Bass lures, basic and beyond. I got to thinking about them over the weekend in also remembering a late friend who I once took bass fishing. She was a complete novice. Once we got into my canoe on a bass pond, the instructions were simple: “Here’s a plastic worm and a hook. Put the worm on the hook and cast it over there. Then twitch the worm slowly.”

She caught lots of bass, partly because the fish would hang on to the scented worm long enough for her to feel a tug and then set the hook. “Wow!” she exclaimed. “I had no idea bass fishing was this easy. If everybody knew it was so simple, the whole huge bass-marketing world would fall apart!”

Well, it’s not always that easy, of course, but sometimes it is. And in thinking about what lures and baits I want to get for next season–meaning those absolutely essential for at least some fishing success–I came up with three that I think are the most important.

A white spinnerbait with silver blades. A 6-inch (more or less) green-pumpkin plastic worm. A Zara Spook topwater. Armed with those three lures, I know I can catch at least some largemouths just about anywhere.

So is that knowledge going to slim down my grossly overweight tackle bag? Of course not. There’s always a chance that something else might work even better than those standards. And as long as there’s that chance, I want to have whatever it might take along when I go bass fishing. I can’t completely predict what I might want for some special bass-fishing circumstance, which is why that tackle bag weighs 30 pounds instead of three pounds.

On the other hand, most of that stuff gets used fairly seldom. Spinnerbait, worm, and a Spook are still my basic choices. What am I missing?