How To Organize Your Kayak Fishing Tackle | Kayak Angler Magazine | Rapid Media
The deck of a kayak with tackle trays laid on it. Photo and video by Jon Russelburg

Keep your gear organized to save time and catch more fish.

The worst part about kayak fishing is the off season. While some anglers are fortunate enough to live in areas with no offseason, the majority of kayak anglers have stored their boats and are hibernating until warmer weather. 

It's never too early to start preparing for the next fishing season. This time of year, I like to take stock of what my tackle selection looks like and start organizing for the new year.

jigs cranks
Organization saves time and keeps rogue hooks out of your fingers.

The first thing I do is take stock of what baits I currently have. I like to make a list of the water I will be fishing this year and what baits I know that I will throw in that water. Then I check that list with the stock of baits I have, so I know what I need to purchase before I even hit the water. 

The next thing I do is organize my tackle by separating out all of the different baits. Between tournaments and fishing for fun, I am on the water almost every day until the lakes freeze over. By the end of a long fishing season, tackle organization can get thrown out of the window. This is the perfect time to regroup and reorganize. 

I keep my baits separated in different tackle trays so I don’t have to dig around looking for one particular bait. So jigs go together, crankbaits go together, etcetera. 

Clear identifiers make finding the right bait a breeze.

After my baits are separated, I mark the top and lip of each tackle tray. This way I only have to glance in my crate to find the right tray. This is the perfect time to go through all of your tackle and see if any baits need to be cleaned and hooks need to be replaced. 

Soft plastics should be seperated by style and color.

For soft plastics, I use the same process but put the baits in bags instead of tackle trays. These bags go go in your crate or anywhere else you want to stuff them. I separate the soft plastics by style and color. So the light and dark shades of plastics go together. I fish a lot of soft plastics so this saves a ton of time on the water.

out of season
Out of season lures can be stored in a tub and kept in your vehicle for quick access.

Storage space is very limited on a kayak and if you are like me, you have far too much tackle to take it all out on the water.  After everything is organized, I put my go-to baits in my crate. The baits that are out of season, or for a type of water that I know I won’t be fishing go in a large storage tub. 

I use a tub with latches and wheels so I can throw it in the back of my vehicle and pick and choose what I want in my crate before I hit the water. These tubs run around 20-30 dollars. 

Space and time on the water is important to every kayak angler. These tips will help you save time looking for tackle so you have more time to catch fish.


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