When you watch a very experienced angler closely, you will we see the choice of lures they stick with. They only carry a few small boxes in a bag filled with lures that they know will produce for them in a set of conditions they might encounter.
Not all of the anglers you encounter are like that, a lot of us are guilty of taking more than what we need for a days worth of fishing – however, this seems to be something common with the ones that know what they’re doing – they don’t take a lot of lures with them on their fishing trips. Even the fishing guides themselves will only have a handful of lures they use day in and day out – they might have a lot of them, but they stick with only a small variety of lures. For example, you will see about 5 lures they stick with, but they might have about half a dozen of these lures – and they only have about three or so colors of these lures, not the full range. Mind you, these are professionals that earn a living from fishing.
There are exceptions to the rule, as we see with the case of bass angler that have to prepare and adapt to the tiniest of changes, and the fact that you need to stay on top of the competition, there is a need for them to have everything they can comfortably carry on their boat (which is mostly almost a tackle sop worth of lures and rods). However, there is really no need to take a whole tackleshop with you for a weekend’s worth of fishing. Although I’m pretty sure that many of us tend to overlook the fact that we take too much gear with us when we fish. Think about this: do you ever recall a day when you needed to throw everything you had to catch a fish?
Needless to say, we have to accept the fact that we must carry all that we can to give us a better chance of catching fish and with that, we need a storage system that fits our needs.
Dealing with the Clutter
To organize things, you will need a few boxes. There are a lot out there and after looking for a brand that suits me, I settled for the Flambeau Tuff Tainer with Zerust.
These containers are waterproof and rust proof so I don’t have to worry about my hooks rusting out. I have been using these boxes for quite a while now and I keep adding more because they make a lot of sense to me – as for the Zerust, I still make sure to dry out the lures before putting them back in the box, but so far, I have had lures on there that have been rust free for more than a year of exposure in saltwater.
I have been doing a lot of shore fishing lately and have been using what the Japanese call a “floating fishing vest” it’s quite a departure from the traditional fishing vest as these vests are more like tactical fishing vests – they are life vests with big pockets on them and a few accessory holders in the sides, mine has a lip grip holder as well as a holster for my pliers. Everything I need is basically just a pocket away and are always easy to access. These Flambeau boxes fit perfectly in the main pockets and as a bonus, I can fit two long slim ones (Tuff Tainer 3000 size) inside the main pockets. Two of the 4000 or one 5000 series fits the back of the vest. In total, I can carry up to four small boxes (3000 size) and two 4000s, this equates to almost the convenience of a small tackle shop – If I choose to go that way.
I mostly go with a small box filled with different weights and makes of metal jigs, a box to hold split rings, snaps, extra treble hooks, single hooks, assist hooks and all other small hardware, one box of plugs and one box of soft plastics. If I am walking a long stretch of beach, I carry a few spares in two bigger boxes stored in the back of the vest.
It might sound a lot of things to carry, but when the boxes are in the vest pockets, you don’t even think of them anymore. Although it takes some juggling, you eventually settle to a set of lures that you are very comfortable with and a handful that produce well for you.
I change lures a lot to find what works in a particular area and carrying as much as I could has continually proven to be a formula that works – at least for me. A very good example was when a friend invited a few of us over to fish in his backyard in the Palm Jumierah one afternoon. I was happily casting a small jig for queenfish and spangled emperors when I noticed there was a boil not too far from where I was standing, I ran over to the boil and started casting my jig, I didn’t know what they were as they were a bit of a distance away from shore, I kept on casting and was not getting bit. If I didn’t have good selection of lures on me, I would have been forced to run back to my tackle box and take some lures, run back to the boil and cast again, losing the window for a hook up within the timespan. Of all the lures that would interest them, one finally took a pink bucktail jig I had in one of the boxes.
How I avoid carrying everything in the vest is an investment of a few of those boxes, I don’t need to label them because I can clearly see what I have inside them. I basically fill the boxes according to what type of fishing I would be doing in the weekend and replace the boxes in the vest accordingly – I ended up with a very flexible modular system centered on the fishing vest. All the boxes are loaded in the car and I take only what I need (or think I need) for the fishing ahead.
Till next high tide,
Words + Photos by: Kit Belen