Summer is almost over, but it’s not too late to go for that fishing trip you have been willing to do, there’s still a few weeks of sunny days and pleasant weather ahead.
Going for a fishing trip is indeed a very exciting moment.
No wonders 40 million people go fishing every year! Some enjoy the quiet and peace of going out alone, while others prefer to go with a group of friends, with their kids or family.
Is there a better bonding experience than a fishing trip, after all?
What you need on a fishing trip?
No matter who you go with, fishing is just the best opportunity to bring you closer while you have fun and enjoy the nature.
Not to mention all the unforgettable memories that are created during a fishing getaway.
Fishing truly is the best way to relax after a week of hard work.
But with the choice of the place to be made, the unpredictability of weather, and all the gear you need to bring, be ready to have your fishing trip checklist in hand before going out to have fun.
If your are an expert or if you are planning your first fishing trip here is how do you should prepare:
- Don’t forget Your License and Insurance
- Design an Itinerary
- Check the weather reports
- Get your fishing essential tools checklist ready
- Safety first
- Plan Your Meals
- Learn how to tie basic knots
- Keep what you can eat
- Do your homework
Don’t forget Your License and Insurance
First thing first, be sure to have your license (or to update it, if need be). Years ago, it used to be a long process to register to get one, while today, buying a fishing license is quick and easy.
In most countries, licenses can be purchased on the web. It just takes the time to go online and register.
Don’t forget that having a license to go fishing is an absolute necessity, so be sure to have it on your fishing trip checklist. Not having one can get you fined and you also risk to have your equipment confiscated. Also, if you’re planning to take your boat to go out fishing, make sure that you are insured (and if you are taking someone else’s boat, check that they are covered too).
And if you don’t have a boat, consider kayak fishing.
Kayaks are affordable, easy to transport and need no insurance. They will also allow you to access those places where you cannot go by foot or using power boats.
Design an Itinerary
Going on a fishing trip is not just getting on a boat and expect to catch as much fish as possible. You must have a plan, starting with where you want to go fishing, or, in other words, design your navigation route.
Finding a good fishing spot can really make a difference in your day and it’s something you must consider if you don’t want to come back with empty hands.
Knowing how to locate the perfect place is a very important skill. Take into consideration the time of the year you go fishing and what species you want to catch. Focusing on a specific species will make you more successful and will also make it easier to identify the place you should go.
So be sure to do your homework in advance by studying the species you are after and where you can find them.
Spend time studying the habitat of the fish, be it a river, lake or the sea. Understanding and identifying the habitat is important to maximize your experience and find the best fish holding spots.
Check the weather reports
Be sure that checking the weather reports is on your fishing trip checklist as well, and make sure to do in advance. It’s no secret that the weather is unpredictable, so it must be routinely checked.
Do it multiple times throughout the week, since there might be changes on a daily basis, or even hourly.
It’s a good idea to set alerts on your smartphone for the area you’re planning to go fishing, so you will be promptly notified if any dangerous situation is coming.
Of course, even with the most careful preparation, unexpected things can happen: be ready and make your plan flexible, so if bad weather occurs it won’t find you unprepared.
Also, remember that the temperature on the water is usually cooler, especially during the early morning or in the evening hours.
How should I dress for a fishing trip?
Pack heavy clothes and a rain gear and you’ll be ready to face any unexpected situation that may come your way.
Get your fishing essential tools checklist ready
One thing you need to do to make sure your trip is successful is to write a fishing trip checklist prior to going out.
This is particularly important if you’ve never been fishing before: fishing is a simple sport, but there is actually a lot to remember.
Of course, you don’t want to forget the fishing essential tools: fishing rods and reels, fishing line, your favorite baits, hooks, lures, bobbers and a tackle box to fit all your accessories. Remember that it’s not mandatory to spend hundreds of dollars on fishing gear: fishing should be fun, easy and affordable.
Important things to pack in your medical kit are seasickness medications and an insect repellent. Bring sunglasses and sunscreen even if the weather’s cloudy and remember to apply it often. Waterproof shoes, extra socks and a change of clothes are very useful too, in case you get soaked.
Also, bring cash, since you never know what you will need to buy last minute and be sure to keep it in a waterproof wallet or bag. Other essentials are a camera (consider a waterproof one), hand towels, tissues and a swimsuit.
If you are going on a boat fishing trip, you should check all the safety gear in advance.
Be sure to have onboard: anchors, bilge pumps, life jackets, fire extinguisher, radio and personal locator.
Find and read the requirements of your local jurisdiction if you don’t know what you need to have on your boat. Also, test your radar in advance before you go sailing.
Plan Your Meals
There’s nothing worse to ruin your day as being stuck far away from land with no food or water.
Make sure you plan your meals ahead of time and bring a surplus of food and water. Consider the time you will leave in the morning and when you are going to return home.
Regarding what to bring: avoid chips, pretzel and crackers and all those salty snacks that will make you thirsty and will let you run out of water quickly.
Keep sodas and alcoholic drinks to a minimum too, as both can dehydrate the body.
Opt for sandwiches, salads and fresh fruit.
Remember to bring sanitizing hand wipes as well, as your food might contaminate your bait: you don’t want the fish to stay away because the scent of the bait is not appealing for them. A fishing trip requires preparation just like any other trip to make sure that the day goes smoothly.
Learn how to tie basic knots
Learning how to tie a knot is very important when you plan to go fishing and should be on your fishing trip checklist as well.
The knot you use to tie on your bait is as important as having all the right tools, place, and preparation: if you fail to tie the know correctly, you just won’t get the fish.
You will need to tie hooks or lures and that’s why basic knots are something to be mastered. Some must-know knots are the Palomar knot, the Trilene knot, the Uniknot, the Eugene Bend knot and the Blood knot.
Also, be sure to know how to use your knots. With a braided line, a Palomar knot is the one that works best, while with fluorocarbon it’s the worst you can use because it will break easily.
With monofilament, you can use either knot. You can learn how to tie knots by watching video tutorials or by doing a research on the web.
Keep what you can eat
…and let the rest of the fish go. Nothing’s better than eating fresh fish, so why keep what you don’t need? Fish should never be wasted.
If you catch a fish that you do not want to bring back home, release it as quickly as possible. Keep the fish in the water and let it go when it begins to wiggle and swim normally.
There’s really no need to fill up your freezer, especially because you’ll have another great excuse for a new fishing trip.
If you’re new to fishing, get information from reliable sources: use books, internet research and talk to people too. It’s best to have a few friends to share information with.
Do your homework
If you know someone reliable who can tell you a good area to start in, this can spare you a lot of research time. If this is truly your first fishing trip, try to go together with an experienced person who can give you tips.
Also, keep in mind that practice makes perfect. But even if you’re a seasoned fisherman who wants to explore unfamiliar waters or go after rare species, get as much information as possible in advance. Researching a body of water, planning your own strategy and developing the best techniques are all things that could increase your success.
Last but not least, remember to always take away what you bring in and never leave behind any rubbish. Fishing line is especially very dangerous to birds and wildlife, so keep in mind to pick up everything and to recycle.