Rod lengths, gear ratios, breaking strength - bass anglers base their tactical decisions on a myriad of mathematical factors. All play a role in the overall process, but Bassmaster Elite Series pro Jason Christie offers a simple formula: More time fishing equals more casts. More casts equal more chances to catch a fish. More chances to catch fish equal higher tournament finishes.
The Oklahoma angler upholds this logic with his staunch commitment to a behind-the-scenes preparation regimen that ensures he's never without the right tool for the job.
Plastic totes stacked in the back of his truck keep bait families separated and easily retrieved, while others hold various items of terminal tackle, cleaning supplies, and every tool (for the truck and boat) imaginable.
Interchanging tackle trays in and out of his boat, grabbing the right rods for the lake of the day, always having a zip tie handy - it all traces back to the art of preparation.
Christie says planning for his fishing season spans the off season, and his ongoing to-do list offers a good lesson in diligence to the weekend angler, whose limited fishing opportunities call for time-management skills.
"The less time you spend looking for (items), the more time you'll spend fishing," Christie said.
Keep it straight, keep it clean, and keep it handy. Well-prepared gear will help you make every moment on the water productive.
Equally important, Christie urges anglers to envision every repair, replacement or maintenance issue they might face and carry the right tools, parts and emergency items you can fit in the boat.
"Sometimes, it's the simplest things that can ruin your day, but if you carry items like jumper cables, spare trolling motor props and engine oil, you'll be able to fix problems when they arise," Christie said.