Thursday, August 28, 2014

A Look Inside the Tackle Box: My Most Successful Tackle

A Look Inside The Tackle Box: My Most Successful Tackle
After posting my micro fishing kit (LINK HERE) that often goes with me whenever I will be near a body of water (i.e. is always in the car or in my EDC Bag LINK HERE if I choose to hike in for a scout or overnight trip) I was asked by several people for a look inside my main tackle box so here you go. 
I generally use this kit for pan fish, bass and trout (what I fish for most regularly) and stick with live baits or some alternatives for other species. I have moved between this tackle box and a soft bag with plastic trays but always come back to this box simply because of the level of organization it brings to my life.

Open box, as you can see it is basically full to the brim.
I have a crank bait addiction, and always have for some reason. I have had most of my success with crank baits in fresh water under nearly every condition and I usually start every trip with a crank bait best suited for the weather and body of water then move on from there as a crank bait lets me cover the largest body of water the fastest.
Recommended Crank Baits To Start With:  If you love to bass fish DON'T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT the top lure! It is a Rebal Minnow and has caught literally hundreds of bass for me. The next one down  (Flatfish) works great for both pan fish and trout and the occasional aggressive small mouth. 3rd one down: Black Jitter Bug- this thing will tear up small ponds and lakes at dawn, dusk and just after night fall with some moon light. It has become one of my favorite lures and caught nearly all of my biggest large mouth bass over the years. Jointed minnow was a new acquisition (came with the cast iron griddle I got along the road) and caught small mouth on four casts in a row so it jumped into this list. Rattle rap red an gold, this was a favorite of the last bassmaster champion in cloudy conditions an has served me well in like conditions. Finally, the green and yellow torpedo, I haven't used it for awhile but whenever other things fail this little thing will produce a fish, it may be a pan fish but something is always curious and tries to make it dinner!

Two absolute favorite crank baits: Crawfish in brown over orange and red over orange. Aside from the minnow above these two lures are my top performers for all species of fish. They have excellent action an will usually produce something to take home for dinner!
 Spoon section: if you see me go here you know its been a rough day. other than the first three rattle style spoons you see on the left I  generally leave this section alone with one lone exception: The spinner minnow this thing is amazing in small ponds for nearly all species (except carp and catfish).
 Tubes, Jigs, Worms and rooster tails. I wasn't a big fan of soft baits up until college but once I found them I developed a love hate relationship with them. I love their performance and ability to get to fish that crank baits cant reach effectively but I hate how fast I go through a bag (i.e. their durability isn't the greatest).
Jig heads and smaller soft baits. I try to keep a few of each color jig head I own on hand as I like the head to match the worm for the most part and I obviously have a rainbow of options when it comes to smaller jigs.

Large soft baits. I was very hesitant to get into these baits but have found that the larger jigs on the top left and craw fish have yielded some of the biggest bass I have ever caught!

Must have baits from level two of the kit are the blue and black jig with rattle ($1.00 at Wal-Mart) and it is great for thicker grass. The spinner minnow (great for anything other than Carp, Pike or Catfish) and the Powerbait worm- I must say I love the attractant smell they use for bass and it makes the entire fishing box smell better... that and it works great on sunny days!

Row three must have's: grey and orange crawdad and gold fish jig. Both of these yield larger fish. If you know there is a moster fish in a lake grab one of these and spray it will some Powerbait bass attractant and prepare for war!
Spinner bait box with multiple options/colors.
Must have's from the spinner bait box: large and small solid black buzz baits and the same in white (usually have a red head). I unfortunately lost both of my white buzz baits and have only been able to replace the larger one recently. For those fishing at night or early in the morning use the black buzz bait to grab small mouth and large mouth and during the day try out the white buzz bait under clear conditions.
 My Micro kit has expanded a bit but my favorites are sitting below on my plastics side: white trout magnet (more of a panfish magnet), beetle spin, black with silver jig, powerbait pumpkin jig, small minnow spinner (as you can see the fish love it and have taken a bite out of his tail), thinner darker minnow (works usually when the larger one will not), and a small black buzz bait (remember dawn and dusk).

Micro Kit crank bait favorites: Brown over orange crawfish, Red over orange crawfish, black and red flat fish, green and black flatfish, black and light red jitterbug, brown rattle trap, micro minnow (good for smaller large mouth) .
 Must Have Hook 1/0 of any brand, I like Eagle Claw due to sharpness and they seem to work best with my soft baits in a Carolina Rig.
 Rainbow Power Bait: Trout love this stuff... if you haven't tried it you have no idea what you are missing!

Plug for a friend from high school, Brook Pauley who came out with Rockybrook sinkers. these things are not only great but are environmentally friendly.
Last must have: Yo Yo automatic reels. I have a dozen or so of these and I love them. They are great for any type of snare but work great for survival fishing, as you are able to sit it and then go about performing other tasks as needed. 

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