I'll be honest; most folks would have feared getting snake bit if they had to walk through my room in high school. I'm a 33-year-old bachelor now and can't say my tidiness has gotten much better. I have two dressers and 8 drawers built into my bed and the clothes go straight from the dryer to the top of the dresser and rarely make it any farther.
But when it comes to tackle in my boat, I'm as OCD as anyone. I don't know what it is about fishing tackle, but I can't stand to look for something and it not be where it's supposed to be. Or it may be there, but it's rusty or jumbled up. In the words of Peter Griffin, it really "grinds my gears".
When treble hooks become tangled, you're left with an absolute mess. You'll be shaking and cussing your lures for several minutes before you're able to finally isolate the one you need. Not only is this frustrating, but it's a giant waste of time when you're trying to get your line back in the water.
I wanted to put together a few ways that will help you tame your treble hooks and become more efficient both on and off the water.
One of the most annoying things to me when it comes to tackle is reaching in a box to pull out a crankbait and ending up with a string of 20 tangled baits. Then you have to start the jiggle and bounce game to try to loosen them up. One or two fall away but then you inevitably have to get in there and pick them apart.
Want a cheap fix for this on baits with two treble hooks? Simply take a small rubber band and use it to pull both treble hooks up to the body of the bait and towards each. Now this isn't a perfect solution because the hook points are still exposed and can tangle a little or poke you when you're digging around for the right bait. And it doesn't work as well with baits that have an uneven number of treble hooks. But that's where the next way to keep treble hooks out of everything comes in.
Owner Treble Hook Safety Caps
I love these. I started using these to store most of my treble hook baits a few years ago and haven't found any better way of doing it. Basically, I'll take these safety caps, put them on all my treble hooks and then take the Plano Waterproof StowAway 3741 Deep and build out a box with all my squarebills, lipless cranks, etc.
I prefer the 3741 Deep because it only has 3 sections. A lot of the interior walls and optional dividers in most boxes are solely intended to keep hooks from tangling up. Using these safety caps eliminates the need for those channels and dividers. Going with the deep box also allows you to pile a lot of baits into each box, and again this doesn't cause a problem because the hooks can't tangle up or scratch the other baits.
These boxes are also waterproof with three tight clamps and a seal all the way around the lid. Still, humidity or a little rain is bound to get into the boxes at some point when you open and close them, so I'll throw in a couple Flambeau Zerust Plastabs or Inhibitor VCI Pro Chips to halt any chance of rust.
But these two solutions are more about keeping hooks out of each other; what about everything else?
Cal Coast Fishing Bait Sack
That's where another cool product comes in, the Cal Coast Fishing Bait Sack. Again, I like for everything in my boat to be in order and immediately accessible. So I store my rods in the rod locker using Rod Gloves, which work great. But if I stop there, I'm kind of setting myself up for another frustrating moment later in the day.
Say it's derby day and you make a run down lake. You bounce around all morning and about 10 o'clock they start blowing up all around the boat. You're filled with excitement and joy because you have something rigged up in the rod locker just incase they did this to you. You sling open the rod locker door and find your topwater has bounced loose from your rod and sunk its hooks into three of your Rod Gloves.
You frantically try to reverse the chaos that transpired in the rod locker, but feel certain there is some college degree required for the task at hand. All the while the bass are literally knocking water over into the boat. You finally give up and cut holes in the Rod Gloves you paid good money for to try to get the bait in front of the busting bass, only to pop up from the bottom of the boat and see the tail-end of the last schooling fish you'll see for the day as it heads back down.
That's one of those "I'm just gonna go ahead and put it on the trailer moments" for me.
So, I use these little Bait Sack deals. They clip onto your rod and then you just pinch the top of the pouch together and slip your bait in. Slide you rod into a Rod Glove and then into your rod locker and it will be right there when you get ready for it, exactly like you left it. When you pull the rod out, just pinch the top of the Bait Sack and pull or dump your bait out, pop it off your rod and toss it in the rod locker. It really is an excellent solution for a very frustrating problem.
On a side note, the large-sized Bait Sack works really well for storing umbrella rigs as well. And the Black Out Bait Sack works great for rods on deck when you're launching or loading your boat and want to frustrate your nosey competition.
So that's it. It's imperative to be an organized angler and control every variable you can. The more prepared you are, the more fish you'll catch and the more you'll enjoy your valuable time on the water.