10 Tackle box essentials for new anglers

Imagine being all hyped about your Cabo fishing trip trip only to feel your energy drain when you realize that you’ve forgotten an important fishing component.  But don’t be too hard on yourself because it happens to the best of us. You can avoid the hassle of forgetting an essential fishing item by preparing and organizing your things ahead of time. This brings us to an important question, what essential fishing gear and equipment do you need?

Building a tackle box

For budding anglers, here are some must-have things that you will need for your tackle box.

1. Lures – You need the proper lures in order to bring up your fishing game.  There are many types of fishing lures such as jigs, spinners, spoons, minnows, lipped plugs, jerk baits, soft plastics, and more. These lures come in various shapes, sizes, colors, and they are designed to behave in different ways to attract certain types of fish.

Build your own tackle box

To help you determine the right lures to bring, you first need to establish what species you are targeting.  When you know what types of fish you want to catch, you can match the best lures that these fish often bite. It’s a good idea to bring several types of lures so that you could switch to a different one if the fish are not biting your current lure.  Water conditions are also another factor in selecting the right lures for your fishing trip. For instance, on sunny days, it’s ideal to use bright metallic or reflective colors because the flash of the shiny lure can make the fish go in for the strike. Whereas, during night, overcast or low light conditions, it’s best to use dark colors like black or purple to create a solid silhouette in the water which attracts the fish.

2. Spare line – It’s essential to have extra line in your tackle box because it can come in handy when your main line breaks, snags, or worse get entangled and you have to strip all of it.  What if you catch a big pelagic and you use up your line? Or perhaps your old line suddenly snaps. These are possible scenarios that can waste your time and ruin your fishing trip in Cabo. If you want to avoid this nightmare from coming true, it’s best to bring spare spools in different weights so you can save the day when the need arises.

3. Hooks – Spare hooks are staples of a tackle box and you should never head out to sea without them. Do not limit yourself to just one size because it can prevent you from maximizing your fishing opportunities. Make certain that you have a variety of fishing hook sizes so that you have the liberty of changing your targeted fish anytime during the trip.

Pay attention to the tip as well when selecting hooks. Take note that a knife-edge tip is ideal for a hard-mouthed fish but it has the tendency to cut your catch.  A needle edge type of tip is easier to remove compared to barbs which can be tough to disengage and damaging to your fish. For catch-and-release fishing, you can use pliers to flatten the barb against the hook for easier removal.

4. Bobbers – A fishing float or bobber can keep the bait suspended at a certain depth and it can bring the baited hook to hard-to-reach areas by letting the bobber drift in the current.  A bobber can also notify the angler of a positive strike.

5. Knife – A knife is a necessary tool for every tackle box. It can be used for cutting line, removing an embedded hook out of a fish’s mouth, and more. A knifeless angler is handicapped when he goes out fishing because he doesn’t have the means to efficiently cute a line after putting on a new lure. A dull knife won’t do you any good so don’t forget to sharpen it before your fishing trip.

If you plan to bring home your catch, you can bring a filet knife so you could clean the fish.  But some fishing charter operators offer this service as part of the fishing trip package.

You can also bring a simple clipper like a nail cutter to cut a line. It’s easier and quicker to use for ultralight and light lines.

Refresh contents of your tackle box

6. Needle nose pliers – You will need a needle nose pliers to safely remove hooks out of your catch and sometimes, on a bad day you might have to take the hook out of you. A pair of pliers can also be useful if you need to reach far into the mouth of a big fish to retrieve a lure that it swallowed.  Always use pliers when removing hooks instead of your bare hands to avoid getting injured by the fish’s sharp teeth.

7. Extra sinkers – Live bait and plastic bait may need the assistance of sinkers to go down into the water. There are different types of sinkers and it’s vital that you match the sinker with the bait and where you’ll be fishing.  A good example is the standard oblong-shaped Egg Sinker which is often used for offshore bottom fishing with live bait. In rocky terrain, it’s advisable to use a Bank or Reef Sinker with flat sides that prevents it from rolling in the current and tapered shape that makes it less susceptible from getting caught in the rocks. The rubber core sinker is effective for light tackle and inshore fishing.

8. Leader – This is a short piece of line or wire between your main line and your hook. Adding this to your main line can strengthen and make it less prone to breakages by big game with sharp teeth or when fishing in rocky terrain.

9. First Aid Kit – Always carry a First Aid Kit in your tackle box so you could treat minor cuts and other small injuries on site.  A standard First Aid Kit contains small adhesive bandages, antibiotic ointment for wounds, sterile gauze pads, bandages, waterproof medical tape, scissors, tweezers, and thermometer.

10. Tape measure – You can use a tape measure to find out the length of your catch.  Take note that in some places, it is prohibited to keep a catch below the legal limit. If you catch a big one, measuring its length gives you more bragging rights.

You can use this guide to make your own tackle box checklist in preparation for your next Cabo San Lucas fishing trip.  Check off each item as you place them in your tackle box.  When you’ve checked everything, then you’re all set to chase after your targeted fish.  Happy fishing!

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