Be Kind to Yourself: Stay Organized

Shallow-running Crankbait Box


When I was younger, I used to laugh at how organized my Father was.  He had storage bags, dufflebags, cases, labels, and everything had it’s place so he knew exactly where to go to get it.  The apple didn’t fall far from the tree and I can’t stand clutter or not knowing where something is whenever I need it.

We’ve all probably seen it; whether with keys, scissors, pliers, salt and pepper, or your “go-to” favorite lure, things can be misplaced.  With a little planning and preparation, it doesn’t have to be that way.  Like with anything, though, you have to make a conscious effort to find out what works for you and stick to it.

I’ll break this down:  Suppose you’re in a tournament and you spend ten seconds trying to locate a certain bait you want to tie on.  If you do that six times per fishing trip, that’s one minute.  When time is money, it’s costly.  Lets say you’re not in a tournament and you’re in that same position, that means more time your bait is in the water and an increased chance of getting bit.

Tackle management is a very personal thing.  What works for me may not work for others, but, I’m hoping to maybe provide my readers with some inspiration and ideas that they can run with.



This past year I picked up a Cabela’s Advanced Angler tackle bag that holds 12 Plano 3700-series utility boxes and has storage for just about everything you can think of.  With these adjustable boxes, you can tailor them to fit your needs.  It took awhile to really figure out what I wanted to do but I made my mind up and put it to the test.

Plano (Cabela's) 3700 Series Utility Box
Plano (Cabela’s) 3700 Series Utility Box

First, I’ll start with my crankbait system.  My crankbaits consist of shallow runners, medium runners, deep runners, and lipless crankbaits.  They’re all from the same company but I have a variety of colors for a variety of situations.  Originally I used one box per color of lure.  I had one box for Sexy Shad, one box for Green Gizzard Shad, so on and so forth.  I realized, though, that there was a lot of wasted space for what I was carrying around.  I had one crankbait in each partition within the box and while it looked neat and clean, I knew I could do better.  This was so easy to pick out the color I wanted and I knew exactly what series of crankabit and how deep they would run just by picking one out of the box.  But I compromised conciseness for capacity.

Now, I decided to dedicate one box to shallow running crankbaits, one to deep crankbaits, and another one with lipless and jerkbait.  This freed up a lot of room for other boxes that include spinnerbaits, topwater, terminal tackle, jigs, and plastics.

Another thing I wanted to do is to take the guess-work out of what box I wanted to find.  I bought a label maker and made good use out of it.  I slapped a label on each box in an easy-to-read position with bright colorful tape that would catch my attention.

Everything is labeled

Being a self proclaimed “techy”, I employed the use of technology to help me out.  I took photos of my crankbait boxes to know exactly what series of crankbait I have and how deep they would run.  All of my colors are mixed in providing a look I like to call, “organized chaos”.  But if there is any guessing as to what I’m throwing, I have a couple guides to help me out on my phone that’s always at my disposal.

Before you head out on the water next time, take an hour or two to think about what you can do in order to make things easier on yourself.  What do you have to lose?  I can assure you, it won’t be time that is lost.  So until next time….thanks for looking and be safe out there!

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