GOING MINIMALIST: CAN LESS GEAR HELP YOUR FISHING?
It has been said that the best lure is the one that is in the water. The modern fisherman has so many – too many options when it comes to tackle. From reels, rods, line, and lures. The number of techniques and variations of those techniques. It can be mind-numbing and confusing.
Long gone are the days where a tackle box housed a pair of pliers, one Rapala original floater, a spoon, and a worm rig. But that doesn’t mean we can’t be a decisive fisherman and limit our tackle to what we need and not what we want.
Lure and tackle manufacturers aim to catch fisherman just as much as they do fish. We don’t need much of the tackle we have. We want it.
In many ways, anglers can increase their fishing experience by limiting their gear. The best way to do this is to evaluate what you currently own and how much use each piece of gear gets. Once the gear is divided up by how much it is used, organize the tackle based on fish species, technique, etc.
This means leaving a few rods at home and not bringing enough lures to open a tackle store. Don’t worry, your gear will still get used, just not all in one day. If you have a plan of where and how you’ll fish for the day it makes this much easier.
A plan will also make your time on the water much more efficiently spent. Look at tournament anglers, at the start of the day all of them have a fishing plan. They know where and how they will fish.
Sometimes they have to resort to a backup plan, but their time is managed efficiently. Creating better fish catching opportunities. There is a reason they are professionals, they are good at what they do, so take note.
Being organized will allow you to pare down the gear that is brought to the water. For example, if you are going bass fishing there is no need to bring your walleye trolling lures. Separating your gear takes time, but the lack of clutter on your boat will be worth it.
Beyond separating gear for different species, it is also important to separate by tactics. If you know that most of the day will be spent flipping pads to shallow water largemouth there is no need to bring your dropshot rod and baits.
Going minimalist isn’t something relegated just to gear fisherman either. Fly anglers are just as guilty if not more so when it comes to bringing too much gear to the water. In recent years, it has even become popular to bring two rods to the river. Walking a trout stream with two rods getting tangled in trees, on each other, and just in the way does not sound conducive to a relaxing fishing trip.
Many anglers will have just a few large fly boxes stuffed so full of flies it’s almost impossible to find the one you want. This is brought on in part by the large variety of flies available to anglers and a lack of knowledge when it comes to entomology.
The first thing a fly angler needs to do is figure out what patterns they like to fish. This is usually the easiest part. Take your favorite caddis, mayfly, and stonefly patterns and write them down. Now take these lists and create smaller fly boxes dedicated to certain insects. Before your trip to the river educate yourself on which insect should be present. This will allow you to only bring what you need for flies. Eliminating clutter and sifting through a box of green drakes for a blue wing olive.
Organized flies, lures, and tackle will also help you off the water when you are preparing your gear. By having your tackle separated in a logical manner it’s easy to see what you have and need to buy. No longer will you find yourself on the water with only one left of that magic bait for the day. You also won’t have $300 dollars of duplicate tackle to explain to your spouse.
No matter what your fishing style or targeted species. Less and more organized gear will give you a more pleasurable experience on the water. Less time will be spent digging through tackle and more time fishing. Not to any surprise, this will often equate to more fish being caught. As many of smart fisherman have said it’s hard to catch a fish without a lure in the water.