Summer is upon us, and that means that plenty of optimistic fishermen are heading out into the warm summer weather to try their luck on the banks.
Fishing is an excellent way of relaxing after a tough week. Nothing beats the peaceful contemplation that fishing affords and many successful businessmen and career driven folks attribute fishing as a factor in their success. But before you even think about heading down to your local river, you’ll need a fully stocked fishing bag. Of course, the items you choose will depend on the type of fishing you plan to do and your personal preferences and techniques.
However, there a few fundamental bits of kit that you shouldn’t go without – here are the nine things that should always be knocking around your kit bag.
A Range of Hooks
It’s essential to stock up on a variety of hooks so you can be prepared for anything the river throws at you. It’s always better to use a hook to suit the bait you’re fishing with rather than the fish you’re aiming to catch. That’s why it’s so important to carry a range of sizes – so if you’re having no luck with one type of bait, you can switch up your approach with different hook sizes.
Whether you’re wrestling with a river monster of the deep or you get your line caught on something below the surface, it’s a pretty safe bet you’ll be at the end of a broken fishing line at some stage. That’s when some extra line will come in handy.
The kind of line you carry will depend significantly on the type of fishing that you’re undertaking. If you find yourself fishing in rough circumstances you must adapt and utilise a more substantial and robust line; this minimises the probability of the line breaking. But, if you’re fishing in optimal conditions then making a nuisance with a thick, dense line won’t get you anywhere. Using a thinner, stealthier line is the best strategy here.
It’s advisable to carry several different types of line, so you can be ready when circumstances develop.
A Variety of Lures
The classic worm on the hook is usually the best strategy. But to improve as a fisherman, it’s always good to occasionally break out some of the more advanced strategies. There are hundreds – maybe even thousands – of different lures out there, such as minnow shapes, topwater, buzz baits and so many more.
Each different lure is designed to operate differently. For example, minnow lures are designed to look like easy pickings for hunting fish, who love to chow down on smaller fish. A topwater lure sits on the surface of the water and encourages the fish to attack from below. Buzzbaits are designed to move through the water to coax bigger predators from cover by creating a scene of colour and movement that predators mistake for their next meal.
There are so many different kinds of lures and how many and what types you choose to keep in your fishing bag is down to personal preference. Try out a few and see which works best for you.
Bobbers are great if you’re just starting out as they can help you learn exactly when you’re getting a bite, because the floater will sink.
There’s quite a range of bobbers, but the most popular is probably the red and white plastic kind. The rounded ones are much easier to use because you can just clip them to the line, but this will limit the depths you’re able to cast in.
Enter the slip bobber. Slip bobbers can slide up and down the line, which takes a little longer to rig, but the results will be worth the effort as you’ll be able to cast into deeper waters.
Fishing with a hook and worm is a classic technique, but if you’re trying to hook more prominent bottom dwellers, this probably won’t bring you too much joy as the worm is too light to sink to the bottom.
This is where a sinker comes in to play. It’s really easy to lose sinkers along the river bed, so it’s a good ideal to bulk up your armoury with a few of these.
Sinkers are most commonly made of lead, but in recent years environmental concerns have led to many fishing venues banning them. More recently manufacturers have begun developing high-density resins that are acceptable for both the fisherman and the environment.
Line Cutting Implement
It can be frustrating when you have to cut the line, but sometimes there’s no other option; especially when the situation becomes dangerous. Knives are useful, but seasoned pros often endorse the use of nail clippers – they are quicker and more efficient, which is especially important if you need to resolve a situation reasonably quickly.
A decent pair of durable pliers will be needed to remove the hooks safely from the fish after you catch them. But, sometimes you’ll need them to remove the hooks from your own body. As painful as it sounds, it’s just another day in the life of a fisherman.
It’s not often you’ll have any serious injury on the banks, but a small first aid kit should be the first thing in your fishing bag. Catching a hook at an unfortunate angle can often lead to injury and so can be being pulled over by a particularly strong fish combined with adverse weather.
Your first aid doesn’t have to be state-of-the-art, but some antiseptic liquid or cream will prevent any nasty germs getting into cuts and scrapes; combine this with some bandages and waterproof plasters, and you will are covered in most common fishing-related injury scenarios.
This is probably the most overlooked aspect of a basic fishing kit bag. In most cases, and especially if you’re fishing abroad, you’ll be spending a lot of time in the sun.
To prevent skin irritations and even cancer, it’s essential to protect yourself from the sun. A hat and most importantly sun cream are essential for adequate sun protection. Some fishermen also carry portable chairs with umbrellas attached.
As with any outdoor activity, it’s vital to stay safe and ensure that you’re prepared for any eventuality. This is particularly crucial when it comes to fishing as conditions can change at the drop of a hat and you must be ready to adapt to make the most of your excursion.