The first and most important step in a successful big bass trip is to make sure you have the right equipment walking out the door. We’ve all heard the stories of, “I forgot the camera” and the always popular “I forgot the scale”. Hey, sometimes it happens that you just plain forget something, but it’s not hard to train yourself to be prepared for each and every trip you make. Some of the items you should always bring are as follows:
Most people now are using digital cameras to record their catches. Let’s face it, digital is quick and easy and allows you to take lots of extra pictures in case some come out poorly. At the time of this article (2006) the price vs. quality on digital cameras has gotten to the point where a high quality camera is very reasonable. Some reputable online shops for digital cameras include www.bhphotovideo.com or www.costco.com if you have a membership there. A camera in the 4 megapixel and up range will be more than adequate for getting nice 4x6” prints. If you want to print large format images, the options are almost limitless as you go up in price. If you’re still using a standard film camera, consider that many photo processing shops now offer digital image processing for a very reasonable price and your 4x6’s or 5x7’ will look like film quality when printed on those professional machines.
With digital, the main problem you’re likely to have with your camera is running out of batteries. Always carry a spare set, you’ll be happy you did when you hit the shutter and that annoying red battery light starts flashing.
When you get the fish of a lifetime, it never hurts to have a backup camera handy just in case the unthinkable happens and your main camera takes a dump or the pictures don’t turn out. A cheap disposable camera with flash can typically be had for less than $10. They come foil wrapped and should last a few years in your boat or tackle bag. If you do stick a high teener or a 20+, you won’t think twice about asking someone to empty that camera for you on the fish for 10 bucks.