The pre-launch checklist for a coastal fishing trip usually goes something like this:
Snacks and beverages—check, check.
Yup. Capt. Jason Stock loaded two of them on his custom Hanson bay boat and put both of them to good use.
First one carried his anchor, chain and rope. Deck organization defines efficiency on your small inshore boats and with a lot going on, the last thing you need is someone tripping over loose anchor rope. Deployment and collection are simplified with a plastic container with flow-through sides and drain holes poked in the bottom.
Notably, offshore anglers may use a plastic basket to carry extra scope when fishing deeper than what’s tucked in the anchor locker will handle. Held in a storage hatch, the basket lets your feed out and then collect the extra rope in an orderly fashion.
The same goes for Stock’s Goliath grouper hand-lining rig. Nothing fancy here, it’s just a 50-foot rope linked to a heavy cable leader that’s crimped to a hook bigger than your hand. Once one of these 200- to 600-pound slobs gobbles the dead mackerel or ladyfish, it’s just you and Mr. Big Mouth.
But after the show, stowing the gear requires more than simply sticking a rod in a rack. Neatly coiled in the basket, the Goliath gear remains easily accessible, yet conveniently out of the way.
And here’s another one: Bait net catch basin. Fresh live baitfish is essential to many coastal pursuits, but cast netting can put the minnows through a bruising ordeal. Dropping livies onto a hard boat deck can worsen the experience and weaken your bait.
Avoid this by dumping your net into a plastic storage bin with a few inches of water. Emptying the bin into the livewell ensures that your baitfish hit the holding tank in top fighting form.