Geared up for Short Trips

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Gear for Short Trips

Many of us, myself included are weekend anglers with the desire to get out on the water
no matter how short the duration. Not having my own boat restricts myself to where and
when I can fish. Rental boats are great for many of us who are restricted to having a boat
of their own do to many factors.

Renting for many of us anglers makes sense. Travel to your lake of choice (with a lodge
or marina of course), toss in your gear, your buddies, fish all day, return the boat and
go home. No headaches, or are there? For many in Ontario and for visitors alike this is the
norm when planning a one or two day short trip.

The most common problem faced, at least for me is just how much gear should I take on a
short trip. Having one to many tackle boxes and a passion for fishing outlets have left
me tripping over my own gear on many an outing cursing my fishing addiction. Nearly tipping
your boat over repeatedly while trying to avoid stomping on your gear was a sign for me
to start scaling back the amount of stuff I take with me on these short jaunts. By doing
a little research before hand I have now found a few tips to minimize your gear leaving
you a lot more room in the boat for yourself and your trip mates.

Do your research on the lake or river you plan to visit and the species of fish that inhabit
the area. Many lakes and rivers have a variety of fish in them but I have found by limiting
my target fish to 2 species I can drastically cut down on the gear I take. Using this tactic
alone means I can usually get away with taking one tackle box and two to three fishing rods.

Use the internet as much as possible to find out lake conditions for that time of year,
prior weather patterns, general forecasts, moon phases and even satellite imagery of your
planned location. Doing this will help you in reducing the amount of tackle you will end
of taking. The more you can learn about the lake the easier you lure selection becomes.

I once was a firm believer in having many of the same lures but in different
colours, patterns etc.. but by doing a little research on the lake and learning about the
lakes structure, fish species, baitfish and even detailed maps I can eliminate the need for
taking all of these lures.

Organizing my box with quick access to my 'go to' lures is standard for me on a quick fishing
getaway. Modern tackle boxes have allowed for amazing amounts of storage and organization. For a weekend trip fishing for pike and bass I will load the bottom of my box with a small variety of
spinnerbaits and buzzbaits for bass. The middle pop open tray then consists of a mix of pike
and bass crankbaits, jerkbaits and topwater baits for both. Once that tray is full thats it. I no longer
squeeze in the one or two 'extras'. My top easy access tray then gets loaded with more combinations of lures for both species once again. Favorite lures such as Mepps #5's, bucktails and inline spinners for pike as well as a mix of wide gap football jigs, small spinners and softplastics are in the easiest spot for me to reach. Having my favorites in the top tray make them accessible almost on the fly and saves me time rummaging through all the areas. It's important though to know what is where, henceforth don't take to much. My memory is not getting any better as I get older and it's much easier for me to remember that layout of 25-30 lures that 90-100 lures.

The next big time saver for me is my rod setup. For a pike and bass weekend one medium/heavy rod coupled with a spinning reel loaded with 14lb Fireline Crystal and a titanium leader is my dedicated pike setup. My other rod would then consist of a medium action 6 foot 6 inch fast tip rod with either a high ratio baitcasting or spinning reel loaded with 10-12lb mono line. This rod setup allows me to tie on bass lures without any hassles.

For weekend anglers these tips and organizational ideas will save you valuable time when out on
the water and will increase the time your lures are in the water.


This article was written by the
contributing staff of OFT and its
group of amateur and pro Ontario anglers.

Copyright 2007. Ontario Fish Trips .
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