BlogOctober 2016

Use This Weekend Fishing Trip Packing List

Use This Weekend Fishing Trip Packing List

By Debbie Hanson

Oct 27, 2016

 Are you getting ready to head off on a weekend angling adventure? How exciting! You'll definitely want to create a fishing trip packing list before you leave.

Are you getting ready to head off on a weekend angling adventure? How exciting! You'll definitely want to create a fishing trip packing list before you leave. This way, you can rest assured knowing that you're prepared with everything you need to make fantastic new fishing memories on the water. 

Just save and print this list, crossing off each item as you pack it. Keep in mind that this is a sample fishing gear list. Different items or additional items may be needed depending on the destination and duration of your trip. If you booked a trip with a charter guide or boat captain, he or she will most likely provide the tackle and gear you need, but always confirm this before you leave.

Weekend Fishing Trip Packing List 

1. Fishing license. Slip your fishing license into a small waterproof dry bag for easy access and store it inside your backpack or tackle box while fishing. If you don't already have a fishing license for the state where you plan to fish, just purchase your license online now.

2. Set of printed state fishing regulations or access to fishing regulations online. No matter which state you travel to, you will need to know the legal slot limits, bag limits, and other special regulations that may apply.

3. GPS. If you plan to take a fishing trip to a remote area or unfamiliar place, it's a good idea to have a GPS so that you can find your way back to your fishing lodge or campsite.

4. First aid kit. Pack a portable first aid kit that includes items such as antibiotic ointment, bandages, tweezers, antiseptic wipes, aspirin, gauze pads, cloth tape, non-latex gloves, and a blanket.

5. Polarized sunglasses. Polarized sunglasses will not only protect your eyes from the sun, they also help to cut through the glare while on the water so you can spot the fish.

6. Sunscreen. Be sure to bring a UVA/UVB broad-spectrum sunscreen or sunblock, preferably one that is waterproof. Even on cloudy days, the suns rays can be strong.

7. Bug spray. Always pack a bottle of bug spray to keep pests like mosquitoes, gnats, and ticks away. If you are taking a fishing trip with a guide or charter captain, you may want to ask them for a recommendation on a product that works well in the area or environment you'll be fishing in. 

8. Seasickness pills. If you plan to take an offshore fishing trip, it's a good idea to bring along a packet of seasickness pills. Follow the instructions on the package, but most work best if you take one the night before your fishing trip, and then one again in the morning before you leave.

9. Pants. Pants will provide you with more protection against insects and the sun than a pair of shorts. Find pants in a lightweight, moisture-wicking or breathable materials.

10. Hat. Add a wide-brimmed hat to your fishing trip packing list so that you can use it to keep your face shielded from the sun. 

11. Camera. Bring along a camera, cell phone camera, or video camera so that you can document all of your amazing catches.

12. Waterproof bag. Use a waterproof bag to store your camera, cell phone, and anything else you need to keep dry.

13. Rain jacket or rain gear. Weather can change in without much warning, so be prepared with a set of rain gear (jacket and pants) or at least a rain jacket. 

14. Layers of clothes. Mornings and evenings on the water can get chilly. Be prepared by dressing in layers that you can remove as the day progresses and temperatures rise.

15. Non-skid and non-marking boat shoes. Leave the sandals and flip-flops at home. Opt for non-skid and non-marking shoes that are made for wearing on a boat. 

16. Personal flotation devices. Always bring along your life jacket or personal flotation devices (PFD). If you will be fishing on someone else's boat, check to be sure they have enough PFD's aboard, and that the PFD's are suited to the type of fishing trip you plan to take -- inshore or offshore.

17. Extra set of clothes. If you get wet or it's a warm day, you'll appreciate having a fresh set of dry clothes to change into afterwards.

18. Pocket knife or multi-tool. Bring along a multi-tool for cutting lines, sharpening hooks, and for a number of other uses.

19. Pliers. You'll need these for removing hooks, making adjustments to lures, and a number of other things. Take along a pair that is corrosion-resistant and keep them stored in a sheath. 

20. Tape measure. This will help you make sure that your catch is within the regulations if you plan to take it home to cook for dinner.

21. Towels. Bring along a few towels to use for drying off in case you get wet.

22. Water and snacks. You will want to stay hydrated and have enough energy. Bring along plenty of water and non-perishable snacks such as almonds, beef jerky or granola bars.

23. Fishing rods and reels. If you plan to fish on your own without a guide or captain, find out which type of saltwater fishing rods and reels or freshwater fishing rods and reels you'll need to bring along.

24. Fishing line. Make sure you have plenty of extra fishing line along in case you need to re-rig. The type of line will vary depending on where you will be fishing, the method you intend to use, and the specific fish species you plan to target. 

25. Tackle box. If you are fishing on your own without a guide or captain, you'll need to bring along a tackle box that includes items such as various sizes of hooks, sinkers, bobbers or floats, lures, a de-hooker, swivels, leader material, and scissors.

26. Bait. If you are fishing with kids, you'll want to bring along or purchase some live bait before you arrive at your final fishing destination. Live bait will help ensure plenty of bites to keep the kids entertained.

27. Cooler. Bring along a cooler for storing your catch (provided it's within the legal regulations and you plan to take it home for dinner) and keeping bottled water cold. 

28. Cash. Don't forget to bring cash to pay for charter gratuities, bait, fuel, etc.

29. Medications. Remember to pack any special medications you might need while away from home. It's always a good idea to have a few extra days of medications on hand in the event your trip back is delayed or you end up staying longer than expected.

Hopefully you have now checked each of these items off of your fishing trip packing list and are ready to go fishing. If you want to learn more about the type of boat you may be taking out on your saltwater or freshwater fishing trip, you can check the boat comparison tool.
Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, women’s sport fishing advocate, IGFA world record holder, and freshwater guide living in Southwest Florida. Hanson’s written work has appeared in publications such as Florida Game & Fish Magazine, BoatUS Magazine, and USA Today Hunt & Fish. To learn more about her work, visit or follow her on Instagram @shefishes2.