Going Fishing? Make Sure You Bring These Items With You
Everyone has their own needs and preferences when fishing, so it's really not that sensible to offer advice about the best gear and equipment to bring along. However, aside from bringing items that are specific to where you will fish and what you plan to catch, there are some things that can make things a little easier when you're on or near the water.
Sun and Insect Protection
Sun protection is probably the last thing on most people's minds until they get to their favorite spot and realize there isn't much shade. Avoid the annoyance, discomfort and risk of being exposed to the sun in all of its glory by packing a good hat, sunscreen and some bright, breathable clothing. Take along your favorite insect repellent, along with some jeans or a long-sleeve shirt if you plan on fishing at dawn or dusk when bugs are most-active as well.
Consider wearing a vest or jacket that has lots of pockets, and a good pair of cargo pants or shorts can come in handy as well. Bring some plastic bags or zipper bags that can be used to protect important items from accidentally getting wet. Needle nose pliers are a must-have for removing hooks from fish or crimping sinkers to your line. A sharp survival or fillet knife is also important if you plan on cleaning the fish on-site.
If you plan on bringing the fish back, and you have room, pack a cooler with ice to keep fish fresh. Stringers can come in handy if you want to keep your catch alive and in the water until it's time to go as well. You'd be surprised at how many people forget these two items, only to realize their importance after they've reeled in their first catch of the day.
Depending on where you are fishing, its important to know if your catch is subject to local or federal size requirements. Bring a small ruler or tape measure that you can use to ensure that you are not fishing illegally. On that note, always make sure that you have the appropriate license with you just in case you encounter a friendly visit from a fish and wildlife officer as well.
Aside from these and other basic essentials, it's important to remember that you don't need to haul all of your gear with you. Once you have an idea of what kind of fish you can expect to catch, you can whittle down your gear until you are left with items that you will most-likely be using. Do a little bit of planning and sorting beforehand, and you'll be surprised at how much space and weight you can save by leaving unnecessary items behind.