Rig for the season. Fish respond differently to different baits throughout the year, while some baits work year round. Here is where keeping a fishing log can come in handy. Keeping track of just a few pieces of information can help make fishing more successful year after year. By tracking weather conditions, water temperature, location, and baits used, you can use the log as a great reference for tournaments or helping that new guy learn what works.
Take what’s needed. So many of us have loads of the same type of bait (I use soft plastic paddletails). Many anglers have their go-to brand for this bait, in a stack of different colors. To help save space, I like to take the information I have on water conditions and what’s working out there to decide on three different colors, and that is all that goes out. It took me from using an entire tackle box of one presentation to one or two small bags. For hard baits, I take only one small Plano box with what I know I am going to need: a few jigs, a couple suspending baits, maybe a topwater, and a spoon. That’s it - one small box and two bags of plastics time to fish.
Don’t give up on your baits. This can sounds shaky at first, and potentially cause a panic attack when you don’t have something you left at home. Keep calm, and keep working with what you brought. When you do your homework and present the bait properly, the fish will hit it. I love using this for my weekend fishing adventures. It keeps the clutter down, and helps make the time more about fishing and less about why I am not catching fish. When it comes to the tournament application, I will double what I take - two boxes and extra soft plastics. That is mainly due to extra time on the water and the potential to fish multiple locations in the same day.
Please get out there and try to find what works best for you. At a minimum, make sure you are having a fun and safe time.