The tackle inventory purge

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Andy Crawford

If you’re like me, you carry a ton of tackle that often consists of far more than you actually use.

Over the course of time, your tackle management system is out of control. Stuff you don’t use gets in the way of those items you want to use.

We’ve all carried lures we thought we’d use but never do, and we see stuff in tackle shops that we buy impulsively and add to the overwhelming menagerie of lures we carry throughout the fishing year.

When that collection becomes an encumbrance, it’s time to take inventory of what you have and what seriously needs to be purged.

That’s what I’ve been doing lately, now that the Bassmaster Elites season has ended. I’m still fishing around home, but I have also spent a lot of time weeding out stuff I never use.

I go through every utility box in my boat as well as those spares I carry in my truck or store in bins at my garage. I do it as a way of helping myself because carrying too much unnecessary tackle adds to inefficiency on the water.

It wasn’t like that when I began years ago. We had maybe six or seven different types of lures we threw and only a handful of different brands. Now there are literally hundreds.

Obviously you can’t fish them all, so the offseason is the time to decide which ones gets booted from the rotation and are given away to young anglers, sold on ebay, stored in the garage or simply put in trash.

A common weakness in all of us is we tend to hold onto lures that we had success with years ago. We carry them as a crutch, but honestly, never use them. If you can relate, at least put those in a storage box on a garage shelf.

We all throw squarebills, but is there a need to carry multiple brands or colors we never use? Again, find a place for those outside your primary tackle storage.

The same goes for soft plastics. You can go crazy buying all the various colors, but aren’t there just a few you use in various water conditions? You probably don’t need most of those extras that take up space and add to the confusion when you reach for a plastic.

I opt for plastics I have confidence in and that have multiple uses, such as craw-style baits that can be used as jig trailers or Texas-rigged. That eliminates the need to carry other brands. 

Again, those baits you are purging from your “A team” can be put in a labeled bin in the garage – just in case there becomes a need – or given away or sold online.

Aside from the huge benefit of cleaning up your tackle management system, you will discover holes in your tackle – things you use and are running low on – and can replenish them over the winter.

I include everything in my inventory purge, including the tools I carry, culling gear, utility boxes – anything that might need to be removed or replaced.

Sure, it’s is time consuming and forces some tough decisions. But come next season, you will find yourself more efficient and glad you took the time to do it.