While some anglers only feel like they need a rod and some bait to have a successful trio, there are many other essential items to bring on your next fishing trip. These pieces of gear can range from keeping you safe from the elements to making the fishing that much easier and convenient.
Some of the gear you need to bring along may change depending on the location of your trip or the time of year, but you’ll benefit from including these overall. Use your best judgment for the times when you’ll need the appropriate equipment. You may not find any use out of them in the wrong circumstances, or they may even pose a safety risk through improper use.
Depending on the time of year, you’ll need to adjust your clothing options to accommodate the climate. During the summer months, and depending on the local weather patterns, you can get away with wearing thin clothes and not as many layers. During the winter months, you’ll need something to keep the cold out and prevent hypothermia.
Too many people go out with a few too many layers in the summer, or not enough in the winter, and only notice after it starts affecting the body. Be cognizant of the local weather and bring along the right clothing to match that climate. Otherwise, you may risk freezing or overheating while you’re out fishing. You may not be able to solve the problem easily if you’re out on a boat, far away from your vehicle, where you can safely change.
If you plan on going right into the water as you fish, then you need to show up with the right kind of waders to protect yourself and keep you dry. Waders come in several different styles, and you need to plan accordingly based on how deep the water is.
The first kind of wader reaches to about the thighs, meaning that you’ll be good as long as you stick to knee-high water. The second type of wader extends to the waist; they’re essentially waterproof pants. These prepare you for thigh-high water. The final kind is the chest waders; they strap over the shoulders like overalls. They protect your clothes if you need to wade out into waist-high water.
No matter how strong of a swimmer you think you are, the human body will exhaust itself struggling in the water. There’s no telling if you’ll boat into a strong current or if you’ll fall overboard into it, which makes it critical you have a life jacket on.
They can be cumbersome and irritating when you fish, but that’s your safety net in case you take a spill over the side of the boat. Keep the jacket on at all times; you’ll be thankful for it when you’re safely bobbing on the water’s surface after taking a dive.
An Extra Set of Clothes
In the event that you do fall overboard or your clothes become waterlogged, you’ll need to bring along a spare to change into. Getting wet is not necessarily dangerous, but if the water has some form of contamination or the climate is cold, you run the risk of endangering yourself.
Staying in wet clothes can also promote the growth of germs and other bacteria, potentially infecting the skin or entering the body through cuts and scratches. Always keep a new set of dry clothes in case you or anyone else accidentally finds themselves in the water.
No matter if it’s fly fishing, bait fishing, or trolling, fishing in general requires a lot of gear to have a successful trip. Because of all the small pieces you need to bring along, you need to have ample space to carry them with you for easy access. Bring along some fly fishing packs for easy storage, where you can safely secure your gear for when you need it the most.
You can easily lose small equipment if you keep them in your pockets where they can slip out. Make sure you have something with adequate storage space you can easily access and that can protect your equipment from the water.
Maps, Guidebooks, and Compasses
It’s essential you have an idea of the topography of the area you’re finding in. If your fishing area is right next to the parking lot, then you won’t get a lot of use out of a map. But it’s indispensable if you need to venture through some wilderness to get to your spot.
It’s easy to get turned around while marching through the woods, and you’ll need a guidebook to locate landmarks and find a compass to show you the right way.
Food And Water
If you do get lost, it won’t hurt to pack yourself some extra food and water rations in case it takes longer than expected to get back to your vehicle. These rations will ensure you keep up your strength throughout the day and that you’re not distracted by hunger or a lack of nutrition.
Resorting to eat what you find in the woods can lead to poisoning and make a bad situation worse if you’re already lost. Bring extra food and save it until you are safely back to civilization.
One of the most significant threats you’ll face comes from the sun in the form of UV rays exposing your skin to burning and blistering. Short-term exposure won’t do much to you, but spending a day out with the sun shining on you will cause damage unless you take the proper precautions.
These precautions can mean wearing sunglasses to protect your eyes, a wide brim hat to shield your scalp and face, or sunscreen to safeguard your arms and chest. Don’t underestimate the damage the sun can cause; you may spend the next few days with peeling, itchy, and damaged skin without taking the right preemptive measures.
It’s Better To Be Safe Than Sorry
Some precautions may seem excessive, but you need to be the judge if they’re appropriate for your trip. Always consider the essential items to bring on your fishing trip and be sure not to over-encumber yourself with gear, as that, in and of itself, is dangerous. Know what to bring and what you’ll get some use out of, and always protect yourself while out fishing.