It's better to be over prepared than to realize you're missing something important as soon as you cast your first line. Here's a short list of fishing supplies to ensure you have what you need when you get to the water.
- Hat - offers protection from the sun and rain
- Extra pair of socks - in case the ones you're wearing get wet
- Extra pairs of shoes
- Waders - if you plan to leave shore and go into the water
- Pants - they offer better protection than shorts, especially should you encounter biting insects
- Jacket or vest with lots of pockets
- A change of clothes - even if you're heading home after your excursion, it's nice to have dry clothes for the drive
First and foremost, you should always pack for the type of fishing you'll be doing. The rods, reels and lines should match the type of fish you hope to catch.
In addition to your primary fishing rod, pack a backup. If anything happens to your primary rod, you won't be forced to cut your trip short. Likewise, take an extra reel with you. You can use less expensive reels for your backups, but they still need to work well. Make sure all of the reels have been cleaned and the line is free from tangles.
Take several spools of line with you. You never know what kinds of snags you'll encounter that might break your line. You'll also want a series of hooks, sinkers, swivels and corks. If you use artificial lures, take your favorites plus extras. If using live bait, you'll need bait buckets and coolers.
You should have two tackle boxes. A small, compact box holds just the essentials. This can be pocket-sized or fit on your belt and it's the one you'll carry down to the water with you. Your large tackle box holds extra equipment and supplies, as well as any tools you want. This is the backup box that you can leave in the car.
Other fishing equipment to pack
- Fishing net - to scoop up the fish
- Long-nose pliers - for removing fish hooks from the mouth
- Knives - to clean the fish on the spot
- Ice chest to keep the fillets cool
- Tape measure - to document your catch
In addition to the essentials, there are a few other fishing supplies that you need for a successful outing. Here's what else to pack.
- Fishing license - make sure you have the right one for the place you plan to go
- Waterproof bag - for your cell phone and wallet
- Map - especially if you're unfamiliar with the area. Also good for marking down your favorite fishing holes
- First aid kit - for unexpected cuts and scrapes
- Insect repellent
- A good knife and multi-tool - one that you can wear on your belt
- Toilet tissue - depending on where you go and the facilities that are nearby
- Camera - to capture your prize catch of course
The more prepared you are for your fishing adventure, the more enjoyable it will be. Don't be afraid to take extras of everything. You'll appreciate it when you need it most. After your trip, revise your list of fishing supplies so you'll be even more prepared on your next trip.
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