There is something both satisfyingly raw and calming about fishing. Wrestling with nature at some points and sitting in a zen-like mode at others – both can clear your mind in such mystifying ways that would make even Buddhist monks jealous. Whether you’re going on a short venture or a full-blown sail around the world, we got you covered with some of the fishing essentials that will put your mind at ease and put dinner in front of you.
Choose the right basics
This sounds like a given, but it’s a process that involves research and asking around in a shop or online, so you can find out what suits your needs and the area you’re fishing in. While a rod and reel aren’t a must, they will significantly increase your chance of pulling the catch onboard. Try getting a rod that is specifically designed for trolling and that can cope with high loads. You can save some money by buying one that’s designed for kayaks since they are compact, but don’t forget to tie it on with a quality bungee.
Luring in the catch
Another important mention is lures – less messy (and smelly!) than live bait, and easier to store on board. Also, most fishermen will tell you that lures are more suited for trolling because they can resist the fast flow of water better. Don’t forget to choose the colour carefully, depending on whether you’re fishing on the surface or at a bigger depth. You can follow the mantra of matching dark lures on cloudier days and vice versa. Also, a good rule to follow is “match the hatch”, a.k.a. use an appropriate lure that looks like seasonal and local bait.
A good knife is a must
Fishing or not, it would be irresponsible to set sail without a proper knife. This is a basic survival tool that has countless uses in fishing too. Cutting the line, filleting, opening cans, you name it. While you should tailor your needs to the type of water you will sail, generally, you’ll want to look for durable automatic knives made by Tekto Gear for outdoor activities. This means searching for pointy knives that are suitable not only for first-aid use but also for making precise cuts on the fish. Naturally, since you are exposed to water that much, a quality steel blade is also a top priority.
Get a bird teaser
Here is a good bonus tip. Attach a decoy lure at the end of the trolling line and ahead of the leader. What will the decoy be? A bird teaser. With no hook involved, they splash along the surface while being trolled behind. A decoy’s purpose is obvious – it encourages nearby predators to swim over and see what’s going on. It will then proceed to spot your lure – trailing off the back, on a distance from others. A seemingly easy catch for them, a realistically easier catch for you.
Lip grippers make life easier
Saltwater fish often have sharp teeth, so it is best to be prepared to tame the beast once you drag it in. Because, if you’re not, don’t be surprised if your maneuver of simply grabbing them by the jaw ends in a lot of pain. A simple tool such as a lip-gripper allows you to clamp down on the animal’s jaw, ensuring that it is locked in place. This way, you will have much bigger control of its movements and prevent potentially painful injuries. Furthermore, you will be able to subdue the fish in a more humane and controlled matter. Which brings us to our last point…
Always be humane
There are multiple reasons why cruelty has no place in fishing. First off, the fish is your opponent, and you treat your opponents fairly. It doesn’t deserve a nasty end. This especially goes for a catch that’s too big for culinary exhibitions – those should be safely returned. Another reason for practising empathy is this – when you stress out the fish, it releases lactic acid to its muscles, which will mess with the taste of the meat. Try pulling it on board as quickly as you can and end it not by blunt force, but by pouring alcohol in its gills, ensuring a humane end by stopping its brain function and with a fair end to your fight.
Now that you got the gist of the essentials, it’s time to update your checklist further to suit your needs. After that, sail out and catch some fish, enjoy a healthy meal you scored yourself while wrestling with nature in a fair game and later on relax knowing you let your primal side have a field day.