fishing gear

10 Must Have Items When Out On The Water Fishing

How many times have you been out on the water just to discover that you don’t have something you could really use? It happens, right? Everyone has been there along with myself. Today, I’m going to share my must have items to have while out on the water fishing.

Must Have Items While Fishing

Extra Gear/Lures

So, I’m sure you are not going to forget your gear. But let’s think about it in a different light. How many times have you been out on the water and have you gear fail on you, your reel backlash or you forgot to reload your favorite plastics?

Caring an extra rod and reel (or two) with you can save you a boatload of time if something happens to your gear while out on the water. In place of needing to spend time untangling the line you just back-lashed, you can work on it later.

It is always smart to carry extra of your favorite lures, but do you have an assortment? What if your favorite Fluke just isn’t working? No one likes carrying around a large tackle box, but it just may save your trip out.

 

Hat/Glasses

Smallmouth bass fishing wearing Sombriolet Sun Hat

Far too many people forget one or the other while out on the water. A hat and sunglasses are both important and play different roles.

Hat

Many wear baseball caps while out on the water which works but doesn’t give you full protection from the sun. Using a Sombriolet Sun Hat is a smarter choice. It will protect your face and the back of your neck from the sun. How many times have you come home with a burnt up neck…

Sunglasses

Sunglasses are a no brainier but if you have ever been out on the boat and didn’t bring any, I’m sure you remember going forward. Not only do they protect your eyes from the sun’s rays, they will also help you from getting that ridiculous headache from squinting all day. Everyone needs a good pair of fishing sunglasses. They don’t have to be expensive, just make sure they are polarized and keep them in your tackle box.

Sun Block

While we are on the subject of the sun, don’t forget to take some sunblock. If your going to be out all day, protect yourself.

Phone

Fishing app on phone

Photo Credit: navico

You may think this is pretty obvious, but it is worth mentioning. Besides being your way to communicate if you are in trouble or stuck out on the water for some reason, your phone is a great tool for other fishing related tasks. Here is a list of things you may have not thought about using it for:

  • Camera to snap shots of your catches
  • Maps or GPS to navigate the waters
  • Marking good fishing or potential fishing spots
  • Marking underwater structures you find
  • Fishing and weather apps

Measuring Stick

Bass being measured

Depending on what your fishing for and/or if you are keeping your fish, keeping a measuring stick on you comes in handy a lot. Maybe not really needed if your bass fishing for catch and release, but it could come in handy if your in a tournament. It is also smart to have a measuring stick close by if your keeping your catch. The DNR is strict on size limits and you do not want to have that conversation with an officer on why your catch in an inch short. You will be ticketed.

Tip: Look up length limits on what you fish for per your state regulations. Make your marks on the measuring stick so they are permanent. That way, you are always prepared.

Scale

I know, I know, you are a great judge when it comes to guessing weight. But if your in a tournament, you are going to want to check the right fish to keep for weighing and which to send on his marry way back to the water. A scale is not as important as measuring stick but they are nice to have on hand.

Snacks/Drinks

There is nothing worse than being out on the water all day baking in the sun without having energy. You get sick, dehydrated and it could turn dangerous. I have personally been with a friend that passed out because he was not drinking enough (water, he was drinking plenty of beer). Here are a couple ideas for quick energy:

For food

  • Jerky
  • Nuts or trail mix
  • Sausage sticks
  • Snickers (if you can keep cool)
  • Fruit (apple, banana)

For Drinks

  • Water (of course)
  • Gatorade
  • Apple Juice
  • Jug of tea
  • flavor packs for your water

Stay away from carbonated drinks

Friend/Kid

Dad and son fishing

Some hit the waters on their own. Maybe you have the day off, maybe your retired, some people do fish alone and there is nothing wrong with that. But lets’s think about it from a safety standpoint. You always want someone with you in case something happens.

Let’s take it a step further, why not take someone that may not have the opportunity to fish from a boat much. Spread the love of fishing and take a kid. It could be your own , a niece/nephew, a neighbor kid that is looking for the father figure, etc. Even if it someone from work, that person is going to be very thankful they were invited.

Fishing from a boat may be something you don’t think twice about. But for many, that is a huge treat and they will be grateful. People like this help grow the sport on to the next generation.

Safety Gear

Don’t be lazy or cheap. Have your safety gear on-board at all times. It’s not only smart but some of it is law. You do not want to be boarded by t he coastguard and not have your life jackets and fire extinguisher. Here are a couple other things that may come in handy:

  • Whistle (if your stuck out at night with no power so they can find you)
  • First aide kit
  • Small mirror
  • Air horn (may be law)
  • Extra rope (towing or needing to tie off)

Find your state’s boat safety requirements.

Rain Gear

When out on the water, you never know whats going to happen. I have been on the water many of time with sunny skies, and having a storm blow through. It’s always smart to keep some on the boat. Frogg Toggs are light weight and easy to stuff in someplace tight. I actually keep a set on the boat, in the camper, garage, etc. I’m never without. You can check out what I think about Frogg Toggs on a post I wrote a while back.