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Not taking too much tackle on fishing trips Short and Week Long

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Question for you guys, how do you keep from taking tons of plastics and cranks on a trip.

I have been keeping a list over the years of the different baits and colors that have worked for me in the past and adding to it each year with new stuff I want to try. The frustrating thing is that the weather really impacts what gets bit each year. Have had years where a certain bait or color will get 80% of the fish and the next year it will blank. 

So basically what I have is a spreadsheet packing list with known producers and want to try and it feels like I have too much for a week of fishing. Since I have the room to pack it, do I just do it and deal with the comments from my better half about why did I bring so much, or do I drop some stuff off the packing list?

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It seems like there are so many more variables to bass fishing which is why the arsenal of lures, tackle, and the techniques derived from the two are so vast... 

 

Put it this way.. when I go saltwater fishing, my tackle bag weighs about 2lbs.. when I go bass fishing it weighs close to 10lbs lol.. I think it's just a bass fishin thing

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What I usually do if I have some new stuff I want to try is take one maybe two 3700s of stuff I know will work for the most part and the rest the stuff I want to try. That way, if the stuff you want to try doesn't work out or you haven't perfected the technique yet, you know you have something in your arsenal that should catch some fish to keep you from getting skunked. But more tackle is never a bad thing;)

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For me the habit of taking too much tackle has
taken years to break. It began with a reasoned
and logical look at what I was doing, and asking
myself if I *needed* those baits or colors in order
to catch bass *today*.

So basically, I have several colors of Senkos, 
Trick and Finesse worms that I carry with me at 
all times, as well as Yamamoto Shad Shaped worms.

I've found over the years that certain colors work
most of the time, while some colors work some of
the time. Others get no bites at all...

So I take the baits that work most of the time and on
occasion, when a color catches my eye as I rustle
through my worm boxes, I'll take another color.

The bait monkey wants you to take everything, and 
when something isn't working, he says, well THAT
color in the Bass Pro flyer seems to work for THAT
guy...maybe it'll work for you! And you get sucked in.

LOL. 

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I don't use about 90 percent of the tackle I have but at least I know it's there lol. 

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20 minutes ago, riverbasser said:

I don't use about 90 percent of the tackle I have but at least I know it's there lol. 

That is my fear exactly. If I leave a certain bait home and I get nailed with a tough bite, the bait at home will be the one that has worked in the past lol. Worst case on the trip if I overpack, is a boat ride back to the store/cabin to restock.

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I carry 3 Plano boxes.

Terminal box

worm box

day box with assorted baits I will use that day.

I carried a ton of crap for years and you cant possible fish that mant baits in 1 trip.

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Just realized that better half rushed me and I didn't realize I kinda buried the fact that the particular concern is a week long trip, but am also curious on the day trip replies too, because when I fish locally I probably go too minimalistic vs packing the shop when I go for a week.

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I think the best piece of advice I read about lure color was just the other week on the main BR page where a pro said something along the lines of "I'd much rather have the wrong color bait at the right location (where the fish are) than the right color bait the wrong location (where there's no fish)".

Also one thing I noticed about what types of lures to bring is that for any FLW or BASS tournament, if you look at the top 10 finishers and what they were using, they almost always use a different lure/presentation/color.  I translate this as a bass will eat anything as long as they see it, you just need to figure out if it's a finesse or reaction bite.

As a 100% shore guy that tries to stay light and mobile I break things down two ways and make sure each combination is covered -

- Finesse vs Reaction
- Depth (Topwater/Bottom/Suspended)

1) Finesse Topwater- I don't really have a topwater finesse technique so I bring nothing.  Eventually I'll develop the patience to use a slow glide bait for this!
2) Finesse Bottom - I like to go with a shakeyhead. You can use a C-Rig, T-Rig, Jig, etc.
3) Finesse Suspended - I like to stick with a dropshot and lengthen my leader, or, will throw a wacky rigged senko.
4) Reaction Topwater - I like to use a rat-type of bait or a whopper plopper.
5) Reaction Bottom - I'll use a lipless crank or chatterbait and let it sink to the bottom and bounce it off the bottom or use a diving crank and let it scrape along the bottom and kick up debris.
6) Reaction Suspended - I'll use squarebills/chatterbaits/lipless cranks.

For each type I'll bring 1-2 "light" confidence colors and 1-2 "dark" confidence colors.  I might throw in a new bait or color to try out but I'll usually stick to the tried and true colors that should be universal like your blacks, green pumpkin/watermelons, and morning dawn for plastics, and sexy/natural shad, bluegill, crawdad red, and firetiger for cranks.  Just try to make sure you have something that can reach each level of the water column, with either a finesse or reaction presentation.  If you have a whopper plopper for Reaction Topwater you don't need to bring a rat/toad/buzzbait/frog/hula popper/walking stickbait/jitterbug/wake swimbait in 2 colors each.  If you fish a chatterbait you don't need a bunch of spinnerbaits and crankbaits and plastic swimbaits and swimjigs because you have your Reaction Suspended presentation covered.  I know this kind of dumbs down things but as a shore guy with a backpack you can't bring the kitchen sink, so I just try to make sure I have as much of the water column covered as possible, with both a finesse and reaction bait.

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I think what you need to do is not look at all your tackle and say "this is too much" just because you brought a lot. Instead look at each bait in your tackle box(s) and ask yourself "when would I use this?". If you feel there is a chance that the conditions could dictate you use that bait that day then bringing it makes sense. If you can honestly say that everything your brought has a possible use that day then you didn't bring too much. But be realistic about the conditions. If you are fishing a muddy river then there are probably lures you have that would be better suited to fishing 30+ feet clear lakes and you probably won't be using that day. Just be critical about what you bring, focus more on the "why" of what you are bringing instead of the "amount" of what you are bringing. 

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Oh, if it's a weeklong trip I'd grab a Sterlite container and throw some extra stuff in there - not to take with me out on the water, but to have in the car or where I'm staying if I need to switch things up.  If you bring the stuff you usually do for a day out on the water, those should be your confidence techniques and you should have plenty to throw for that day.  If nothing bites you can swap something out for the next day.  Just make sure you bring something that covers all water depths.  Nothing is worse than seeing shad being chased on the surface and realizing you only brought plastics to fish off the bottom, or seeing a glassy lake with zero surface activity and all you brought was a whopper plopper!

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46 minutes ago, MassYak85 said:

I think what you need to do is not look at all your tackle and say "this is too much" just because you brought a lot. Instead look at each bait in your tackle box(s) and ask yourself "when would I use this?". If you feel there is a chance that the conditions could dictate you use that bait that day then bringing it makes sense. If you can honestly say that everything your brought has a possible use that day then you didn't bring too much. But be realistic about the conditions. If you are fishing a muddy river then there are probably lures you have that would be better suited to fishing 30+ feet clear lakes and you probably won't be using that day. Just be critical about what you bring, focus more on the "why" of what you are bringing instead of the "amount" of what you are bringing. 

You guys are making me feel better about packing as much as I do. Your post puts it into perspective. The body of water is very clear, but the surface chop usually dictates the color preference of the fish, natural colors when flat and watermelon and green pump when there is a chop. Let's throw in brutal cold fronts and colder temps even in August that put the bass way off the bite. Northern WI lakes are predictable in that they are unpredictable. 

So I guess I am good, because I can make a legitimate case for each bait I picked depending on what happens with the weather. I may only use 10% of it, but that 10% is different every year. Better to be safe than sorry. Eventually maybe cutting down on the number of each bait is the way to go, until I remember 2014 when I went through 40 water red tubes because that was the bait they were keying on that year, there is no hope, I am just rolling with it.

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I'm as guilty as anyone of bringing "too much" with me when I fish. Even in a 10ft kayak I still have 5 plano boxes sitting behind me. Could I go with 3 bags of plastics, some hooks and weights and catch fish most times? Absolutely. But I change things up while there and I hate when I know what I should be using and realize I didn't bring it simply because I wanted to downsize my tackle for the day. If I have the space and means to bring it, I do. Unless I know for certain I won't be needing something. Ice out? Obviously I'm leaving the frog rod at home. A  pond with thick weeds growing to the surface everywhere? Well cranks are pretty much out of the equation so those can be left at home. It all depends. I subscribe to the "better to have and not need than to need and not have" ideology. 

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My non-bassing friends, and my wife, are amazed at my arsenal of rods and baits -- all for just a single species in the shallow waters of south Florida. I've been bass fishing for a couple of years only, and I've been tying hard to become more efficient, and to learn how to utilize effectively every category of lure that might prove useful. I do not have my own boat.

So, I often go out alone in the evenings to fish the shores of local ponds with a single rod and a single bait, often one I haven't used much before, to learn how to use it to catch fish, and to avoid the temptation to switch to one of my confidence baits. I learned to fish jigs that way, which hadn't worked for me until I tossed it for countless hours. Now it is a confidence bait.

When I'm fishing in a local club tournament as a co-angler I bring 6 or 7 rods if it's okay with the boater, and a 3700 size plano bag packed tightly with probably 20 pounds of tackle. I want to have everything I might possibly need to make a good bag of fish, and when the bite is off I change to something new every 15 or so minutes. I try not to use the same bait the boater is using unless he's hot, and then I hope to have with me the same bait or something very similar. That all means I need as much crap as I can pack in my bag.

I am hoping that with time, with the luxury of fishing through many changes of seasons, that I will learn through experience what type of baits are likely to work in each type of condition, location, and season, and boater. Then maybe I'll be able to bring a bit less stuff.

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Unless I am going to a pond, I don't leave much behind. I usually have a short list of items that are left easily accessible but rarely hit the water without anything that might be needed.

If taking a long trip and fishing out of someone else's boat, I will leave some of my tackle locked in the truck/motel and only fill their boat with what they recommend.

So far I have never filled a boat beyond it's weight capacity and had it sink........ I'm sure my time is coming though :)

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I carry a Plano 3700 Tackle Bag stuffed to the gills, but I also bring a single 3700 with everything I think I might actually fish on a given day. Having rods rigged and my "little box" is generally all I ever fish. 

 

:fishing-026:

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If catching the most fish is your objective, than fishing a few confidence baits according to conditions is the way to go.  I have some disease that makes me want to change lures even if I'm catching fish on my favorite ones.  A friend of mine always asks why I'm changing lures when I'm crushing the fish on what I have on.  My only answer is, to see if they will bite the latest lure I spent money on. If they bite that lure, than I change to another older one, then back to a new one, on and on.    Tackle companies love me. It's a sickness.  I never have too much tackle. I have the most fun fishing if I'm constantly experimenting.    If the fishing is slow, I tend to stick with my confidence baits. 

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49 minutes ago, king fisher said:

If catching the most fish is your objective, than fishing a few confidence baits according to conditions is the way to go.  I have some disease that makes me want to change lures even if I'm catching fish on my favorite ones.  A friend of mine always asks why I'm changing lures when I'm crushing the fish on what I have on.  My only answer is, to see if they will bite the latest lure I spent money on. If they bite that lure, than I change to another older one, then back to a new one, on and on.    Tackle companies love me. It's a sickness.  I never have too much tackle. I have the most fun fishing if I'm constantly experimenting.    If the fishing is slow, I tend to stick with my confidence baits. 

That is exactly how I think everyone should experiment with new tackle...when the bite is on.  Otherwise, you don't know whether it is the bait or the mood of the fish. Plus, you ain't gonna catch 'em if they ain't there!

 

:fishing-026: 

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17 hours ago, cgolf said:

.... I have the room to pack it, .....

And...so what is the problem again?

Now...if you DON'T have room to pack it....well, then you clearly would just need a bigger car.  I have a Durango....but, its replacement may be an Excursion...problem averted

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3 hours ago, Choporoz said:

And...so what is the problem again?

Now...if you DON'T have room to pack it....well, then you clearly would just need a bigger car.  I have a Durango....but, its replacement may be an Excursion...problem averted

Vehicle is not the problem, the fact that my tackle/rods take up the living room of the cabin and there isn't much room to sit becomes the problem. Right now I have 100 diff bags of soft plastics nicely packed in a tote and 3 3700 double decker boxes packed. A couple of 3600 size boxes too for plastics too, oh and the Zman stuff packed seperately. Cranks are just 2 deep 3700 size boxes, not too bad for those. Sadly I can make a solid case for each bag and crank that is packed.

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I like switching baits up even if one is working because it's just nice to catch a fish on something different. It's also a good way to slowly go through plastics or colors that seemed like a good idea at checkout time but in a practical sense would never be your first through tenth choice....how often are you going to put on a banana yellow plastic worm as confidence color?

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13 hours ago, roadwarrior said:

That is exactly how I think everyone should experiment with new tackle...when the bite is on.  Otherwise, you don't know whether it is the bait or the mood of the fish. Plus, you ain't gonna catch 'em if they ain't there!

I agree. Unless it's a tournament. Then don't deviate from what's working when the bite's on. In a tournament you might try something new only when nothing else works. The tournament turns the tactics upside down.

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On 16/05/2016 at 6:13 PM, cgolf said:

Question for you guys, how do you keep from taking tons of plastics and cranks on a trip....

By not buying tons of plastics and cranks. 

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