Working as a freelance mate during college found me jumping on as many as four different boats in a week between Venice, Louisiana, and Destin, Florida. Many times, boats would lack everything needed to have a great shot at whatever our intended quarry would be. As a result, I made sure I didn’t step on a boat without my two gear bags filled with an arsenal of offshore tackle and a label maker.
The label maker can be a mate’s best friend not only to help you stay organized, but also to help others in case they need to locate something for you. This is important when I am busy rigging baits or prepping the spread — I often find myself asking for an item that someone else might or might not know about. We all have our own way of organizing, and not everyone knows the difference between various hooks or which box contains the wahoo rigs or bridling needles. Labeling the boxes and compartments cuts down on confusion and possible frustration. It is more handy than one might think, and anyone who goes through my bags can quickly find anything I need. In a sport where conditions can change in an instant, there is a lot to be said for an extremely organized gear bag, tackle center or cockpit. It can truly make the difference in having a great day on the water.