I am humble enough to admit it – I’m picky. Plenty of other applicable adjectives exist that are not nearly as flattering get echoed by my fishing buddies, but you get the point. For example, I am pretty stoked about getting a new boat for the 2018 season, but there was just no way it was going to get wet before having a Keel Guard, ScuffBuster, Skeg Guard, and FlexStep Pro installed. All of them. And just as the protective products from Megaware provide security, so does order. Now that the exoskeleton of the boat is secured by Megaware, the rest is up to me, and I’m picky about it.
Four Vital Boat Organization Ideas from a Pro
For much of the year, my boat is my office. Over 1,000 hours are spent on it each year. When you consider the size of tools used, fishing is meticulous. Those tools are thousands of baits, hooks, and weights smaller than my pinky, and are tucked away into compartments, plastic bags, and specialized containers. It is vital too. To say I have some boat organization ideas would be an understatement. When competing in a high stakes tournament or battling a fish on video, having easy access to these small tools is often pivotal for success. This is why professional anglers spend countless hours on their boat when it is not on the water.
Boat Organization Ideas – Weight Distribution
Weight distribution is important to optimize a boat’s performance. This is why batteries, spare propellers holders, and gas tanks are located in the back half. Boats perform best with the heaviest objects in the back half, but there is more an angler can do. Consider tackle. On any given day, my boat is loaded with 12-24 3700 size tackle boxes. The boxes stuffed with crankbaits, jerkbaits, and spinnerbaits are light in comparison to those full of soft plastic baits and weights. Before any outing I analyze the tackle I am bringing with me. The heaviest go in the back compartments, the lightest goes up front. Anything I do not anticipate using remains at home. Minimize weight, and put the heaviest stuff in the back.
Boat Organization Ideas- Baits and Labels
The 3700 size tackle boxes are carefully organized. Boxes are labeled accordingly. Square billed crankbaits, Crankbaits running less than 5 feet deep, and Crankbaits running between 5-10 feet are three examples of how I label my baits. Little free space remains inside them, but I am constantly reviewing their contents. To make way for new tackle, I remove any baits not used in the past year and donate it to youth fishing clubs. For the tackle I can’t bear to get rid of, I hang on a pegboard in my barn.
Boat Organization Ideas – Style
Once I have my boxes labeled and stuffed, I organize the contents inside by style. My jig box has flipping jigs on top, swimjigs lay in the second row, Arkie jigs in the third, etc.. Furthermore, similar colors and size are matched up. My box full of hooks are organized in a similar fashion. The smallest and lightest is far left, and they get bigger and heavier as it goes right.
Boat Organization Ideas – Rods and Reels
A $400-500 rod and reel combo is an investment worth protecting. Admittedly, I was once horrible at protecting them, which would cost me at critical times. I failed to recognize that a rod that is not secured to the bottom would get violently bounced around when navigating waves. So, placing two dozen rods in the rod locker led to a lot of broken guides and reel handles. Today, I try to limit myself to 20 rods per trip. If there is little chance I will use it, it stays home. Most rod lockers will only secure 10 rods or less, but I secure the most used rods on the deck of the boat. Typically, there are five rods on each side of the deck with another 10 in the locker. This prevents tangles and keeps them safe.
I hope these boat organization tips spurred some ideas of your own. Once my boat is protected and tackle is readily accessible, the assault on fish for the 2018 season is set. I hope it’s the same for you. Protect and organize your boat, then enjoy the season.