Tackle Monkey aka Bait Monkey

Tackle Monkey Addiction

I have an addiction problem. Many others do too.

I really have two "addictions" — dark chocolate and buying tackle (and rods and reels), but I'm focusing on one here. When I see a good deal on anything tackle related, I have to buy it. I can't help it.

In the fishing world, we call it the tackle monkey. Some call it the bait monkey.

(Be sure to go to the bottom of this page to find a historical history of the term tackle monkey.

So the other day, a friend came to me with some old baits he has had in his closet for a number of years. I could tell by the packaging that these were old. But they are still in the original packaging so they are unused.

Here is a sampling of what I picked out.

Norman DD 22 crankbaits pictured
Recent purchase:
DD22s won't fit in my storage box.

These are Norman DD22s, which I already have. But, these are Suspending DDs. I had only a couple of these — I was immediately interested. Plus, there were some very good colors in there. You can't pass that up.

Crank bait tackle boxes
Boxes of crank baits I carry in the boat.
But here is the problem. I have hundreds of other crank baits. (See some of my boat boxes pictured.)

When I got them home I was going to add them to my back up box of cranks that I pull from when I need to replace ones I lose.

Back up storage of crank baits.
Simple storage box of back up crank baits.

Extra baits that I needed to add
to my storage box too.
(My favorite lipless crank bait.)

With these additional cranks and others on my work bench, I realized the box was too full to add any more.

I then moved all of these cranks to a bigger box. And that box is almost full too.

Just get a bigger box.

Transfer of cranks from
one box to a bigger one.
Size difference in the boxes I changed to.

And the refilling begins.

Now that the smaller box is empty, I might as well begin to refill it.

As I said, I have a problem. I may need to attend an addiction program. (I have heard of some programs that specialize in all addictions not just smoking or alcohol.) I don't smoke or drink, by the way.

Who is or what is the Tackle Monkey?

All this made me wonder where the term Tackle Monkey came from.

I researched the term monkey on your back and similar searches. I recall seeing a business video many years ago (probably shot in the '60s?) where the a monkey was literally carried by the manager who would give an assignment to his secretary and then hand her the live monkey. Now the monkey is on her back to complete. Literally and figuratively.

In another scene someone carried the monkey into the boss's office. The subordinate tried to give the monkey to the boss but the boss refused to take the monkey. The subordinate walks back out of the office, still carrying the monkey.

And, there was a book written by a researcher/professor from I believe Harvard (I don't recall exactly) where some of the same business concepts are explained.

Then I found that monkeys were both revered and despised in ancient cultures. In some societies, monkeys were heroes and in others evil. And some talk about some elicit practices with monkeys.

Around the 1920s-30s, monkey on his back became a popular narcotic reference. But it's even deeper than that. A person with a monkey on his back was also obsessive, addicted and maybe even paranoid. It is definitely a modern metaphor for a bad habit.

There you have it.

We're addicted to bass fishing and acquiring bass tackle. (And, I just ordered a new Lew's reel to try out. If I like it, I need two more to match the new Kistler Rods I just got.)

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