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Catfish Tackle Box, “Working Tackle Box” For Catfish [CQT]

catfish tackle box

I often get strange looks when people see my tackle box. Being a professional catfish guide people expect me to pull out a large impressive tackle box with hundreds of compartments with tackle stuffed everywhere in a neat and orderly fashion. When people who fish with me see the reality of what I really many of them laugh.

One of the many great things about fishing for catfish is that catfish tackle is relatively simplistic and you don’t have to have a million different lures and pieces of tackle to be successful. My goal is also with everything I use to have it be as multipurpose as possible so whenever possible I can use the same catfish hooks and other tackle for all three catfish species, blue catfish, channel catfish and flathead catfish.

For my primary tackle box I use a large Plano waterproof storage box with everything just piled up inside of them. Different styles and sizes of hooks, weights and other tackle are stuffed into different bags to keep them somewhat organized. This is my “bulk stock” that I use in case I run out of something in my “working tackle box”.

My working tackle box is a small Plano divided storage box that is also waterproof. Having the waterproof boxes is important to me. These boxes do cost a few dollars more up front but they pay for themselves by preventing rusted tackle.

The working tackle box is what I use on a daily basis when setting up catfish rigs and I can carry everything I need in this one small box except for the secret channel catfish rig and my leader line. Everything else fits right into this small box in a nice, neat, easy to work from package.

The point of the working tackle box is to have something that has everything I need it to rig rods no matter where I am in the boat (or in someone else’s boat), or where I am fishing. It is small, lightweight, portable, and easy to move around when/if needed. It’s small enough that I can tuck it in the back of my waistband if I need to so I can deal with landing fish or any other tasks at hand while catfishing.

The other point is to keep the minimal amount possible in this box to get through a busy day. If I run out then I refill it with items from the previously mentioned “bulk storage box” and move on. The other advantage of this is that the box is small and doesn’t have too many items it so when it gets turned over and everything spills out of it, I can quickly and easily get everything back in it and move on.

This system also saves a LOT of storage space in the boat.

With so many people being of the mindset that “bigger is better” I am of the opinion that could not be further from the truth when it comes to tackle boxes for catfishing.

This weeks catfishing quick tip is the working tackle box. Check out the video below where I walk you through what kind of tackle you need and what I use and then make sure to check out our suggested catfish tackle page for links and more information on these items.

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About Chad

Chad Ferguson is a professional catfish guide and founder of Learn To Catch Catfish. Click here to subscribe for more exclusive catfish fishing tips by email and then follow on Twitter or Google


  1. Like most people stuffing one are two more things into a allready over full tackle box has been my way of getting ready to go fishing.Thanks for this great eye opener. Ronnie

  2. butterbean carpenter says:

    Howdy Chad,

  3. R.DChance says:

    Looks like that feller has dumped over a tackle box or three in his time! I do all mine the the same way as you. I had my crap scattered all over the boat TWICE IN ONE NIGHT! (the latches weren’t hooked either time .) after that trip I have several smaller boxes and reach for the right box
    Depending on
    The fish we’re after. This makes things A LOT MORE SIMPLE, and there is a lot of extra room in the boat for a
    Bigger cooler. WIN-WINN!

  4. i`m probably like the majority-i have everything in one giant box-this sounds a lot easier & at my age a lot easier to carry GOOD FISHING

  5. joel w carter says:

    do you fish for the white catfish species of catfish?
    will mullet make good cut bait for catfish?

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