

Any avid bass angler will tell you that the sport can get expensive quickly. Items such as lures and line may not seem like much, but buy enough to re-spool a few reels or restock a tackle box and you’re easily out more than $100.

This has forced a multitude of anglers — myself, included — to think outside the box and get our hands a little dirty in order to maximize every cent out of our tackle. Here are a few of my favorite ways to do this.

Use Super Glue

Super glue can add years and durability to your plastic baits. For instance, drop a dot of glue on the jighead of a bait to make sure it stays in place over the course of a trip. You can do this with trailer baits, too, which are hooked to another lure—a spinnerbait, for example—and trail behind to add more appeal and another hook. You’ll find that you’ll go through less plastic baits by adding a bit of glue to a tear.

TLC for Seasoned Lures

It’s quite common for crankbaits or jigs to start to rust and have their hooks dull over the course of a few seasons of use. Instead of throwing these lures away, though, you can give them a little care. I like to use steel wool and a hook file to bring my old lures back to life, which gets most of, if not all, the rust or dirt off.

Buy a Lure Retriever

Some may scoff at the flashy packaging or hokey design, but a reliable lure retriever saves a ton of money. Seasoned anglers will say that if you’re not getting snagged, you’re not fishing in the right spots. Losing a couple $10 baits while fishing this spots can be frustrating and, over time, cost a lot of money. You can buy telescoping retrievers or models that slide down your line to untangle hooks, such as Bass Pro Shops’ E-Z Lure Retriever.

Opt for a Tent Instead of a Cabin

If you aren’t afraid of a little rain or colder temperatures, there is no better way to save money on a fishing trip than camping rather than renting a cabin or hotel room. These days, most campsites offer showers and even washers and dryers somewhere on site. You can also sleep in your vehicle if you so choose. Either way, you’ll still have all the amenities you need  on your fishing trip for a fraction of the cost.