By Marc Rogers
Whether fishing a tournament or enjoying a relaxing day on the water anglers always seem to run out of time to catch fish. Even when catching many fish throughout the day we always seem to want a few more minutes of fishing when it is time to call it a day. There are countless ways to add more time to your fishing day without exceeding your fishing time according to your watch.
Being prepared is the key to adding more fishing time. Simple things like having the boat organized for launching when you get to the ramp and having all of your tackle inside the boat and organized will make a difference. If you do not fish from a boat, having your tackle organized inside your boxes will also make a difference.
When returning home from an outing many anglers put their boat away in the condition is was in at the end of the day. Tackle laying on the deck and floor, rods with backlashed reels and lures in the wrong boxes and are common. This creates lost fishing time during the next outing if not corrected before leaving home. By cleaning up the mess and properly storing your tackle, you could add several minutes onto you next trip. Remove those rods and reels that need line, cleaning or repair and get it completed before needing them next time.
Make sure your rods are clearly marked to indicate the length and action. Many rods look alike when in a rod locker and time is wasted when searching for the one you need for that certain application. Most rods have markings on them but some are difficult to read unless removed from your rod locker. Develop a color or number system to help identify your tackle at a glance.
Several manufacturers of fishing line provide small removable stickers to place on your tackle to indicate line size you have on a reel. Use them, or acquire something similar, and keep them updated each time you change line. This allows you to match your line weight with the lures you are presenting without having to guess what line you have on your reel.
There is no one size fits all when it comes to organizing tackle. Depending on how an angler spends most of his/her time fishing is a good indication on what may fit best. However, seldom do anglers need to take all of their tackle on every trip. Season and conditions will dictate what tackle is most effective and what is not necessary. Therefore, I have found storing tackle in the flat storage boxes like the Plano 3600 and 3700 series best meet my needs. They are versatile and easily marked on the outside to reveal the contents at a quick glance. Individual boxes for each category of lures you carry are ideal for most anglers.
In addition, these styles of boxes are convenient to store in boat lockers as well as carry in bags made for their size. The bags make it easy to transfer tackle to another angler’s boat. Bags also make it easy to take the necessary tackle for an outing where a boat is not used. Bags are not always a good way to store tackle in a boat locker as the bag takes up valuable space. When storing in a boat locker I have found it is best to store the boxes individually in the lockers.
Mark on the outside of the boxes using a permanent marker on tags or masking tape on at least two edges and the lid. This makes the markings easy to read regardless of how they are stored. The tags or tape makes it easy to change labels if necessary.
Similar organizing application for all items used when fishing also pays big dividends. Smaller bags and containers are best with similar items stored together. It makes is easy to find what you are looking for quickly leaving more time for you to keep a lure in the water.