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Can You Bring Fishing Gear on a Plane ?

Rules for Checking Fishing Gear – Can You Bring Fishing Gear on a Plane?

When going on a fishing trip in another state or country, you may find it more convenient to fly rather than drive. However, flying brings a few additional details to consider, including whether you can bring your fishing gear on the plane.

Fishing Gear on a Plane

Airlines have different rules and policies regarding what you can or cannot bring on a plane. Before your next fishing trip, make sure that you can check your gear.

You will need to carefully read the fine print of the baggage information before you book your flights.​

Fishing Gear Is Often Considered Excess Baggage

Most airlines allow you to bring one carry-on item on the plane and check everything else. In most cases, your fishing equipment will need to be checked as baggage.

Some airlines do allow certain fishing gear on the plane as carry-on. For example a travel fishing rod is usually contained in a small rod case that can easily fit in the overhead luggage compartment.

However, your equipment still needs to comply with the standard carry-on size and weight limits. The typical carry-on size limit is 22 x 14 x 9 inches, which may not be big enough for a tackle box or a fishing pole.

If you need to check your equipment, you may pay additional fees. The number of bags or items that you can check depends on the airline. However, you typically get to transport one or two bags in the cargo section of the plane, before getting charged additional fees for excess baggage.

Unless you are traveling with no other baggage to check, your fishing equipment will likely be considered excess baggage. The fees for this excess baggage vary, with some airlines charging $100 for each bag that needs to be checked.

Size and Weight Limits for Your Fishing Gear

Airlines often have additional rules and packing instructions for specialty and sports equipment, including fishing gear. For example, many airlines have a size and weight limit for your fishing equipment.

The size and weight limits depend on the policies of the airline. One airline may allow fishing rod cases measuring up to 126 inches, while others only allow cases up to 115 inches. The most common weight limit is 50 pounds, which applies to the rod case, tackle box, and any other bags that you bring.

Exceeding these limits results in additional fees for overweight or oversized baggage, along with the excess baggage fees.

What Items Are Considered Fishing Equipment?

Besides excess baggage fees and size and weight limits, some airlines clearly outline what type of equipment they consider fishing gear.

For example, American Airlines and Delta count a fishing rod and reel as one item, if they are safely contained in a fishing rod case. Most airlines also consider a tackle box to be one item.

However, some airlines also allow two of these items to count as one piece of excess baggage, lowering the cost of flying with your fishing gear.

How to Determine the Cost of Bringing Your Gear

As the policies for checking or carrying fishing gear varies with each airline, the best way to determine the cost is to contact the airline before purchasing a ticket.

When inquiring about the fees, you should let the airline customer service representative know how many regular bags you plan to check, along with the number of fishing rod cases, tackles boxes, and other equipment.

Best Frog Lure for Top Water Bass

Throwing frog lures over weed beds and across lily pads is one sure fire way to make a bass strike hard from below.

Bass and frogs tend to hang out in similar spots i.e anywhere there is lots of cover. Large weed beds in particular are a frog favorite. 

Using soft hollow bodied frogs is a tried and tested tactic that has landed many's the lunker. 

If you have never tries them before then read on as we dig a little deeper into what works best and what kind of tackle to use.​

Best Frog Lure

The best frog lures will mimic the action that a real frog makes as it swims across the top water of a pond or lake. ​

  • Float​
  • Hooks pointing up(weedless)
  • Rubber legs
  • Sized correctly 
  • Natural colors

They will generally be considered "weedless" lures. A weedless lure is one that has the hooks protected from being snagged on weeds by having the hooks point in and behind the body of the lure.

In the case of topwater frog lures the hooks will generally point upwards. Seeing as the lures float on the top of the water the hooks will always be up on top of the back of the frog so the chances of getting snagged are minimal ​

But how do you fish a frog lure? 

Firstly you need the right tackle!

A light weight setup is in no way strong enough for fishing with frogs. A good frog rod should have the following characteristics:

  • Around 7 feet in length
  • Heavy power rating
  • Should have a fast action.

Line wise you are looking at roughly 50 lbs braid. Depending on the brand that you use you can get away with 40 lbs.

For the most part you will need a baitcaster that has a high gearing ratio on it.​

Frog lures are generally cast across and on top of weed beds. However you can of course cast them just about any place that you think bass might be hiding out.  

For the most part though weed beds, submerged trees and the banks of lakes that have a lot of vegetation will be the best place to catch bass with frogs. 

Always try to vary how you retrieve the frog. At the end of the day you goal is to mimic how a frog would naturally swim across a pond or lake. So be sure to pause regularly just like a frog would.

If you are in more open water between two different weed beds then it makes sense to retrieve the frog at a consistent pace just like a frog would.​

Different Types of Frog Lures​

There are a number of different types of frog lures available on the market, the most popular kinds would be:

  • Hollow bodied ​
  • Crankbait style
  • Topwater popper style

​Without a doubt the most popular type is the hollow bodied lure. They will usually come with soft rubber legs. The legs are designed to move about as the lure is being retrieved. 

The legs can either be lifelike and molded from rubber or they can be just strips of rubber that are attached on either side of the frog body. 

For the soft hollow body lures there will be two hooks one on either side and both will point upwards. The hooks are both connected to the eye at the front where you tie in.

The reason they are soft is so that when a fish strikes the lure their mouth will naturally push down the soft upper back of the lure and expose the hooks leading to better hook rates.​

Frog Lure Colors​

There is a huge range of colors available but do always try to stick to the more natural looking ones. If you can try to find a frog near by and see what kind of color it's skin is. Any easy way to find then is to lift up any object that they can naturally use for cover.

The most common colors will be in either a green of brown with a natural pattern on top.​

Bass Fishing Tips & Techniques

Armed with a few of these bass fishing tips you will greatly increase your chances of landing a lunker. Although some beginners can get away with beginners luck the more you know about where, when and how to fish for bass the better your chances of catching some.

Bass are the most popular game fish in North America. As long as you know what you are doing bass are some of the easiest fish to find and catch. However if you don't know what you are doing then they will not be quite so easy to catch.

Bass Fishing Tips

That is why learning the right bass fishing tips and techniques early on will save you a lot of time and frustration. The more experience you acquire bass fishing, the more you will develop your skills and understanding of various bass fishing techniques.

This involves selecting the appropriate lure and learning which technique should be used for a given situation. Also, you would need to spend some time learning about the different fishing conditions that you may encounter in order to fully understand how to target bass..​

Casting for Bass

Most bass fishermen start out learning the traditional overhand cast. Although it is easy to learn and can be used in most scenario's sometimes you want more precision and finesse.

Next up they will probably learn the underhand cast which is on a par with the overhand casting technique. However if you want to increase your accuracy and your ability to spook fish less whilst casting I would suggest getting to grips with the pitching and flipping casting techniques.

Flipping

Flipping involves dropping the rod forward as you let out some line through the guides. If you are right handed it would be as follows:​

  • Holding the rod in your right hand lift the rod upright. Let out enough line so that the lure is at the same height as your reel.
  • Now pull more line out with your free hand to the side ensuring that the lure stays roughly at the same height as the reel. Drop the rod tip forward, as you do so the lure will move with a forward pendulum like motion.
  • As the lure moves out in front of the rod let out the slack line from your other hand so that the lure can continue moving forward as it swings away from you.The line in your free hand should always be allowed to move freely and not gripped tightly.

Flipping is best in darker waters when getting up close to the bass without spooking them is easier. It has a limited range, the longer your rod the longer a distance you can get. Flipping is not about distance though it is primarily about close range accuracy.

Pitching

Pitching uses the same action to get the lure moving forward as flipping does. However instead of letting slack line out from your other hand you let it out directly from the reel.

A bait casting is generally best for this as you can control the amount of line out with your thumb. Pitching allows you to get more distance than flipping casting does but you are probably less accurate with it.

Where to Fish for Bass

Understanding where bass a most likely to be hiding is crucial. Bass will favor different types of cover depending on the time of year and the weather etc.

Deadwood

Decaying wood or wooden man made structures is one of the best spots to find bass. Fallen trees, floating logs or wooden docks bass can find really good cover under.

Fishing a topwater lure near to these structures can be very effective and also reduce the risk of snagging on them. One of the reasons these area's are effective is because baitfish also like this kind of cover, so you just consider this when choosing a lure.

Weeds

Weed beds are a great place to find bass. You can work a lure across the top of a weed bed or along the side of it.

Bass will like to hid out in a weed bed especially the newer greener foliage rather than old and brown weds that are dying off. This is where a weedless jig or a spinnerbait can be best utilized. Being able to work a lure without the risk of snagging the weeds will greatly improve your chances.

​Rocks

Smaller shallower rocky bottoms that may be home to small insects and crayfish are going to be more productive than larger deeper rocky areas for bass fishing.

You can find a lot of smallmouth bass spawning in spring over gravel beds near to the shore and this can be a great time and place to target them.

When to Fish for Bass

Knowing where to find bass is only half the challenge in bass finding you still need to know when to look for them in these spots, in fact the two are directly linked.

Bass are like most other fish and will move around relative to the changes in water temperature as the seasons progress.

Spring

Without a doubt the best time to catch trophy bass is during pre-spawning in the spring. At this time bass will move to shallower waters. In these shallower waters they will feed more aggressively than usual.In warmer states this spawning time may happen as early as late January, but mostly it will occur around March/April.​

At this time of year bass can be seen from the shore hanging around a particular spot as they choose a sight to spawn. This will usually occur near some kind of feature be it a dead tree, weeds or some kind of drop off or even a man made structure.

Summer

During the summer months and after spawning season bass become a lot more active due to the increase in water temperature and the need to replace lost energy from spawning. Be careful with the water temperatures bass tend to be most active between the high 50's and low 70's. Once the water temperature hits the low 80's bass may seek out the cooler deeper water.

Fall

During the fall bass can​ put the high summer temps behind them and hunt a lot more in the shallower waters. This can mean that fall is one of the best times to fish for bass as they begin to stock up on food before the winter. Also the waters you fish will generally become less crowded so you can gain access to the more productive spots.

Winter

​Winter fishing for most fish is usually a little slow and bass are no exception. The drop in temperatures will considerably slow down the bass's metabolism and as such they will be less inclined to strike hard. Your best bet is to put a jig or worm right in front of them.

Bass Lures

What would a bass fishing tips guide be like without a section on lures?

There is a massive variety of bass lures available ranging from simple spinner baits to plastic frog replica's. One thing is for certain, most bass fishermen use a huge variety of lures in order to cover almost every eventuality. ​

Bass Worm

Soft plastic worms are some of the most versatile and effective bass lures that you can use. Because of the soft body the worm will feel quite natural to the bass and may result in a greater hooking rate than hard-bodied ​lures.

Worms are best fished slowly and carefully. Save the fast fishing for other more dynamic lures like crankbaits or spinnerbaits.​ The majority of strikes will come as the worm is slowly sinking through the water. It pays to keep the rod line fairly tight so that you can feel a bite. Once you feel a bite you will need to strike quite hard to set the hook.

The most popular way to rig a worm for bass fishing is to use the Texas rig. The Texas rig has the hook placed through the worm with the hook point back into the body. This makes the worm almost completely weedless. You can work the worm slowly along the bottom rather than leaving it too still. The other types of rigs to use would be the Drop shot rig and the Carolina rig. ​

SpinnerBaits

​Spinnerbaits are one of the best attractor baits for bass fishing. They do look slight weird but they are non the less very good at attracting bass from a distance. You can cover a lot of water using spinnerbaits.

Most spinner baits will some with a single hook that is behind the rubber skirt. This configuration makes them practically weedless and you can work the lure around and over weed beds very well.The spinning blade adds a strong visual flash to the lure. The bass can also sense the spinning blade vibrations due to sensors on their flanks. Most blade type will either be Colorado, Willow or Indiana.

One of the simplest lures for bass a simple cast and retrieve near an underwater structure or weed bed is ideal.​ You can also pause the retrieve to let the spinnerbait sink a little, this will cause the blade to flutter as it drops.

Crankbaits

​Like a spinnerbait a crankbait can be used to cover a lot of water quickly. Covering a large area with a crankbait can help you to locate fish a lot quicker than fishing with a worm.

There is a large range of crankbaits for bass fishing available. Lots of different color choices shapes and weights. The main factor that you need to be aware of is what depth are you going to be fishing at.

Fishing a crankbait for bass is as simple as cast and retrieve. However you do need to vary the speed of retrieval. Twitching and jerking the rod tip will give a more natural swim that mimics an injured bait-fish. 

Jigs

​Jigs can and have produced some of the largest bass caught on a rod and line. Fishing with jigs is generally considered a little more difficult than say a spinnerbait or a crankbait as they are generally just cast and retrieve. When fishing a jig for bass however you need to use a little more skill.

Jigs are usually cast at a much shorter distance than the other lures listed above. You will be mostly pitching and flipping the jig into ​exact spots and this will take a little practice. You will also generally be on lighter tackle so it may be best to learn with other lures first on normal spinning tackle and then move on to jigs.

Jigs are generally worked along the bottom and they are often used to imitate small insects and crayfish that the bass will naturally feed on.​ They can however be taken by the bass as the jig sinks so it can be best to use some form trailer.

TopWater Lures

​Topwater lure fishing for bass can be great fun. Enticing a strike at the surface can lead to more spectacular scenes than worm fishing on the bottom. Bass can hit topwater lures very hard as the stalk them from the deep.

They are shaped to produce a lot of surface ripple. This action is to imitate an injured bait-fish which the bass will consider an easy meal. The topwater lure will cause a little wake behind as it is retrieved and some will create small popping noises too.

Used when light conditions are low they can really get bass out from their deeper hiding spots. Try not to use them when the wind is too high though as the splashes they may will not be as noticeable.​

Tackle

Arming your self with the correct tackle is crucial to help make your lure presentation as natural as possible. Gear that is too heavy is a bad idea. Make sure you choose the right tool for the job.

Rod

For shorter casting and more accuracy a 7 foot light action spinning rod is probably the best bet. So if you are working worms or small jigs up close to natural structures or weed beds you will need something a good bit lighter than for fishing heavy crankbaits.

For longer casting and heavier lures you can use a rod 8 foot or longer with a heavier parabolic action.​ Fishing bigger heavier lures that you want to get down deep requires a long cast. The further the lure is away from you the deeper you can get it to dive.

Reels

A lighter rod and lure generally needs a lighter reel. A light spinning reel should be enough for most scenario's that involve accuracy and lightly weighted lures.For the bigger lures and rods then a baitcasting reel is more appropriate. A baitcasting reel allows you to throw heavier lures long distances with the advantage of being able to control the distance with your thumb. Baitcasting reels and rods are generally used once your line strength needs to be above 10 lbs.

Line​

There are three types of line available on the market and each has its own strengths and weaknesses:

  • Monofilament​: Mono floats so is best suited to topwater lures. It stretches quite a bit also, up to 15%. That extra stretch can reduce your ability to set a hook but it can help if using more natural lures as they less line feel for the bass the better.
  • Flourocarbon: Flouro is best for sinking baits and has less stretch than Mono. It is quite clear so can be very good when subtle presentation is required.
  • Braid Line: Braid has pretty much no stretch so is great for hook setting. It has the advantage of being very strong for it's diameter much so more than Flouro or Mono.