Being a minimalist in any area of your life is a challenge, especially when it comes to your tackle box. If you are anything like me, you have a tackle box that’s filled to the brim with old lures, flies, jig heads, spoons, some rusty old hooks and a few dried twister tails. I can’t stress this enough, you don’t need a lot on a fly-in with Wilderness North, and because of that your tackle box needs some spring cleaning.
My Challenge – 10lbs: Using the method below, make a tackle box for the trip that does not exceed 10 lbs.
The Method: Minimize Empty the contents of your tackle box onto a table and spread it out so you can see it all. Group all your contents into categories; Crank baits, jigs, tails, spoons, flies etc. Get rid of the things that you’ve never used or that have been replaced, even duplicates that you truly know you need just one. Give your empty box a shake in the garbage and wipe it out with a cloth so it looks new. Once you’ve downsized your tackle box, now it’s time for the 10lbs challenge.
Jig Heads and Tails: If you like walleye fishing, (and I hope you do because we have a few up here) the jig is quintessential. You will primarily be fishing with these and will be effective all summer into the fall and will help you work all kinds of structure. You will catch both walleye and pike on the jig and basically any colour works magic. Most people are used to using live bait but it’s not necessary here. You can put almost anything on a jig head, and you’ll get into walleye; we’ve heard it all from a crunchy Cheetos to a cigarette butt (not recommended). We can’t figure out why, but at times walleye seem to be hitting on chartreuse, sometimes green and orange, and other times on something white or black. Because of that I’d bring tails in varying colours and jig heads in different colours and sizes including 1/4, 3/8 and some 1/2 ounce for deep water.
Top Water and Crank Baits: While these lakes are stacked with big walleye, there is nothing better than hooking a big pike that’s lurking in the weed bed. Top waters and cranks like the Rapala x-rap prop and Rapala original floating minnow are about as fun as they come. Top water baits will bring pike out from the weeds to slam the surface; there’s nothing like it. Have you ever pulled a crank through the weeds and watched them part as a big northern moves in for the kill?
Spoons: Spoons are excellent for working large areas of water and pike have been falling prey to these babies for decades. When working a section of water, wear your polarized sunglasses to watch the pike follow your spoon. Big pike are territorial and set up shop in one area, if you see a big one watching that spoon, he’s sticking around. Use a red and white daredevil, a 5-of-diamonds or little Cleo.
The Supporting Tools: These won’t help you catch fish, but they are essential to keep the week flowing smoothly. You will need a couple steel leaders, jaw spreader, tailing glove, filleting knife, line nippers, cloth measuring tape and a pair of long-nose pliers.
My 10lbs Tackle Box– For my 10lbs Wilderness North tackle box I have; Jig heads (orange or pink head), Twister tails (I like white but basically everything works), a few of my favourite top water and crank baits for nice pike action, a daredevil spoon or two, a couple steel leaders, jaw spreader, tailing glove, filleting knife, line nippers, cloth measuring tape and a pair of long nose pliers.