UPCOMING EVENT: Bass Fishing League - 2016 - Lake Ouachita

Terminal tackle

A properly stocked terminal-tackle selection is important to co-angler versatility.

Unlike the pros, who carry the entire Walmart fishing aisle in their boat, co-anglers are limited to a tackle pack of their favorite baits. The problem arises when a pro begins to reel bass in on every cast, and the co-angler does not have that particular bait in his or her limited selection.

Fortunately, tournament bass anglers are a fairly decent lot. Most of the time a pro is more than happy to let a co-angler borrow a version of the hot bait, provided that the pro has a few extra in that miniature tackle shop under the deck.

Borrowing spinner baits, crankbaits and even soft plastics is usually not a problem. But co-anglers should not have to rely on pros for terminal tackle.

Terminal tackle is considered the nuts and bolts of bass-fishing tackle: hooks, weights, swivels, beads, rattles, etc.

Most pros probably would not mind lending a co-angler terminal tackle, it's just expected that you will bring your own nuts and bolts to the project. Additionally, terminal tackle involves a great deal of personal taste and preference that translates into confidence.

A purple worm is a purple worm; however, a pro may like to rig his with a straight shank hook and a pegged bullet weight, and you may like yours with an offset hook and a screw-in weight.

Next to rods and reels, a terminal tackle box is one of the most important fishing items a co-angler carries. That box should be stocked with a complete selection of terminal tackle to handle any situation.

Over the years, I have developed a terminal tackle box that can adapt to nearly any condition a pro can throw at me.

Hooks

Essentially, I use two Plano 3620 boxes for terminal tackle. These boxes are small, flat, compact and come with plenty of dividers to organize lots of small items.

I use one box for hooks and one box for weights. For hooks, I carry four different styles of worm hooks: offset, straight shank, extra wipe gap (EWG) and bait clip. For each hook style, I carry 1/0 through 5/0 sizes. Considering I have about seven to 10 of each style and size, I have between 150 and 200 hooks that must have some kind of order.

One trick I use to keep hooks organized is to use rubber bands to keep them bundled in groups. Normally, I use rubber bands on the hooks that I do not use as often.

I also carry plenty of extra treble hooks (Nos. 2, 4 and 6) and spinner-bait trailer hooks with keepers. If I borrow a hard bait or spinner bait from a pro with stock hooks or no trailer hook, I can customize the bait to my standards without bothering the pro for extra hooks.

Weights

Hooks are the easy part; weights are more complex. These days it takes a degree in metallurgy to understand all the weights needed to bass fish.

Just in terms of weight styles, there are bullets, screw-in bullets, barrels, split shots, mojos, drop-shots, nails and even stick-on weights. Each one of these styles has as many as 10 sizes. Then consider the new tungsten weights, and suddenly getting a worm to the bottom becomes an engineering project.

Managing such an assortment of weights need not be difficult. Simply use the dividers to make spaces for each size of weight: 1/16, 1/8, 3/16, 1/4, etc. I have two separate compartments for each weight size. For example in the 3/16-ounce slot, I have two compartments. I put bullets in one and screw-in bullets in the other.

Besides for bullets and barrels, the other types of weights I carry are drop-shot, split shot, nail and stick-on weights.

Nail weights are inserted into Flukes or Senkos for a faster fall. Stick-on weights, like Storm's SuspenStrips, are great for quickly modifying jerkbaits and crankbaits into "suspending" baits.

The most versatile weights I carry are 1/8-ounce rubber-core sinkers. These clamp-on weights with a rubber core are a co-angler's best friend. The modifications that can be made with these sinkers are numerous. I remove the rubber core and clamp them on spinner baits, jigs and the hook shanks of soft jerkbaits for expedient weighting. I have also used them to make makeshift mojo rigs.

Toothpicks and rubber inserts, called "T-stops" by some anglers, are great for pegging weights. The stretchy rubber inserts that look like nails are pulled through the weight to snug the weight to the line.

Rattles are also a co-angler's best friend. A rattle stuffed inside a tube or lizard can add a little extra noise to the bait and a little extra confidence to the mind.

A good terminal box should also contain the beads, swivels and weights needed to make Carolina rigs. Film canisters make efficient containers for these tiny items.

With a well-stocked selection of terminal tackle, a co-angler can quickly adapt to changes in techniques without having to bug a pro to death for tackle.

Related links:

The Co-angler's Clinic: Get the Net!
The Co-angler's Clinic: Packing a manageable amount of tackle
The Co-angler's Clinic: The importance of the pre-tournament meeting
The Co-angler's Clinic: Arriving at the tournament site
The Co-angler's Clinic: Packing for a fishing tournament means careful planning
The Co-angler's Clinic: Analyzing the amateur experience

Tags: rob-newell  article 

/tips/2016-02-12-fishing-the-all-american

Fishing the All-American

My wish is that everyone who competes in BFL tournaments will get to experience the All-American. It truly is an amazing experience, and a goal that everyone who competes on the weekends should strive to achieve. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-02-11-eric-jackson-q-a

Eric Jackson Q&A

We caught up with Jackson just prior to his Tour debut on Lake Okeechobee to learn more about his background in the outdoors and how he got started in tournament fishing. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-02-11-flw-podcast-111-bradley-hallman

FLW Podcast 111 - Bradley Hallman

READ MORE »

/tips/2016-02-05-an-ill-wind-at-okeechobee-

An Ill Wind at Okeechobee?

The wind can be a bass fisherman’s best friend or worst enemy. On its best behavior, it creates a temporary current, positions baitfish and helps an angler move around more stealthily in shallow water. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-02-04-aquatic-plant-id

Aquatic Plant ID

Val Osinski, the owner of Gambler Lures and winner of the 2015 Costa FLW Series event on the lake, knows as much about the Big O as anyone and is an expert on finding and targeting bass in its various grasses. When we had the opportunity to ride along with him for a tour of the lake and to learn to identify some of the grasses, it was a no-brainer to accept. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-02-03-flw-podcast-110-jt-kenney-and-kyle-monti

FLW Podcast 110 - JT Kenney and Kyle Monti

READ MORE »

/tips/2016-02-02-poche-services-set

Poche Services Set

Funeral services for Dylan Poche, the 18-year-old Bass Fishing League angler who was stabbed to death Saturday night, are scheduled for Thursday at 2 p.m. at Freedom Life Church in Natchitoches, La. Visitation will take place at Freedom Life beginning at 5 p.m. Wednesday. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-02-02-time-to-shine-for-setzer

Time to Shine for Setzer

With three years on Tour and a Co-angler of the Year (COY) award under his belt, Braxton Setzer believes now is his time to start casting from the front. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-02-01-ambassador

Ambassador

READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-29-glenn-browne-s-timeout-is-over-

Glenn Browne’s Timeout is Over

By his own admission, Glenn Browne isn’t the most organized guy. After the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division opener on Lake Okeechobee, he spent hours returning stuff to its proper place and tossing out the usual flotsam and jetsam that accumulates in a bass boat during a tournament. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-28-flw-podcast-109-mike-surman

FLW Podcast 109 - Mike Surman

READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-28-john-cox-gives-himself-a-makeover

John Cox Gives Himself a Makeover

Last fall there was a rumor going around that John Cox was entering the electronics age and souping up his boat with sonar gear. Just to clear the air, the Florida pro reports that though he did flirt with the notion of incorporating an offshore strategy centered on depth finders into his act, he eventually abandoned the idea. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-27-austin-felix-is-ready-for-the-big-time

Austin Felix is Ready for the Big Time

Back in the spring of 2014, Austin Felix and his University of Minnesota teammate Chris Burgan were on the top of the FLW College Fishing world. With a win in the National Championship on Lake Keowee, Felix was headed to the Forrest Wood Cup as a pro. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-27-flw-canada-sets-tournament-sites-dates

FLW Canada Sets Tournament Sites, Dates

FLW Canada, one of four partners in FLW’s International Division of the Costa FLW Series, recently released its 2016 tournament schedule. The season includes three two-day regular-season qualifying events and a three-day championship. Anglers fish as two-person teams. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-26-jigging-spoons-for-winter-bass

Jigging Spoons for Winter Bass

Of course, the application of the spoon hinges on finding bass in the first place, which is the biggest challenge. Walmart FLW Tour pros Jason Johnson and Clark Reehm are experts at finding winter bass in their respective regions of the country and offer FLW readers some advice on where to look and how to get them to bite the spoon. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-24-how-bryan-thrift-got-to-be-so-good

How Bryan Thrift Got to be so Good

My No. 1 focus out here is to support my family and make a living. Whatever I have to do to make that happen, I’m going to make a valiant effort. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-22-high-school-fishing-makes-the-grade

High School Fishing Makes the Grade

Jacob Smith and Daniel Clark are typical teenagers, at least in everything except bass fishing. In that, they are above average, as the two juniors from Travelers Rest High School in South Carolina proved in the TBF/FLW High School Fishing Florida Open held Jan. 17 on Lake Okeechobee. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-22-flw-mexico-at-the-starting-gate

FLW Mexico at the Starting Gate

Our excitement is so great that we wanted to share this important news with all of you. Believe me, fishermen in Mexico are talking it up as if it were dock talk surrounding the Forrest Wood Cup. What really matters at the end of the line is knowing that FLW is showing its true devotion to promoting bass fishing and making it a truly international sport. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-22-making-the-case-for-haynes-as-aoy

Making the Case for Haynes as AOY

As many have noted, the Walmart FLW Tour schedule for this season looks a lot like it did in 2014. Back then, in his sophomore year on Tour, Randy Haynes had one of the strangest seasons you’ll ever see. He finished 104th at Okeechobee, 149th at Sam Rayburn (ouch) and cranked out top-30 finishes everywhere else. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-21-flw-podcast-108-jason-lambert

FLW Podcast 108 - Jason Lambert

READ MORE »