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Fishing Bag Must Haves

Updated: Jul 13, 2023

John Self shared what he has on him at all times while fishing!



How we keep our tackle and other fishing accessories has changed from an old tool box, to tackle boxes made for fishing and now we have chest packs, sling bags, backpacks and many other ways to store and travel with the tools we use to catch fish. We’re going to ignore tackle for this one and we are going to look at the other accessories I commonly bring with me and why.


Scale: Scales can be either spring scales or digital. Many people bring these with them as a way of measuring their fish. Fish that are the same length can be different weights so this is commonly a way of measuring fish size for both friendly and serious competition.


Measuring Board: Very important piece of gear for any angler keeping fish or participating in CPR tournaments(Catch, Photo, Release). They’re very accurate and help ensure fish are the proper length to be added to your creel.


Fillet Knife: If you're going to be cleaning and eating your fish you will want to bring one of these. Bleeding a fish in the water is a great way to remove any gamey or fishy taste from the meat. Its also the best tool for the job. You can get by with a pocket knife, however it will probably waste a lot of meat and be a real pain.


Line Clippers: Absolutely one of the most important pieces of gear to bring fishing. Using your teeth is never good for cutting lines and if you have braided line it simply wont work. I suggest a pair of clippers made for fishing line and maybe even a pair of scissors as backup for any heavier lines or braid you may use.


Sunglasses: Never fish without them, the amount of sun reflecting back to your eyes from the water can be intense, so a pair with good UV protection is a must. If they're polarized it will also cut the glare and allow you to see into the water better. Different polarizations and lens tint colors work better in varying conditions.


Sunscreen/Sun Clothing: Just like with our eyes we need to protect our skin from the sun. Sunscreen can be a more preferable choice in the summer heat if you're wearing shorts or a t-shirt. UPF clothing is another option, many of the long sleeves are airy and light enough that they can be worn in the heat still. Also face shields to protect the rest of your face that your glasses don’t.


First Aid: I don't usually keep it in the bag, but it’s always in the boat or car. Make sure it's got a good variety of bandage sizes and materials just in case.


Pliers/Multi tool: Treble hooks are always easier to remove with a pair of pliers and helps keep your fingers away from the barbs.


Water Bottle/Filter: Hydration is important, you can’t always bring all the water you’ll need so I commonly keep a water bottle fitted with a removable filter straw in my bag.


Headlamp: Early morning and evenings can be a hard time to tie on. Make sure you bring a light source, I prefer a headlamp to keep my hands free and to avoid bothering others with a bright light. You’ll also be able to see obstacles and avoid falls on your way to and from your fishing spot.


This is by no means an all encompassing list, just an example from my own gear to help anyone starting out or that may need a refresher.



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