Travelling light is the key to fishing from the bank or wading a stream no matter what fish species you pursue. That is the beauty of the fishing vest. The “wearable tackle box” will keep all of your essentials dry and ready to use.
When targeting any species of fish you should pack your fishing vest with some essential tools of the trade. A multipurpose tool that includes pliers, line clippers, knife and other utensils will save you space in your vest and lighten your load. Small containers of sunscreen and insect repellent are other essentials you need to pack.
Since I carry only one rod and reel when wading a stream, I pack the spare spool of my spinning reel in my vest and have it filled with heavier or lighter line than the spool on the reel. This allows me to change out the spool if I need to fish a lure that requires a lighter or heavier line than the rest of the lures I carry in my vest.
I usually pack my vest with a couple of small plastic utility boxes filled with a selection of lures based on the species I will be fishing for that day. Here’s how I pack my lure boxes for the following fishing situations.
Wading For Trout Fishing Vest Essentials
Although I dabble some in fly fishing, I mainly fish for trout with ultralight spinning gear. My favorite trout lure is a marabou jig so I usually fill one box with jigs in sizes of 1/32, 1/16 and 1/8 ounces in basic colors of white, brown, black, dark green and olive. I have another box filled with small Roostertails, spoons and small jerkbaits.
Spawning White Bass Fishing Vest Essentials
When white bass run up creeks in the spring to spawn, I load up a utility box with small fire tiger floating stickbaits, 2-inch paddletail swimbaits with 1/16-ounce jigs, a 4- or 5-inch stickbait and some 1/16-ounce white, pink and chartreuse marabou crappie jigs. I tie the crappie jig to a leader line that I attach to the back hook of the stickbait to make a double rig.
Pond Bass Fishing Vest Essentials
I carry two boxes in my vest to store my pond fishing lures. The first box is filled with 6-inch plastic worms in green pumpkin, purple and black colors, a few 1/4–ounce worm weights and 3/0 worm hooks. The other box is filled with frog-colored topwater poppers, small crankbaits in baby bass or bluegill hues and some 1/4-ounce spinnerbaits and buzz baits in white and chartreuse.
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