Ten Fishing Must-Haves For Your Boat

If you’ve never fished from a boat, you’re in for a new kind of adventure. But with every new adventure, comes a new checklist of essentials. When you’re on the water, you can’t run to a nearby bait shop if you forget a crucial item. Make sure you’re prepared with all the fishing gear you’ll need before you head out so there’s no interruption to your day on the water and remember to wear a lifejacket when fishing or moving around your boat.

Fishing license

Always check the local laws of where you’ll be fishing ahead of time so you can get the proper permits and licenses. Keep the paperwork on board in case someone requests it. Permits and licenses ensure we don’t overfish so future generations will still have access.

Rod, reel, and line

Without a rod, reel, or line, you won’t be doing much angling. If you’re new to fishing, choose a medium-action spinning combo spooled with 10-pound monofilament to cover a variety of locations and species. Don’t forget to take any used line back to shore to dispose of it properly.

Hooks and sinkers

Have a variety of hooks and sinkers on board to cover different fish species and uses. Keep some split shot or sliding sinkers with you as well to keep bait down.

Lures or bait

Research where you’ll be fishing before you go to know what kind of bait you need. Not all fish will bite all bait or lures, so consider what you’ll be catching.

Proper attire

Angling is a patience game. That means you need to come prepared for spending hours at the mercy of the weather. Sun can be brutal as it reflects off the water, so remember polarized sunglasses (which also help your eyes cut through the surface glare to see below the water), a neck gaiter or sun mask, and sunscreen. If conditions will be cool, wear layers.

Basic tool kit

Put together a basic tool kit including pliers to remove hooks from fish, scissors to cut line, a multitool for other incidentals, and superglue to secure knots or make minor repairs.

First aid kit

You should already have a first aid kit aboard your boat. Make sure it’s handy when you’re fishing.

Digital scale, ruler, and camera

If you get a big catch while angling from your boat, you’ll want proof. A digital fish scale, ruler, and camera will ensure you can back up your claims when you tell friends about the Big One.

Landing net or gaff

Once you get a bite, a landing net or gaff can help you get the fish on board your boat.

Filet knife and sharpener

If you like to filet your fish on-site, keep a filet knife on deck. Keep it sharp to make quick work preparing your catch for dinner.

Beyond the essentials

Once you’ve been angling from your boat for a while, you’ll want to become more sophisticated in your approach. Choose rods and reels specific for your location or preferred species. Research technology to help you track and find your catch. Once you’re hooked, enjoy hunting for the hottest and latest accessories.