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Where is that….? Ever been out or even just preparing for a fishing trip and wondered where certain essential items were? You know you had it/them but the exact location eludes you. The solution; organization! Because when the bass or crappie or others are biting you don’t want to waste time turning the tackle boxes upside down to find the hook, sinker, leadhead or the correct bait to fool the target fish of the day. I got tired of digging through tackle box trays, endless packs and scrounging through interlocked hooks to find the exact item I was sure would be the most effective for catching my limit or a lunker. The frustrating on board search for the best bait can be eliminated. During winter or rainy days it’s an excellent time to inventory, organize and replenish those pesky mini to magnum tackle boxes. It starts with accessories, goes to various categories of lures and even get species specific. (I’m so OCD I do all three.) I even have back up boxes.

I have a passion for bass, not just any bass but BIG bass. My confidence level rises with “feel” type baits, soft plastic worms, craws, tubes and jigs all fit the category. I already know colors and sizes that have delivered the trophy fish and will likely not stray away from that list. Packs of plastics and pre-trimmed jigs, worm style hooks and any other additional necessities are all arranged to be easily identified and accessible almost immediately. Hooks have all been sharpened with a small diamond file and placed in a well-marked tray to eliminate any confusion. Likewise slip sinkers, beads and “hitchhikers” are all there for the always popular Texas rig. The plastic boxes range in size to fit the capacity of the items I deem necessary for that day’s trip.

When I’m crappie or bluegill fishing 90% of the time small soft plastic tubes are tied to the end of my line. I’m using a 6 ½ foot open face spinning outfit spooled with four pound test and then depending on the wind I choose the leadhead that makes the bait castable, allows for the size tube and gives the best cation and drop speed for the conditions. Clear water, no wind 1/16th ounce leadhead, slight breeze (and most often) it’s a 1/8th ounce head, windy weather calls for a ¼ ounce model for casting and contact with the bait. In various colors of water I might choose a painted head, normally it’s the standard unpainted lead look. Again the multi-compartment box allows for easy selection of the lead and also the baits. Normally for me three weights of heads and a half dozen colors rest under the seat of the kayak. For accessory boxes I even tape the lead weights and or hook sizes to the back of the tackle box tray.

The bass boxes get a little more complicated. The previously mentioned jig box is a given, another small 12 tray box is split between topwater plugs and crankbaits. Skirted baits like spinnerbaits and buzzers also deserve their own box. A super producer bait or color is always present with a redundant model. For soft plastics I carry a days supply plus 25% so I won’t be caught shorthanded but also as to not be overloaded. I will move baits in and out of my regular boxes but refuse to carry tons of tackle. Three one sided tackle boxes (Plano #3600) and packs of proven plastic are my constant kayak companions. Back up boxes are stored in my “tackle room.” These are larger versions of the kayak carry on boxes. Visible inventory levels are monitored to keep a healthy number (don’t ask) of “go to” lures on hand. I maintain insane amounts of all-time favorite colors in case they are discontinued or the company goes under.

If I go pond hopping or make a quick trip I go with one tiny tackle organizer knowing I’ll probably only be using three or four lures, possibly one rod no more than two. I allow myself a backpack occasionally to hold a spool of line, pliers, a small bottle of water and a few other items.

With a little time and effort you can “tame” your tackle and achieve the ultimate organization.