Gone are the days of hanging a bunch of baits on an old, retired Styrofoam cooler. Handy in its day? Perhaps. But it ended up being more of a problem, especially if fingers got hung up as you were selecting the next lure.
I recognize that there are many other dedicated anglers out there in need of a vertical storage system for their oversize baits, but let's focus on the muskie angler for the sake of discussion.
Muskies are big voracious predators that eat big meals. Thus the seemingly crazy anglers who obsessively pursue them need to present a bait that appeals to their appetite. And, even admittedly, muskie anglers are collectors.
Sure, as a group, most of them will claim they use every bait they own, but in truth we catch the vast majority of our fish on just a few baits—confidence baits.
Yes, I say ‘WE' because I am one of these borderline insane muskie hunters. And, unbeknownst to my wife, I have a collection of baits that has become quite impressive. Storage was a problem, but a few years ago I learned about a few companies that make organizing your big bait collection a snap!
Aside from the giant tangled mess that can occur, hooks scratch and chip paint jobs, lack of protection from the sun and UV rays can melt and make gooey baits that are not separated, but above all else, some bait materials don't jive with others. For example, the rubber Bulldawgs are made of doesn't agree with plastic trays and some other plastic baits.
This box is 27.5x13.75x14 (inches) and can hold over 100 baits. There are two racks capable of holding 50+ baits each, which are removable for customized storage. Each rack contains one grid impregnated with Zerust, which has been proven to be very effective at protecting your tackle against rust and corrosion. This box is ideal for muskie, pike, saltwater and Great Lakes baits.
Legendary tackle organizer, Plano brings The Big Game System to the big bait storage game. It is big enough to hold just about everything you need for a day on muskie waters. It will hold over 40 baits that are up to 12 inches in length, and the two racks are removable for utility boxes or for customized storage. The box's footprint is 21.5x12.5x13 inches.
Lakewood has been in the business of building outstanding muskie and pike bait storage systems for some time. Endorsed by Pete Maina, the Muskie Monster will hold up to 100 baits Each zippered side pocket can accommodate a 3600 large plastic container, while the generous back zippered pocket can hold an included 3730 plastic container. The interior has six 2.75x6-inch and 20 2.75x2.75-inch compartments with 74 hook grooves. Overall box size: 24.5Lx12.5Wx15.25H and weighs 26 pounds.
This Minnesota-based box builder addressed every discomfort that muskie tackle storage systems typically came standard with. Just Encase has a myriad of box size and specs to fit any level of bait collectors, but the best part of this system is the boxes can be custom built to accommodate available boat deck space. Built from a Polycarbonate clear material, you can easily store what you own, but you can also see it without every opening the box.
Each box comes standard with 3/8-inch vented holes to enhance drying and air circulation, which will reduce rust build-up, permanently attached Polymer Living Hinge that has been tested 1 million times without fail, each model comes with a complimentary Just Encase lure retriever for the times when baits fall inside it's specific slot. Oversize lid allows baits to be hung on outside of frame case; dividers are removable to assist in cleaning and polishing. Plus, the boxes can support a tremendous amount of weight making them an ideal casting platform under certain situations.
There are many more features and accessories, especially customizable size options for your specific needs. Boxes are only available online at this time;
These are a few solid options to better maximize the space we have to deal with. As bait collectors and obsessive fanatics, every leg-up that we can manage, we should take advantage.
Just remember, the next cast could change your life!
Stay crazy my friends…