Organization matters

Last week I made an offhand reference to forgetting my long underwear and my maps. While that may be funny on one level, it isn’t a bit funny on another level. It’s hard to fish when you’re cold, and even harder when you don’t know where to go or what section of the lake to target.

Being disorganized is not a laughing matter. It’ll kill you in the real world. There are ways to avoid it, however. They aren’t difficult and they’ll make a big difference in your fishing enjoyment and your catch rate.

I’ve been working on that in my business lately and I think it’ll make a big difference over time. It’s important to come to the realization that you can’t do everything yourself, that there’s no disgrace in needing a little help from time to time. Working on lure development, sponsorships and trying to catch enough fish to win a tournament or two can run you ragged. A guy needs to delegate and compartmentalize.

I know a guy who travels a lot. He solves some of his organizational problems by using checklists. All you have to do is type them up in your computer — clothes, tackle, whatever — and then print them before you start packing. As things are put into your boat or into your suitcase you check them off.

To some of you, that might sound silly. We all like to say that we don’t need things like that but, in truth, we do. Speaking for myself, I can tell you that I can only think about so many things at one time. It’s easy to forget or get sidetracked.

Think about it this way: Suppose you’re packing your boat and your cell phone rings just as you’re putting your box of must-have crankbaits in one of the storage compartments. You set them down on the floor to answer the phone. It’s an important call that requires your attention. That’s the last time you think about them until you reach for one when you get to the lake.

You might be able to catch fish without them, but you might not. Either way, you’ll have a frustrating experience. And, even if you do catch a bunch of fish, you’ll always believe you would have caught more if you’d just had that special bait.

We know the problem. We need a solution. Basically, you should do whatever you have to do to make sure you have what you need. If you don’t have much tackle and clothing you can carry everything with you. If you’re like the rest of us, make a list or do something to make sure you have what you need to catch bass and have a good time doing it.

My ideas aren’t the only ones that’ll work. If you have a better one, or maybe just a different one, post it under the comments section. That’ll help us all become better anglers.

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