Picture this- you’re out in the middle of the lake. You see a shift in the water, it rumbles as it disturbs the calm water around it. Something is beneath the surface. You open your tackle box and reach for a lure, it’s not in there. You reach for bait, that’s missing too. There isn’t even a hook in sight. A giant splash trails off into the distance. Looks like you’re just enjoying the scenery today.
Your fishing tackle box should be stocked up and waiting for you to grab it and go. Tackle boxes are sturdy and can handle all the necessities for a great fishing trip. Don’t worry about the excess items. If your goal is to catch some big fish, then you need to be prepared!
There are so many things to think about when packing for a fishing trip. Do we have enough ice to store the fish? Enough water? Food? Where did I put my fishing rod? What will the weather be like? The point is, you can’t always keep track of the little but important things, like bait. Adding the essentials into your box ensures you don’t have to remember to pack them and you will always be prepared for a great fishing day. Here are 15 essential items to keep in your fishing tackle box so you can grab it and hop on your boat without leaving anything behind.
1. Extra Bait/ Lures- As you may know, lures are very colorful and look like a fish’s normal diet, thus lure the fish closer to you. Live bait will dangle and attract hungry fish looking for an easy meal. You will want to use bait when the water is darker and colder, while fish living in brighter, more clear and warm water will respond better to colorful lures. There are several types of lures and bait. You can bring along live and dead bait, spoons, jigs, and even flies. The best lure to bring depends on the type of fish you are looking to catch. You won’t be fishing in the same lake every time, so it is best to carry different kinds of lure and bait in your tackle box, that way you can switch it up and be prepared even in unfamiliar waters.
2. Bobbers- If you have trouble catching fish, bobbers can help you out. By keeping the bait above the bottom of the floor, it will help to avoid getting stuck in plants, leaving more time to catch those fish. Bobbers also help the bait float along the current, making it look like natural bait swimming through the water and tricking the fish to coming over for a bite. Bobbers are great to bring out on windy days because they can eliminate the bounce in the bait from the waves. They can also help you identify a nibble much easier since the bobber will flat out sink when it has a bite.
3. Weights- Keep a couple of weights in your tackle box for when you want to hold down the line and go deeper into the water. This can help you catch those bigger fish that like to dwell deep beneath the surface.
4. Knife/Scissors- Having something to cut the line is definitely needed. Whether you want to bring a pocket knife, scissors or anything else, having a sharp blade can always come in handy when fishing. You never know when you’re going to need it.
5. Extra line- This is a must! You never really know how much line you will use or when you need to replace it. Line easily gets tangled, but it can also be in bad shape, needs to be cut due to a fish, or have knots. Sometimes the line is just old and needs to be changed. The type of line you want to bring along also depends on the environment you will be fishing in. Always keep a spool of fishing line handy for rough waters as well as calm waters and you will never have to worry about running out of line again.
6. Hooks- I constantly use and lose hooks, and I am sure you do too. You will want to pack different sized hooks, so you’ll be ready to catch bass, walleye, or even a shark. Look at the bait and lures you have in your tackle box to determine what hooks you want to bring along with it. Using live bait? A Circle hook might be best for you to bring along; however, if you are using lures you might want to pack a couple Siwash hooks.
7. Snacks- Fishermen get hungry! Make sure to keep some snacks in your tackle box that will give you energy and won’t spoil easy. Beef jerky or trail mix are great options to keep inside your tackle box that will stay good even if you don’t touch them for a month. Just remember to replace them after they’re gone, or your stomach will be rumbling.
8. Flashlight- Although many people like to fish during the day, night time can be when the water is quiet and many fish are on the prowl- such as catfish. Too big and bright of a light might scare fish away, but you still need to see what is going on around you. An inconspicuous flashlight can help you maneuver around the boat and help find hidden fish across the lake.
9. Fishing Scales/Ruler- Many casual fishers like to catch a fish, maybe take a picture, and then throw them back. But others like to document, especially in competitions. If you want to know just how big and heavy your catch is, keep a scale and ruler on you. It makes for great captions on photos!
10. Extra Hat/Sunglasses- Some people may not keep these items in their tackle box, leading to regret later on. A great fishing trip means sunshine. That also means water reflecting the sun’s rays back onto your face. Sunglasses will help keep the sun out of your eyes, giving a clearer picture of the lake and where the fish could be hiding out. Keep a spare pair of glasses and an old hat, just in case you need it.
11. Fishing license- This one should be obvious. Fishing without a license can cost you to pay a hefty fine. Keep your fishing license in your tackle box so you don’t have to worry about misplacing it every time.
12. Insect Repellent- You need this. Every single time. Keep it in your tackle box so you never forget to bring it, and so you don’t come home with more bites than the fish!
13. Medicine- Being out on a boat in the rough water can be tough for many people. Be sure to stock up on motion sickness medicine and plain old Advil. Headaches won’t stop just because you’re having fun, we all know that one. Gum and mints can help ease a queasy stomach and help with motion sickness as well.
14. Sunscreen- Just like insect repellent, you’re going to need sunscreen. Don’t come home burnt just because you forgot to bring this tiny important tool. Keep it in your box and just forget about it.
15. Fish Finders/ Depth finders- Really want to catch some great fish? Then you need to invest in good quality fish finders and depth finders. Each one makes a great asset to your fishing trip and gives you the confidence to catch bigger fish than you’ve ever imagined. Keep these bad boys in your tackle box and make every fishing trip the best one yet.
A fishing tackle box is a place to store all your fishing tools and gadgets and forget about it. As long as you replace anything that goes missing, all you need to think about after you grab your box is how many big fish you’ll catch today!