Probably the biggest battle I seem to fight on a weekly basis is how to stay organized enough to be able to find what I need, when I need it. I have endless trays of lures, hooks, sinkers, jigs, line, paint – as well as all the other countless fishing necessities. It’s a conundrum I think most anglers experience.
I’ve tried to approach this problem from several different avenues over the last few decades with limited success. In the beginning, I sorted my lures by type, such as topwater, casting and ripping, diving, jigs and finally spoons. That worked until the umbrella rig craze hit and then I had to add whole tray systems to my collection so I could have somewhere to put all the plastic bodies. Add in all the connectors, swivels and jig heads for each rig and you’ve taken your once-simple tackle plan to another quantum level of complexity!
A couple years after that, the swimbait craze hit. It’s still going, and I can tell you that adding all kinds of “new and improved” swimbaits every six months or so has been a real investment of cash and storage units. There are small-, medium- and monster-sized swimbaits, and each model usually comes in hitch, sexy shad, trout or gizzard shad colors, to name a few. I’ve got some small swimbaits that go for $20 but a bunch that go from $40 to $140 for the bigger, special Swave models. This whole spectrum of big lures screwed up my system with oversized lures that don’t fit in a normal-size tray. These babies need to lie flat so their fins don’t get twisted, and so they need their own special carrier systems! This put me at over 25 trays – of just my good stuff! Ouch!
With that much going on, there’s a real danger of becoming “over-tackle-ized.” I’ve found that the true test of fishing system organization is to have an epic topwater bite break out with massive fish chasing bait all around you. If you freeze because you can’t find the topwater plugs in the mess, it’s a fail.
So there I am sitting in my boat surrounded by mounds of trays when it hits me: I don’t have an organizational problem. I have a voice-in-my-head problem, the one that feels the need to take along every lure possible, just in case! I combat “over-tackle” before the trip by pulling out the key trays I suspect will be the hot ones, as well as some emergency lures.
Of course, sometimes that voice in my head is right and I should have brought a particular lure that “he” argued for. I’ve learned that it’s OK to let “him” sneak in a few extra lures, ones he can’t part with. Comfort lures keep the tantrums down.
The internal battle for control continues. Organized … no! More peace … yes! Negotiations work that way.
Never give up!