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It is easy to overthink tournament day. It is just as easy to transform a kayak into a floating tackle box to make room for my overthought. I’ve been there on multiple occasions. I never know if there will be a frog bite in January. Heck, I might even have to dredge up a fattie with that DT22 – forget I’m in a creek with an average depth of a foot.

Confidence is key on tourney day. I use the K.I.S.S. (Keep it Simple Stupid) principal and only take the baits I have solid confidence in. It is important to fish to individual strengths on tourney day. If you like a trick worm, fish it. If you like a square bill, crank it. If you like a spinnerbait, do what you do with it. Does this mean that I will always catch fish on my confidence bait? Of course not. But if I have one or two different presentations for various depths – that I feel confident in – I have a great chance of putting up a solid total.

I always have a separate box for my crankbaits and spinnerbaits and they come along with me on every tournament day. My spinnerbait box includes buzz baits and chatterbaits while my crankbait box will include other topwaters that I have confidence in. I do not carry a wide variety of pastics. My plastics do, however, include 412 Free Minnows, Free Worms, Grubs, and Small Jaw Craws. I will keep any extra weights and hooks directly in those soft plastic bags. My soft plastics then are stored in a mesh bag hanging on the back of my Jackson Kayak Elite Seat. So there you go, two boxes and a mesh bag with a few plastics and terminal tackle. I leave the JKrate in the truck or else the 9″ swimbait that I’ve never caught a fish on will catch my mind.

While my system will not work for everyone; it is a system that works for me. Find the one that works for you. However, if you have no hope of using particular tackle, don’t take it. It will only get in the way – both physically and mentally. A cluttered deck is evidence of a cluttered mind.