Disappointing Catches in 2013? Organize Your Tackle Now for 2014!

Disappointing Catches in 2013? Organize Your Tackle Now for 2014!

Organize Your Tackle for Success

Organize Fishing Tackle - Old Tackle Box

If you have had a difficult year fishing, or a great one, preparing your gear for next season can start even in early Fall! Preparation is one of the keys to success. For the World Championships this September in Italy, I worked for 14 hours a day practicing and getting ready to fish - proving that you can never have enough preparation.I also learned that if you leave getting ready to the time leading up to fishing - you will run out of time. Why let Fall and Winter pass before getting ready to have a great 2012 fishing season? I had some epic battles - including taking on the entire world in this years' World Fishing Championships over in Italy, representing Team USA! While you might have stayed in your home town to fish, you might have had some epic battles as well. In the heat of battle, running form a rain storm or rushing to re-rig after breaking off, you should find some clean up of last year's gear is necessary. After teaching fishing classes, competing in regional qualifiers and taking a trip to Italy - I changed fishing gear so often, I have little pockets of used rigs, old leaders, broken floats in need or repair hidden throughout my tackle boxes like pirate treasure. Jack Sparrow (Sorry Captain Jack Sparrow) would probably be working to find a map to all all of this fishing treasure as we speak.

After limiting out on Rainbow trout outside of Chicago a couple of times, my season has wound down with some cold Chicago winds letting me know - it is time. Time to ready the gear for winter storage. One of the keys to success in fishing is organization and preparation. If you take the time to get organized, clean up your gear and separate it into easy-to-find labeled containers you will catch more fish.

This is a math equation everyone can understand. Subtract the time you spend finding things or the time you spend digging through gear before and during fishing from the time you fish and you have your "wasted time ratio". Wasted time is any little bit of time where you aren't catching fish. For some simple labels and organized containers will increase your catch. For other anglers, you might need a massive overhaul of your storage system. In either case- the time you spend in your tackle and on your tackle this Winter will mean you are spending less time this Spring in rigging up, getting ready or finding gear. You will catch more fish.

If you don't believe me - take a look at what you caught this season. Think back to the times when you had fish around you but you couldn't get them to bite. You might have been getting things out of bags, tackle boxes or forgetting tackle at home while others were catching fish. Make a vow to be ready. The more thorough you can get ready this Fall - the more time you will spend hooking and playing fish. Simple.

Organize Your Tackle with a bag and small tackle boxes
Organize Your Fishing Tackle to Catch More Fish - it's that simple[

Keys to getting your tackle into Black Ops readiness - meaning you are prepared to go on fishing missions and for any fishing scenario are easy. Separate, categorize, ready, label and organize by water, species or condition. Seasons change, conditions change and active species change. Your fishing missions might vary through the year and your gear needs to match your fishing needs. I focus on live bait tackle and organizing this but you can apply this to lures as well. After reading these tips, your goal will be to make an organized stack of mini boxes that you can stack in a bag, giving you quick easy-to-understand access to all your fishing gear. The finished tackle next season should look something like this:

Note the boxes stacked neatly inside that bag. Instead of a jumble of gear- you have little tactical boxes which are very organized. While you don't have to purchase a brand-name bag, the bag pictured is a Guide-Series bag and is a great choice. Ask your local tackle dealer about stocking some sort of bag like this is you are curious. For fishing around Chicago - this is great for me. I can pack by species, weather condition, lake type (or river) and by the mission I am going on.

Divide Fishing Gear

In fishing tackle - sometimes smaller is better. Lighter is better and intelligent organization will serve you well! Smaller, portable containers with [dividers] are your friend here. If these dividers are moveable, customizable - this is even better. I like the clear plastic storage containers which can be stacked. There are dividers in these that allow for changing the length of the compartments. This allows me to store different sized floats, hooks, weights and tackle by size or purpose. For example, I have one box that is dedicated to fine, small floats for close range. These floats are separated by size and shape. I have another box with casting floats for medium range and yet another thin, smaller box for long-range and windy day float fishing for the larger floats. I also have tactical packs for when certain conditions seem calm where I am fishing short range which contain a mix of floats. This is a survival tactic which allows me to have a few of everything on hand, yet I don't have large boxes of floats and tackle I WON'T use on a certain lake. Why should I carry the moving water floats and tackle for a river when I am on a still lake - as just one example. Big tip for any fishing outing - check your 12 - hour wind forecast via a weather website.

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