Maybe the first disclaimer a professional bass fisherman
would give would be that you will have to exhibit patience throughout if you wish to learn and be successful. Reading up before hand will allow you to have some knowledge heading in, but there is only so much you can do ahead of time. Most of your learning will be out on the lake, understanding the nuances of the fish and their thought process in different settings.
When first visiting a lake, be observant and consider the variables that might be in play; depth of lake, whether the lake is clear, time of day, etc. There are some general ideas for starting off to give you some sort of direction. For one, if it's a quiet day on the lake so far you may wish to explore deeper structures with something like a spinner.
As far as catching a bass, it will depend on what type / size you are targeting. If you are expecting a smallmouth bass, try smaller rubber worms or plastic worms. I find that hooking the worms in the center provides you with a bait that won't pick up lily pads and seaweed, but will do a fine job reeling in bass. A large mouth bass is going to require a bigger room to attract it's attention, somewhere around 7".