Are You A Fishing Tackle “Addict”?
Many years ago I bought my first tacklebox and filled it with a small assortment of baits, hooks and other items such as pliers, clippers and extra fishing line. My topwater lures consisted of a Zara Spook, Jitterbug, Lucky 13, and a Pop-R. I had a few black and brown jigs and Uncle Josh pork rind trailers to attach to the jig hook for added attraction. (You always needed to have a cup of water in the boat to place the jig-n-pork to make sure the pork didn’t dry out). My selection of plastic worms was also quite simple. My collection consisted of a few black, motor oil and purple; some big, some small, some with curly tails and some with just plain ol’ straight tails.
Hook selection was also easy. I just carried a few Tru-Turn hooks in small and large sizes. Toss in a couple of Rat-L-Traps, a Bomber Model A, and a few spinnerbaits (usually white, yellow or black) and you were ready for a days fishing. I even had room in the tacklebox for some sun screen lotion, a sandwich and a hand-towel.
Fishing was easy back then and the bass seemed to really like most of the baits in my box. Those baits that didn’t produce just didn’t make it back out for the next fishing trip.
Life was simple.
Over the years I noticed that my need for new and different baits started reaching an addiction and pretty soon I had a few plastic wash tubs lining the floor in my garage and each was filled with plastic baits. All the baits were tucked away in Ziploc bags and labeled properly so I could get to what I needed with no problem. My small tacklebox was replaced by two tackleboxes, followed by an assortment of big tackleboxes and then a collection of large heavy duty tackle bags that held a vast assortment of plastic boxes. Each of these boxes was loaded with a colorful assortment of plastic worms. I had every type of worm produced, in multiple sizes and yes … all of the colors of the rainbow.
The large plastic tubs of worms in my garage multiplied like rabbits and in no time I had to move the lawn mower and garden tools out to make more room for tubs. I prided myself in leaving no stone unturned as I continued to build my plastic worm collection.
What I failed to mention is that while the collection of plastic worms was growing my addiction for other types of fishing baits was also reaching a boiling stage. Pretty soon my wall was covered with peg boards and one board would have crankbaits, one would display spinnerbaits, topwater baits filled another board, jigs of all types and sizes were on another board and various types of hooks, jigging spoons, lead-heads and deep-diving baits. A pegboard on the ceiling had all of my Alabama Rigs hanging down like beautiful Christmas tree ornaments. I even moved my wife’s pickup truck out of the garage to make more room for peg boards and tubs.
Having all of these baits within easy reach made me sleep better at night but there was a problem. How do I take the proper baits out in the boat with me? The answer to this was simple … buy more plastic boxes and Ziploc bags. In no time at all I had more plastic worms in my boat than Academy has on their walls and when I added all of the other stuff my boat set about 14-inches deeper in the water. Who cares if the boat struggles out of the hole … the issue is having the right bait when I need it!
Well all of that sounded pretty good but as I was fishing I had trouble quickly finding the color and size of the worm I wanted to use. The solution … label more Ziploc bags and use some of those notebook rings to keep specific colors and sizes together. The plan was finally starting to come together.
Then I started having problems with not having the right crankbait or spinnerbait size or color in my plastic boxes. I carried about 2500 baits but it seemed like I just never did have that key color in the boat. That color was always hanging on the garage wall. No real problem here, I just purchased more plastic boxes and soft-sided bags to stock additional stuff in the boat.
By now all of the front and rear compartments were full of baits and the boat set another 8-inches deeper in the water. I did manage to leave enough room in the boat for two lifejackets and my raingear. Now things were really getting good!
Somewhere in all of this addiction I realized that I didn’t have the proper rods, reels and line to use many of the baits I was carrying so I purchased many more of these items than I had planned. A quick inventory showed 16 freshwater baitcasting rod and reels, 14 rods with open bail reels, 12 heavy-duty rods with reels that were loaded with braided line and 10 combo’s that were designed to specifically fish topwaters, crankbaits and jerkbaits. Those were the ones in the garage .. There were about 20 of various types in the boat rod storage compartment. How did this get so out of hand!
It was about this time that I started carrying a large plastic bag that was strictly for those baits I expected to fish that day. This would obviously keep me from having to look through all of my Ziploc bags and boxes in the boat if I was in a hurry to change lures. What a great idea! A few trips later I realized that now I had 13 of those carry-on plastic bags, and it was obvious that I would probably be bringing more with me each time I went fishing.
By now my boat was sitting dangerously low in the water and it was time for a change. This addiction to massive amounts of baits, boxes and bags was sinking my boat!
I have to admit that the disposal of many of these baits was not only difficult but extremely painful. I had a tear in my eye at more than one of our garage sales as I watched some of my prized possessions depart with a new owner. Times were tough but I needed to have courage and stay the course.
Well to make a long story short, my life has changed drastically since I have eliminated all of the excess fishing “baggage” from my garage and boat. My lawn mower and garden tools regained their proper place in the garage and my boat doesn’t need the two hydrofoils and a special 6-bladed prop to get up on plane. My wife is even talking to me again since I moved her truck back in the garage.
Recently I even started a new program similar to the AAA called BLB (Buy Less Baits) that has been very helpful to other unfortunate anglers that are trying to eliminate their addiction to collecting fishing equipment.
I now carry all of my fishing tackle in one tacklebox; in fact it is the same one that I started out with years ago. I seem to have everything in it that I really need to catch fish. Life is so simple!
Good Fishing JB
Each night before you go to bed, pray to God and be thankful for what you accomplished today – and will accomplish tomorrow!