There's one male passion that has mystified women since the beginning of time. And if you haven't guessed it by now – it's fishing. Wading in rivers and rapids, leaning over bridges and boats, angling for the tug on the line seems like the ultimate fix for the primal hunting urge that still lies within men.
It's not to say women don't love fishing. In fact, more women are taking up fishing and many can teach their male counterpart a thing or two about angling. But the numbers have only just started to grow.
Fishing has been one of the most popular outdoor activities in the United States of America. Statistics show that over 45 million Americans went for at least one fishing hunt in 2015.
Looking to Catch the Big One?
Fishing is not simply a pastime but it's an excellent survival skill. Over hundreds of years, fishing techniques and tools have evolved. And so have the essentials in the fishing tackle box.
The content of a tackle box can vary depending on what you're trying to catch but the basics remain the same. To get a comprehensive list of fishing essentials, I went to the Florida Keys to catch up with some heavyweight old timers.
And here's what I found.
Top 7 Fishing Essentials
01. Get a Fishing License– Before anything else, you need to make sure you are allowed to fish. For this, you'll need a fishing license issued by the state. They are easy to get and you can buy one from a sports store or even Walmart.
02. Survival Basics– Fishing is a survival skill and stepping in the backcountry means you need to be ready for everything. This means you should ideally carry everything from the list below.
- Map and compass
- Extra clothing
- Headlamp or flashlights
- First aid supplies
- Fire – waterproof matches or lighter
- Extra drinking water
03. Knife– I could’ve listed a knife under survival basics but a good knife is so essential to fishing, it needed to be listed separately. Ask any smart fisherman and he'll tell you that it pays off to have a good knife in the tackle box. You'll need it for many reasons - cutting your line, filleting, first-aid, wood, fire, preparing food, opening cans and much more.
What Kind of a Fishing Knife Should You Get?
This can depend on the type of catch you're after. However, typically you want to get a quality knife with the characteristics below:
- Blade should taper to a thin point– This will allow you to score the fish and make precise cuts. Also, pointy knives are always recommended for first-aid and all kinds of outdoor activities.
- Should have good quality steel blade– This is important as your blade shouldn't rust when exposed to water.
- Right balance of thickness and flexibility– Your knife needs to be hard, sharp and flexible all at the same time. This is important for filleting. Damascus blade is one of the best steel for the job.
04. Fully charged cell-phone or Marine Radio– I know this should go without saying as everyone carries a phone these days. But it's important to carry one with full charge in case you need to reach marine patrol, police or coast guards.
05. Sunscreen and sunglasses– Make sure to protect yourself from the sun's rays as chances are you'll be exposed to it for long hours.
06. Life-vest– If you're going to be in the water or on a boat, take the necessary precautions and wear a lifejacket.
07. Basic Fishing Essentials Checklist
These essentials should go without any special mention but it's always handy to have a checklist, so you do not miss any of them when leaving in a hurry (or in excitement). Make sure to take extras if you can.
- Fishing Rod
- Plastic Worms