It's time to get ready for 2014

There hasn’t been a lot going on around here since the last column. It’s Vegas’ birthday. We’re making him a cake. At first he wanted a shark theme for the day, but now he wants eyes. That’s right, folks. Vegas wants eyes for his birthday theme, and on his cake. As usual, Becky will make that happen. She’s amazing.

Beyond that, most of my time has been spent going through my tackle getting ready for the 2014 season. I have to say that it’s going a little better this year than it normally does. I’ve spent the past few weeks picking around at it so I have some of the basics in pretty good shape.

The 2014 GEICO Bassmaster Classic is my first priority. At the same time, though, I have to pay attention to what I’ll need once the Elite Series tournaments start. I won’t be going home for a while so I’ll need to take most of what I’ll need with me.

I’m not sure exactly what I want to take so I have to have a little of everything. That’s a real struggle for me. I’m a hoarder. It’s really hard for me to eliminate things. My personality tells me to pack more of something, not less. However, I am getting a little better every year. It just takes a while to turn a lump of coal into a diamond.

The basic process of getting ready is to replace rusty or dull hooks, clean the bodies of the lures I really like and make sure everything is sorted into boxes so I can find things when I need them.

I tend to sort by size, mostly, but there are a few exceptions we won’t go into right now. I put everything into Plano plastic boxes. They’re just about perfect. You can see through them and they make something for darn near every lure and piece of terminal tackle on the market.

After I get that far I put four labels on every box — one on the top, one on the bottom and one on each of the long sides. That way I can always grab the one I want regardless of how I put it back in the bag.

Speaking of bags…I do something a lot of guys don’t. I use tackle bags. They keep my stuff organized in my truck and they make it easy for me to grab something from a storage compartment in my boat. They work better for me than loose boxes.

That’s really all there is to my tackle preparation. Once I get that done I select my rods and reels, as well as my line, and I’m good to go. The basics are simple. The process is long.

Next time I’ll give you my last minute take on Guntersville. I know there’s a lot of talk about it and how it’ll affect the fishing. I agree that the weather will matter but in my mind there’s something else that’s much more important. More about that next week…

Mike Iaconelli's column appears weekly on You can also find him on Facebook and Twitter or visit his website,

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