If you are planning to make it big on the show Survivor, it might be a useful skill to learn how to catch a fish with nothing but the hands God gave you. For the other 38 million Americans who actively participate in hunting and fishing, being properly equipped for a fishing trip is the difference between enjoying yourself and coming home empty-handed. It’s a delicate balance to make sure you have all of the supplies you need, but that you aren’t weighed down by clutter that you don’t need. Some of your fishing essentials depend on the environment you’re in and the type of fish you’re hoping to catch, but almost all fishing trips should include this essential list:
- Your Fishing License
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service carefully monitors the game and fish populations to keep our delicate ecosystem in balance. Issuing licenses a way of ensuring that there are not too many people reducing wild populations, and that you are not taking marine species that could have a negative impact on the ecosystem. What that means to you is that if you are caught breaking licensing regulations in your area, you’ll be subject to hefty fines. You can obtain a fishing license online or at a tackle shop nearby your fishing destination. Make sure you don’t leave home without it.
- Food and Water
Spending a lot of time in the great outdoors can really zap your energy. Staying hydrated should be one of your greatest priorities. Even if your outing is only going to last between lunch and dinner, make sure you bring plenty of water. Beyond that, don’t let yourself get hungry! Having food on hand will keep the trip enjoyable for yourself and your companions. Being hungry makes a person cranky.
- Fishing Gear to Match Your Game
The basic fishing tools are a fishing rod, a line, and some bait. Everyone knows that at a minimum, you will need that much. The type of fishing sport you are attempting and the type of fish you hope to be eating for supper determines what other gear you will be needing. Unless you’re an expert in the area, it’s a good idea to swing by a local tackle shop and ask what type of fish are biting and what equipment you will need.
- A Cooler
You will need something to store your fish in, so they are fresh when it’s time to eat. If your fishing hole is just a short walk away, you might only need to look for a cooler that is leak proof and provides good insulation. If you take your fishing trips on one of the 16.8 million boats our great country boasts of, you might want to consider a compact storage option like a backpack cooler or insulated bag that can be tucked away until it’s needed.
You will find that not all coolers are created equally. Having a great cooler is an essential part of being successful. When you’re ready to buy a nice fishing cooler, it’s a good idea to consider the ice retention rate, leakage reviews, capacity per cubic foot, and drainage.
- A Recording Device
Let’s be honest, fishers get a bad rap for exaggerating the size of their catch. When you have the catch of a lifetime, you’re probably going to want to talk about it once or 300 times, and maybe people will be hesitant to believe you because of the tall tales other fishers (not you) have come up with about their impressive catches (once again, not you).
However, there’s no denying your glory if you have photographic evidence of it. Science tells us that 82% of the time you’ll be fishing with a buddy. If you have a camera handy when you catch that mythical creature that only a fisher at your adept skill level is capable of catching, your co-fisher can snap a picture of your big smile while holding it.
What are your must-haves when you go on a fishing trip? Share your fishing packing tips with us the comment section below!