This blog may sound a little like advice for newbies (and maybe it is!), but on the other hand, it never hurts to think about ways to make your fishing more efficient. When you’re out on the lake and you realize you need to change bait or hook or add weight or retie a swivel … it really helps to have what you need at hand.
That’s why taking a minute or two to think about organizing your tackle box can help you be ready and be able to make quick changes to land the big one.
Almost every avid fisherman has some kind of tackle box or bag: a place to store all your fishing gear in one handy place. Most of those boxes contain adjustable dividers that enable you to make the internal boxes larger or smaller as needed.
The first tip that most anglers use is to organize your artificial baits according to species. For example, you should put all your crankbaits for largemouth bass into one compartment. Minnowbaits go in another compartment, and topwaters in a third. When you are out fishing and you want to change your bait to go after the species that is biting that day, you’ll have all your baits at your fingertips, ready to go.
Isolate your soft baits. Most experienced anglers will keep all their soft baits in the original bag. There is a reason for this.
One: the various inks used to color these baits can run, and if you keep a red worm in a container with a yellow worm, the colors can run together. And that makes them less effective with your target fish!
Two: those colors are created by chemicals that can actually eat away at the paint used on jig bait and your other lures if they come in contact when stored in a tackle box. Also not good.
So store your soft baits by colors and keep them safely stored away from contact with your other gear.
Use the smaller compartments in your tackle box to hold smaller gear: weights, swivels, hooks of different sizes, floats and other stuff should all be stored in individual compartments so you can quickly and easily find them when you need them. Don’t let these essential items cross pollinate! Keep them in their own boxes.
A place for everything and everything in its place. You need to carry (and therefore, store) things like extra line, scissors and utility pliers and cutters, de-hookers and other tools.
The old timers out on the lake will usually invest in some smaller, clear-top plastic boxes to hold the gear they’ll need for that day’s fishing, keeping the other stuff at home or in the trunk of the car in a larger tackle box. Look at some of the boxes made by Plano, Bass Mafia, Flambeau and Gamakatsu at your favorite outdoor store: they come in all shapes and sizes, waterproof and not, and in different colors.
Most of these boxes feature locking tops, so that your fishing gear won’t tumble out onto the deck if it tips over.
And always remember to open the boxes and let the gear dry out after an outing on the lake: all those hooks and other metal parts will rust if left in damp conditions.