by Stetson Blaylock, Professional Angler
This article originally appeared at FLWFishing.com. FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization.
The No. 1 key to fishing tackle organization is your tackle box. Bass Mafia has the best options for me, and the company’s boxes are the most durable and the best at keeping it all together in a certain little spot. Sinkers, beads, rattles and little swivels are hard to keep up with, but the Bait Coffin has so many little dividers that you aren’t taking up a great big space with just a bunch of little bitty swivels. It’s also nice because I don’t have to worry about tackle spilling if the box flips upside down. Whatever happens to that box, I know that everything is going to stay right where it’s supposed to be.
Keeping it the way you want it can be the tricky part. I get in there and check it pretty often. The way I have it, it’s easy to see what you have and check the quantities. All my sinkers are labeled, and my hook box is the same way. I don’t necessarily have my hook sizes labeled, but I have all the different styles labeled.
I’ve had a lot better luck keeping my hooks from rusting by keeping them in a little tiny Ziploc that is just big enough for the hooks. Then it’s watertight, and you can add hooks to it or remove hooks from it. To me, it’s a whole lot better then having them just loose in a plastic box. If you drop the box and spill it and hooks go everywhere you have to sort it all out. Having them bagged up eliminates that totally.
With those Bass Mafia boxes, the only way any water gets in is if you leave the lid open in the rain, and if that happened I’d take everything out and let it air out. If I have a hook that I’ve used all day and have worn the finish off, I never put it back in the box because I know it will want to rust the other hooks. If I do decide to put a hook back in the box, I always let it sit out in a safe place to dry completely first.
I don’t want to be on the water and forget something, and I want everything to be there when I need it. If I don’t have enough of something or I’m running low on something I either make a note of it on my phone to order it or just order it right there on the water so I never run out.
If you’re interested in learning more about bass fishing or want to find opportunities to fish with students your age, check out the Student Angler Federation’s High School Fishing program. High School Fishing is a club-based competitive fishing program where students can compete locally and qualify for regional and national championships. Learn more at HighSchoolFishing.org.