A checklist for the tackle box helps you have everything needed when fishing. Look at having a list as inventory control. An angler can know what they have and need by looking at the list. How many times have you gone fishing to find out something is missing or low? Also, are all the tools needed in the box? Although, I do suggest a belt holder for needle-nose pliers. This prevents having to dig for them after catching fish. So let us get on with the list.
Tackle Box Checklist for Terminal Tackle
This list contains a lot of tackle. Use it as a reference for what you need for fishing. Copying the lists is permitted for personal use.
- Live Bait Hooks; in the sizes used
- Worm Hooks; wide gap and offset
- Wacky Rig Hooks
- Circle hooks; a must-have for catfish
- Spare Trebles Hooks for Lures;
- Swivels and Snaps
- Weights; sinkers plus nose weights for rigs
- Leader Line
- Spare Main Line; see box above
- Split Rings; use to replace treble hooks
A small Plano box with dividers is great for organizing tackle. Each compartment can hold the sizes and types of tackle used. This allows checking the stock on hand easily. A separate box for weights and hooks is a good idea. Using smaller boxes for the hooks and weights means they can be put in a side pocket of a backpack. Also, I buy terminal tackle in bulk online and add them to my box as needed. This saves money for more lures.
- Hook removing Tools; long needle-nose pliers, wire cutters
- Lie cutter or knife
- Tape Measure; optional
- Split Ring Pliers
- Small Bolt Cutters; for cutting musky hooks
- Landing Net
Having the right tools makes releasing fish faster and safer. Most anglers need needle-nose pliers and a line cutter. Musky anglers know the value of bolt cutters. Since cutting the hooks occurs at times to release a fish. It is safer for anglers and fish. This makes changing the hooks part of fishing. That is the reason for the split ring pliers and split rings.
The tape measure and scale are optional items. Yet many fishermen like to record the weight and length. Have a net so the fish can stay in the water. This gives you time to get everything together. Then measure, weigh, and take the picture. A fish’s survival rate is much higher when using proper catch and release.
Lure Tackle Box Checklist
I recommend a Plano box for each type of bait. One for crankbaits and another for spinner-baits etc. You get the idea. This keeps lures organized and all in one place. If the fish are going for jerk baits why have other lures out? Plano makes boxes for spinner-baits and buzz-baits also. They hold the baits to prevent getting bent or damaged otherwise.
- Crank-bait; slim and fat bodies are used in different conditions. Use a box for each type.
- Soft Plastics; Plano makes large compartment boxes. You place the bags in them.
Sorting the baits into other boxes can be species-specific also. A few boxes for panfish, bass, walleye, and musky are in my set-ups. When I go fishing the boxes are chosen and put into a back-pack. I have everything needed for the species. This is cheaper than you may think. 40-50 bucks on boxes and a 35-45 dollar pack make a versatile tackle bag. The lures are an added cost.:)
Kayak fishermen can go smaller and take a minimalist approach. Use smaller Plano boxes and a pack. The key is being organized better for the way you fish. I carry 40-50 lures and soft plastics along with the terminal tackle in a backpack. The side pockets hold the tools, sunscreen, and first aid items. This leaves the hands free for rods, cooler, and whatever else is a need.
Check Bass Pro Shops online for Plano Stowaway Boxes. The link takes you to a page with anything needed. There are low-price and some a bit more.
After years of fishing, I know being organized helps me be more productive when out fishing. I have all types of lures plus the terminal tackle wherever I go fishing. In other words, I have all that is needed when needed by using the boxes and checking them. If you have a suggestion for the list let me know.