There’s nothing worse than getting on the water for a day of fishing, opening the cooler and… You forgot ice or drinks. Maybe your fishing license is back at home in your sock drawer. In the rush to go fishing, we often forget the stuff we need to fish. Or maybe that’s just me. More than once I’ve blasted out of the house and gotten halfway to the spot before realizing the rods were still in the garage. To be more prepared, and help absent-minded old-timers, 100-miles-per-hour millennials, and new fishermen who don’t know a crankbait from a dipsey diver, we’ve created a list of the 10 must-have essentials for any kind of fishing. They’re listed here in order of importance.
⦁ Jerky, any animal will do. It’s important to have your priorities straight. To fish without jerky is like rock climbing without a rope. It can be done, but at what cost? Here’s a pro tip: Fill your glove box with as many jerky packs as possible. Then you likely won’t run out for at least a couple of days. An added benefit: No police officer will give you a speeding ticket if 19 packs of pepper jack spill to the floor when you reach for your registration. Just saying…
⦁ Rods and reels. These are also important for fishing. If you’re prone to forgetfulness, make a point to go over your rods and reels the night before. Make sure they’re clean. Check the knots and swivels, then tie on whatever lure you want to throw first the next morning. This way, there’s way less thinking needed before go-time.
⦁ Tackle box. That first lure you tied on sucks, doesn’t it? Yeah, I know the feeling. That seems to happen 99 percent of the time. Like with the rods and reels, go through your tackle box the night before to ensure you have options, at least before the first couple of trips. And like the jerky, this should live in your truck so it’s never left behind.
⦁ Fishing license. Because getting a ticket is no fun.
⦁ Can of Grizzly. A little pick-me-up helps the old thinker remember the important stuff. It focuses the mind, if you will, and is about the finest way to spend a summer day fishing, along with…
⦁ Cooler, adult beverages on ice included. Now we’re in a happy place. Cheers.
⦁ Sunglasses. Squinting is overrated. Polarized glasses are the thing to get because they help see down into that water and after those fish. They’re necessary for sight-casting and looking like you know what you’re doing.
⦁ Trucker hat. Because sunscreen is overrated.
⦁ Sandwiches, pronounced “sammiches” or “sammies.” Everyone gets hungry on the water. There’s nothing in this world more portable and delicious than meat and mayo stuck between two pieces of bread. Except maybe jerky. And chew. Jerky and chew are pretty damn delicious.
⦁ Five-gallon bucket. Back in 1648, the first 5-gallon bucket was invented, made of iron hoops and oak planks, much like a wine barrel of yore. About 40 seconds after it was created, a fisherman said, “I can sit on that.” So deep is the history of buckets and fishing. If you’re a fancy pants and have a boat, a bucket is still handy to carry your Grizzly and sammies, or in the event an emergency sit-down is needed.