The ultimate Fishing checklist
If you’re thinking of starting out in the world of fishing, it’s important to know exactly what to pack to get the most out of it. It might seem to be a simple sport at heart that is designed to provide a bit of relaxing escapism for participants, but there are a number of things to remember if you are going to find that fishing zen!
In September, we put together the Beginner’s Guide to Fishing, so we’re following up on that introduction to bring you the ultimate fishing checklist for your first foray into the sport.
Here’s what you’re going to need:
As we mentioned in our Beginner’s Guide, taking the correct clothing for fishing is everything. Make sure you’re prepared for the weather not just with base layers, but also with:
- Gloves (or glove liners)
- A fishing suit
- Extra layers
The extra layers can be crucial if the weather changes unexpectedly (this is Britain, after all). There is nothing worse than sitting on the bank for hours in the cold without extra warmth, or a waterproof to keep you dry.
Having the correct fishing equipment is one thing, but preparing it is another. It’s important to remember to get as much as you can ready for the trip before you set off, as the last thing you want to be doing is messing with the umbrella in the rain or arranging your accessories in the cold.
Bait is obviously one of the most crucial items on an angler’s checklist, but if you’re looking to take on fishing as a longer-term hobby, we’d suggest taking plenty of different types of bait with you. Even the most trusted baits don’t do the trick when you’re sat out on the bank, so many experienced anglers like to mix it up a bit so the fish don’t just have one type to choose from (if they don’t like it, they’ll probably go to the angler next to you).
Be sure to have a thorough check through your equipment before you go, ticking off:
- A fishing rod
- Fishing poles
- A seatbox
- Insect repellent
- First aid kit
- Clean towel(s)
It might seem strange to mention navigation when it comes to a sport in which you are sat still for the most part, but the logistics of fishing can make or break your day.
Many lakes, ponds and rivers in Britain aren’t particularly easy places to find and, unfortunately, you can’t always rely on a postcode to get you there, so be sure to take:
- A sat nav for the journey
- Coordinates for the location (not just a postcode)
- Local map (especially of the body of water you’ll be fishing in)
- GPS tracker
Since many fishing spots can be located away from housing and sometimes in secluded places, it pays to keep track of where you are in relation to main roads.
To that end, considering the suitability of your transport is also key;
- Is it large enough to fit in all your fishing gear?
- Is it suitable to physically reach the fishing spot or a nearby carpark?
Food and drink
Sustenance is crucial if you’re in it for the long haul, so be sure to take enough to get you through a few hours on the bank. Remember to take:
- A flask of hot water, tea or coffee
- A picnic or pack-up, e.g. sandwiches and soup
- Snacks, e.g. fruit and crisps
It’s easy to forget to keep yourself hydrated during a fishing session, so taking plenty of liquid with you will stand you in good stead.
Check the rules
You’ll quickly realise that different fishing spots have different rules, even if you’re simply pleasure fishing and you’re not on a match, so checking ahead of arrival will ensure you don’t break them.
If you’re going freshwater rod fishing, be sure to:
- Check the rules in your area before you go
Whether it’s a daily licence you’re using whilst getting into the sport or a yearly one to fully commit, you need to make sure it is all up to date before you arrive.
You’ll also need to purchase a fishing ticket for your spot of choice – you can get these from the venue itself or from your local post office or tackle shop.
- Rod fishing licence (check our Beginner’s Guide for details)
- Fishing tickets
One knack of any angler worth their salt is to research the location before arriving, so be sure to put this on your checklist if you want to enjoy some successful trips!
You can speak to local anglers, quiz staff at local tackle shops and, of course, check up on the internet to see which baits work best for which fish, which peg is a flyer, what tactics you should employ in certain bodies of water – the list goes on, but your research will pay off if you are serious about making fishing a genuine hobby.