The Checklist: 10 Essentials to Bring With You on Your Next Fishing Trip


If you're looking for a great way to spend time outdoors, you have plenty of options to choose from. Hiking, biking, swimming, skiing, gardening, metal detecting, and camping are only a few of the options available to people who enjoy the great outdoors. Of course, fishing can't be left out of the mix, either. Quite a few people choose to spend their leisure time waiting for their right fish to come along and take the bait. In fact, more than 850 million fishing expeditions take place each year. Whether you're planning your first fishing trip, booking a fishing charter, or simply getting ready for one of your latest outings, taking along the right equipment is essential.

Getting Geared Up for Your Fishing Adventures

Having the right gear with you is the key to making the most of your angling experiences. Having said that, knowing exactly what to bring isn't always a simple matter. After all, you want to have all the essentials, but you don't want to pack so much gear that you end up being overloaded. Though you can find more details from Johnny's Sport Fishing about certain must-have fishing equipment, we'll go over some of the basics right now.

1) Fishing Rods

This may seem like an all-too-obvious point, but your entire fishing trip experience is going to be centered around the fishing rods you bring. Be sure to have the right rods on hand. Some offer multi-purpose functionality, but others just aren't right for all types of fishing. One of the main factors to consider is the rod's length. Longer rods tend to cast farther, but shorter rods often give you more control over where your line goes.

Weight, power, and action also factor into the equation when deciding which rods to take with you on a fishing trip. You'll learn more about those elements over time, and more experienced anglers can help you understand why they're important. Eventually, you'll instinctively know which rod will work best for your plans. At the same time, it's important to remember to bring more than one rod. If one break or the line gets hopelessly tangled up in the reel and you don't have a backup, you'll have to pack up and call it a day much earlier than you expected.

2) Extra Reels and Line

If you're using rods with detachable reels, don't forget to bring extra reels just in case something happens to the one on your primary rod. Additionally, bring an extra spool or two of the fishing line in case the supply in your reels runs low. There's always a chance you'll need those extra essentials whether you're using an expensive, high-quality rod and reel or the cheapest model you could find at your local sporting goods store.

3) UV Protection

Anytime you're going to be outdoors for any length of time, it's a good idea to bring protection against sunburn and skin damage. Exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays can cause painful short-term effects and have dangerous long-term consequences. Sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat will safeguard you from those long hours in the sun. Since you'll be in or near the water, waterproof sunscreen would be your best bet.

4) Shoes and Long Pants

Heading out on a fishing trip in shorts and sandals or flip-flops may be a tempting thought, but it's not always the best approach. This is especially true if you're fishing by a lake or stream or trekking through the woods to get to a good fishing spot. Numerous hazards await you, ranging from bees and mosquitoes to saw briars and snakes. Wearing long pants and thick shoes can help protect you against those dangers.

5) Long-Nose Pliers

Long-nose pliers are a must when you're going fishing. You'll need them to help get the hooks out of fish's mouths. You can do it manually without the help of any tools, but long-nose pliers will make it much simpler and safer. This simple tool will also come in handy for many other tasks, including clamping weights onto your fishing line, repairing lures, and bending hooks back into shape if the need arises.

6) Knives

Having a couple of good knives in your arsenal is also crucial. If you plan to clean the fish on-site, you'll need the right knives for the job. A nice pocket knife can help with cutting your fishing line if need be or even opening your bait as well. You'll also find a number of other situations in which knives will help make your fishing trip a success.

7) First-Aid Kit

Everyone needs a well-stocked first-aid kit at home and on the road. You can purchase inexpensive first-aid kits at any number of stores. They generally contain bandages, antibiotic ointment, medical tape, and other basic supplies. You can also create your own first-aid kit. Making your own allows you to customize the kit with items that won't be available in standard, over-the-counter versions.

8) Waterproof Baggie

Consider having a waterproof baggie on hand for items like your phone, wallet, fishing license, and such. You can buy special baggies for purposes like this almost anywhere. Of course, you could also simply use a sturdy zip-lock bag from your kitchen.

9) A Cooler with Ice

Be sure to bring a cooler and ice with you when you go fishing. Stock it with drinks initially to keep you hydrated while you're out in the heat and sun. It'll also give you a place to keep your fish cool and fresh until you can get them home.

10) Bait

Plenty of people may roll their eyes at this point. After all, you can't exactly catch fish without bait. Still, you'd be surprised at how many people take off on a fishing trip and realize once they reach their destinations that they've forgotten to bring bait. It even happens to the most experienced anglers. Whether you fish with crickets and nightcrawlers or lures and stink bait, make sure you have an ample supply before you get where you're going. You may be able to find a few grubs and earthworms by digging around in the right places, but you probably don't want to spend half your trip searching for bait.

Making the Most of Your Fishing Trips

Those are a few of the items you should always have with you when you go fishing. Several other tools and resources can be immensely helpful as well. As you spend more time fishing, you'll get a feeling for what you need and like to have on hand to tailor the experience to your preferences. You can keep some of these items in your tackle box along with extra floats, sinkers, and other basic supplies. No matter what type of fishing you do, having the right equipment will help you make the most of the trip.

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