Getting ready for the season

By Bob and Ginny Riege

Every year it seems manufacturers come out with new tackle boxes that look to place to combine all the new and old designs in one box. How long did it take tackle boxes to reflect that large musky baits should be stored vertically rather than horizontally? How long did it take them to figure out plastic worms and grubs, when put in a box, have a tendency to melt and run together?

Most of the tackle box companies do reflect the needs of the anglers today. Tackle boxes come in all sizes and shapes and provide function with stylish design. Plano and Flambeau products have come up with box designs that you can add more boxes to and take away others. When I am fishing for crappies I want to take two boxes of jigs, but I don’t want to take along all my crankbaits, especially my musky ones. I can slide out my box that has all the crankbaits and put in my boxes that have all the crappie jigs.

These smaller clear finished boxes make the identification of their contents easy and quick when you have to select in a hurry. They also make sense because you don’t have to have that old box like your dad’s. It weighed about 50 pounds and when you opened it, it grew in length and height so it took up the entire span of the floor between the seats. All the tackle dad and you had purchased over the years was in that box. Some of it was in need of repair, but it still had a place in the box next to all the other tackle.

When getting ready for this fishing season, spend some time going through your tackle box. Maybe it is time to get a new box. Check all the compartments and remove all the lures and set them aside so you can wipe out the box itself and let it dry. Don’t use chemicals or industrial cleaners, a damp rag will clean up most of the plastic boxes that have been out there for over 20 years. Inspect your baits and lures. Do they need to have new hooks put on them? How sharp are those hooks? Now is the time to touch them up with a file and get them sharp for the upcoming season.

You might be surprised to discover an old candy bar you put in there last August before you went on a trip. This is the time to discard those items you know you will not need or use. A good friend of mine always said, “In order to be successful on the water you have to spend some time in the garage.” That is very true and it not only pertains to your tackle box put also your vehicle.

One item that I use extensively that makes my life easier and is the plastic tubes or boxes that are put out by Rubbermaid. They are constructed of heavy-duty plastic that can be use in a variety of ways.

Inside one these boxes I carry spare line and reels. I might get to the lake and discover I forgot to change reels for the conditions I am fishing so I can just step to my truck and select a reel or line.

Inside another box I will carry all my unused crankbait, jigs, live bait, plastics that I don’t have in my current boxes in the boat. I might also in another box carry my rope, duct tape, pliers, tools etc. The boxes are arranged in the topper bed of my truck so when I go fishing I have all these things at my fingertips.

Organization and knowledge of where items are at either in your tackle boxes, boat or vehicle will improve your success this year. As I prepare for the season I think of what it is like to prepare my taxes and how organized I have to be. The only trouble is I know where my fishing equipment is, but I have misplaced the receipt to those crankbaits I bought last August with that candy bar.

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