Does this scenario sound familiar? You’re leaving early in the morning to spend the day fishing a lake that you have never fished before but have heard the bass are biting really well. Dinner is over, you’ve appeased your wife for your up coming absence by doing the dishes and now you are going to spend some quality time with your fishing lures. Four hours, three restarts and six tackle boxes later you think that you are ready.
Too many people bring too many lures with them when they fish. This doesn’t have to happen. If you change your thinking a bit and go back to some fishing basics you can avoid overpacking for your next days outing.
Start by remembering a couple of important facts.
First: there are more lures available to catch people who fish then there are to catch fish. They looked great in the underwater pictures, the theories on how they worked and what they imitated made a lot of sense and in all the years you’ve have them you have never caught a single fish with them. Why do you still insist on taking them with you every time you go fishing? Take these lures out of your tackle box and store them. The idea is not to bring lures that you are not going to use.
Second: and this is true for whatever water that you are fishing. The fish are going to be in three places. They are going to be shallow, deep, or somewhere in between. Keeping this in mind when you choose your tackle will always ensure that you have the right lures with you to fish different situations. The ideal lures to pack in a tackle box are the ones that can be used in more then one type of given situation. Spinner baits are good example. By varying the speed of retrieve the bait it can be fished effectively at any depth. They can be buzzed just below the surface or slow rolled along the bottom contours. Spinner baits also make very productive jigs. Let the lure sink to the bottom. lift your rod tip about eight inches and let the bait fall following it with your rod so you can feel the blades turning. Most strikes occur on the drop. When you don’t feel your blades turning, set the hook hard.
Soft plastic jerk baits such as those made by Bass Assassin are great versatile lures to have in your tackle box. They can be swam, jigged or crawled in addition to working as twitch baits. These lures have also proven to be deadly when used on a Carolina or a split shot rig, With the hook buried in the lure they can be fished as a skitter bait worked over the top of grass or lily pads. This is another type of lure that has enough different applications to help you lighten your tackle load.
Along with using one type of lure for different situations, you might try gearing the tackle you bring to the body of water that you will be fishing. For example: you’re going to fish a sixty acre pond that has a maximum depth of seven feet in the middle. How much pig and jig are you going to be throwing? Do you really need to have deep diving crankbaits with you? Keep one tackle box set up just for shallow ponds. You can also set-up smaller utility style boxes for different lure types and just bring the ones that you need with you when you’re out on the water.
Lure color is another area that causes anglers to overload. The color debate has gone on for years and will no doubt go on for many more. Even if you are the most ardent believer in color importance, I’d still be willing to bet, you have too many colors in your tackle box. stick to the colors that you have confidence in and put away all the colors that you’ve never caught a fish on but keep with you just in case. Better yet, try this rule of thumb, murky or stained water dark colors, clear water brighter colors. This system does work. You can also keep your color selection for skirted baits and still limit the amount that you bring. Instead of packing a ton of each type of skirted baits just bring a few of the styles you use and carry extra skirs in different colors. You can change color whenever you want and skirts take up less room than all of those baits. With these ideas in mind sort through your tackle boxes again. By limiting the amount of tackle you bring will save you grief and aggravation so that the next time you’re done with dinner you will have enough time to take your wife and kids out for dessert. Who knows you might get permission to take the fishing trip you’ve always wanted. If you do, have fun packing.