After a great season of open water fishing, chasing down multiple species of fish and trying different techniques, late fall is upon us so it’s time to start prepping our hardwater gear. For most of you, that means finding where you buried your gear at and making sure nothing broke during the off season from anything parked against it. Some of you, like me, are fortunate enough to have ample space to keep your items safe, so this is a non-issue. But don’t let that fool you into thinking you’re ready for first ice…..
If you are like me, you are always trying something different to enhance your time you spend on the ice, whether that’s new electronics, new lures, new rods, etc. Sometimes the theory sounds better than it works, so either you go back to square one or try something new again. For me, my great theory last winter was a tackle case that would hold all my lures in one case easily. While it did just that, it didn’t make it easier to transport since the case wouldn’t fit in my handy dandy ice fishing bucket. Another drawback is having alot of the not-so-popular lures bunched in with my hot-ticket items, when it surely wasn’t needed. And since my lure collection is continuously growing, stepping back to square one isn’t really an option.
So this year I decided to go with smaller boxes that I could easily fit into my coat or bucket, but enough dividers that I could be flexible on how I placed items with each other. The small 3500 series Plano boxes are inexpensive as well as versatile for the job, only costing about 2.50 per box. They are a clear and simple box, and can anything from my new slender spoons to my small gill pills and moon ticks. Also, being as cheap as they are, if my new plan doesn’t work out so well, I am not out much money. Another advantage of using clear boxes besides seeing directly inside them in a hurry is that I can leave them out in the light overnight to charge the glow lures, are flash the whole box in a hurry with a UV flashlight.
I took the foam beddings I made for the old box and cut them to fit the new ones where it was needed, and left it out where I felt it wasn’t needed. I also sorted my lures into basic categories of how the fishing went last year, with tungsten Fiska jigs and spoons being my go-to lures for most species. A simple sharpie was all it took to label the boxes quickly as well, as well as being able to withstand the elements whereas normal labels just don’t cut it.
If these boxes prove out to be handy and worthy, then I will make the somewhat spendy upgrade to boxes that have rubber gaskets to seal them completely from the elements as well being able to float….