Use this packing list for weekend fishing trips

Are you ready for a weekend fishing adventure? How exciting! You should definitely make a packing list for fishing trips before you leave. That way, you can be sure that you are prepared for whatever it takes to create fantastic new fishing memories on the water.

Just save and print this list and tick each item as you package it. Note that this is an example list of fishing gear. Different or additional items may be required depending on the destination and duration of your trip. If you have booked a trip with a charter guide or boat captain, they will most likely provide the equipment and equipment you need. However, always confirm this before leaving.

Packing list for weekend fishing trips

1. Fishing license. Put your fishing license in a small waterproof pack sack for easy access and keep it in your backpack or tackle box while fishing. If you don’t already have a fishing license for the state you want to fish in, buy your license online now.

2. Set of printed government fisheries regulations or online access to fisheries regulations. Regardless of which state you are traveling to, you need to know the legal slot limits, pocket limits and other special regulations that may apply.

3. GPS. If you are planning a fishing trip to a remote area or an unfamiliar location, it is a good idea to have a GPS so you can find the way back to your fishing cabin 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, duct tape, non-latex gloves, and a blanket.

5. Polarized sunglasses. Polarized sunglasses not only protect your eyes from the sun, but they also help prevent the glare on the water so you can spot the fish.

6. Sun protection. Make sure you bring a UVA / UVB broad-spectrum sunscreen or sunscreen, preferably a waterproof one. Even on cloudy days, the sun’s rays can be strong.

7. Bug spray. Always pack a bottle of bug spray to keep pests like mosquitoes, mosquitoes, and ticks away. Whenever you go on a fishing trip with a guide or charter captain, be sure to ask them for a recommendation on a product that will work well in the region or environment in which you are fishing.

8. Seasickness pills. If you are planning an offshore fishing trip, it is a good idea to bring a pack of seasickness pills with you. Follow the directions on the package, but most will work best if you take one again the evening before your fishing trip and one the morning before you leave.

9. Pants. Pants give you more protection from insects and the sun than shorts. Find pants made from lightweight, moisture-wicking or breathable materials.

10. Hat. Add a wide-brimmed hat to your packing list for fishing trips so you can protect your face from the sun.

11. Camera. Bring a camera, cell phone camera, or video camera so 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 dry out.

13. Rain jacket or rain gear. The weather can change without much warning. Therefore, prepare yourself with rainwear (jacket and pants) or at least a rain jacket.

14. Layers of clothing. It can get cold on the water in the mornings and evenings. Prepare for this by dressing in layers that you can remove during the day and as the temperature rises.

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

16. Personal flotation equipment. Always bring your life jacket or personal flotation device (PFD). If you are fishing on a different boat, make sure there are enough PFDs on board and that the PFDs are suitable for the type of fishing trip you are planning – on land or offshore.

17. Extra piece of clothing. If you get wet or if it’s a warm day, you’ll appreciate having fresh, dry clothes to change.

18. Pocket knife or multitool. Bring a multitool for cutting lines, sharpening hooks, and a host of other uses.

19. Pliers. You will need these for removing hooks, adjusting bait, and a host of other things. Take a corrosion-resistant pair with you and keep them in a sleeve.

20. Tape measure. This is a great way to ensure your catch complies with the regulations if you plan to take it home for dinner.

21. Towels. Bring some towels to dry off in case you get wet.

22. Water and snacks. You will want to stay hydrated and have enough energy. Bring plenty of water and non-perishable snacks like almonds, beef dried meat, or granola bars.

23. Fishing rods and reels. If you want to fish alone without a guide or a captain, find out what type of saltwater fishing rods and reels or freshwater fishing rods and reels to bring with you.

24. Fishing line. Make sure you have enough extra fishing line with you in case you need to upgrade. The type of line you use will depend on where you are fishing, what method you want to use, and what types of fish you want to target.

25. Tackle box. If you fish alone without a guide or a captain, you will need to bring a tackle box that contains items such as hooks of various sizes, sinkers, bobbers or floats, bait, a hook, swivels and tippet material, and scissors.

26. Bait. If you are fishing with children, bring or purchase live bait before you arrive at your final fishing destination. Live bait will provide enough bites to keep the kids entertained.

27. Cooler. Bring a cooler to hold your catch (assuming it’s legal and you plan to take it home for dinner) and to keep bottled water cold.

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

29. Medicines. Make sure to pack special medication that you may need while traveling. It’s always a good idea to have an extra few days of medication on hand in case your return trip is delayed or you stay longer than expected.

Hopefully by now you have crossed each of these items off your fishing trip packing list and are ready to go fishing. If you want to learn more about the type of boat you may take on your saltwater or freshwater fishing trip, you can check out the boat comparison tool.

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Debbie Hanson

Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, women’s fishing advocate, IGFA world record holder, and freshwater guide in southwest Florida. Hanson’s written work has been featured 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.

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