Ultimate Checklist For Your Next Fishing Trip

Ultimate Checklist For Your Next Fishing Trip

You wake up early, you get your boat out on the water, you get your fishing line in the water, and you wait. You take in the early morning chill, enjoying the silence and solitude. And when you get a tug on the line, you put in the fight and triumphantly pull that fish out of the water.

Sounds awesome, right? Makes you want to plan a fishing trip, doesn’t it?

You want to enjoy your fishing trip, not trying to dig around, and hope you brought everything. Make sure you’re prepared with our ultimate fishing trip checklist.

Fishing Trip Checklist:

  • Fishing license
  • The right clothes
  • Fishing poles
  • Tackle Box
  • Live bait
  • Sun protection
  • Insect repellent
  • First aid kit
  • Pocket knife
  • Waterproof bag for electronics
  • GPS and compass
  • Water and Food
  • Measuring tape
  • Cooler

Fishing Trip Checklist

Fishing License

First things first, you’re going to need your fishing license. The bulk of the money that comes in from people acquiring their fishing license goes toward improving your overall fishing experience. Things like fish habitat programs, fish stocking, and educational programs are all in part supported by money from fishing licenses. 

Something else you’ll want to make a note of is the fishing regulations in your area. Laws differ depending on what state you live in and even the specific area you’re fishing in. Before you head out for your fishing trip, make sure you know what the rules are.

The Right Clothes

Make sure you’re wearing clothing that works for your fishing activities. Dress in layers so that you can be comfortable and adapt as the temperature changes. This is especially important if you’re going to start your fishing trip early in the morning (which you should do because the fish are far more active in the morning hours.) A rope belt will also serve you well on your fishing trip, as well as a vest or pants with plenty of pockets to keep the essentials close by.

Fishing Poles

What’s a fishing trip without your fishing poles? According to Men’s Health, “today’s rods are made of space-age materials that mean they can last a lifetime, handle a wider variety of fish, and take a beating.”

Do some research and invest in a quality fishing rod that will serve you well and that will last for multiple fishing trips. Depending on where you’re fishing, your skill level, and the type of fishing you want to try, you can find all sorts of different fishing rods. If that overwhelms you, you can also rent fishing rods or borrow from your favorite angler.

Tackle Box

Every good fisherman knows that their tackle box makes a huge difference when fishing. Keep it full of all little pieces and fishing supplies, including extra fishing line, bobbers, a variety of hook sizes, leaders, sinkers, nose pliers, etc. Make sure that you keep it protected and organized. 

Live Bait

Live bait is going to make a massive difference in how successful your fishing trip is. The kind of live bait you bring will differ depending on where you’re fishing and what type of fish you’re going after. The bait that works best for bass is different from the bait that works best for trout, and what you use to lure catfish will vary from what is ideal for general saltwater fishing.

Sun Protection

Don’t forget about sun protection. Apply sunscreen and bring along your sunglasses and a hat. No one wants to be dealing with a sunburn after the perfect fishing trip! Apply sunscreen before you leave in the morning, and then bring it along with you so that you can reapply as needed.

Insect Repellent

You’re bound to encounter some bugs while you’re out on your fishing trip, so make sure you bring along some insect repellent. Insects love the water and many biting insects will be looking for you. If you bring along some insect repellent, you won’t be bothered during your fishing trip, and you won’t be itching and uncomfortable afterward.

First Aid Kit

You never know what could happen on a fishing trip, and you don’t want to find yourself unprepared. Make sure you properly pack your first aid kit so that you’re prepared. Bring along the classics, like band-aids, antibiotic ointment, gauze, ibuprofen, safety pins, tweezers, and antiseptic wipes.

Some items that are more specific to fishing include motion sickness pills and electrolyte drinks in case of dehydration.

Pocket Knife

You never know when you’ll need a knife or some scissors, making a pocket knife an easy addition to our list of what you need to go fishing. 

Waterproof Bag for Electronics

You’re bound to bring your phone along, whether it be to snap some photos or keep family and loved ones updated on your whereabouts. However, your phone will be rendered useless if it gets too wet. Bring along a waterproof bag to keep your phone and any other electronics safe during your fishing trip.

GPS and Compass

Ensure you have the right tools to keep track of where you are and where you’re going. Both a GPS and a compass are going to come in handy.

You might consider downloading apps that can serve as GPS and compass. It will take up less space, and it might even be easier to use.

Water and Food

You have to keep your energy up, right? When choosing your food, make sure you’re bringing snacks that aren’t too crunchy and loud — you don’t want to scare the fish away! Bring along some bottled water and snacks to enjoy while you wait for the fish to bite.

Measuring Tape

You know, for the inevitable big catch! Make sure you’re recording all of the proper dimensions for the landmark catch that you’re sure to make on your fishing trip. A soft measuring tape is recommended since it takes up less space.


You’ll want an efficient way to store all the fish you catch on your trip. Be sure to bring along a cooler large enough to accommodate your needs. This will change depending on how long your fishing trip is, how many people will be using the cooler, and what fish you’re anticipating catching.

With our ultimate fishing checklist, it’s easy to pack all the essentials and get ready for an unforgettable experience.