As 2014 rolls around and the temperatures are still below freezing, I think of getting all of my tackle organized – hopefully in a place in my truck or boat where I can find it if I need it. This is not my favorite job. As a matter of fact, I don’t know many bass pros who enjoy the tedious task of picking through their tackle and deciding what to keep, what to leave at home or just get rid of all together. With new baits coming out and new techniques being discovered all the time, you can’t just keep adding to the amount of tackle you carry. In my case, if I don’t clean out my tackle and get rid of the stuff I don’t use, it just weighs me down - and I don’t just mean physically.
To a bass pro, tackle is just part of what you need to compete. Too often, though, we have a sentimental attachment to certain baits or techniques that have helped us do well in a tournament or have helped us have a great year. I can’t even count the number of times I got to a tournament, found a certain bait working, did well and when I returned home bought every one I could find. Sound familiar? And oftentimes I never even throw that bait again. We keep those baits around just hoping we might find the magic with them again. But they are nothing but a crutch to us and can hold us back from fishing the conditions at hand.
Tournament bass fishing is current. Success is based on confidence. And when it comes to what baits to use, it’s based on what you have confidence in right now. Many things that have to do with the past do nothing but weigh you down. So my remedy is to just get rid of the things I never throw anymore. My advice: Look at each individual bait and ask yourself if you are really going to use these baits this year? If not, get rid of them. Keep in your arsenal the things that you still have the most confidence in and throw the baits you keep based on sentimental attachment in the Ebay bin.