Sponsored by Princecraft Boats
When Ang and Pete hit the water, they have a list of essential items that they cannot spend the day on a boat without. Aside from (or maybe along with) the obvious boat safety items, there are a lot that are specific to fishing and even to certain species; that adds to the fun factor of their job.
Fishing and boating go hand-in-hand and so do the following items.
1 – PERSONAL FLOATATION DEVICES
If you have watched the Fish’n Canada television show, our YouTube channel or seen most of our current pictures, you will notice one thing. Our guys are always wearing their PFD’s. It has become habit and the guys are happy they have gone in this direction, especially when they hear tragic stories.
“It’s like putting on our fishing hats or sunglasses” says Ang “our PFD’s have become a normal part of our fishing attire.”
Our team uses the auto-inflating style as they are by far the most comfortable to wear all day long. Remember though, this style of PFD must be worn at all times. If you leave them stowed away as many boaters do with regular “life jackets” you will be breaking the law.
As per the government of Canada’s marine transportation webpage;
If you choose an inflatable PFD, check which boating activities they are approved for under the Small Vessel Regulations.
Inflatable PFDs are prohibited for:
- people who are under 16 years of age, or who weigh under 36.3 kg (80 lbs.)
- operators of personal watercraft
Ang and Pete truly believe that safety should always come first and foremost, in case the unthinkable happens.
2- BATTERY BOOSTER
“We used to carry jumper cables” says Pete “which usually worked but they do have their limitations (read this article to see Ang’s and my dealings with jumpers). Aside from rerouting batteries, the biggest problem was, they got all gummed up with crud and the clamps would rust. We now carry one of those little booster packs and man are they awesome. You won’t believe that they can turn over an outboard or even a big V8 Hemi until you try… and they’ll do it multiple times.”
3 – THERMOS & SPARE CUPS
There is nothing better than a hot cup of coffee when you decide to take a bit of a break from the action… or lack of it. A piping hot coffee always hits the spot.
Oh, but wait, we’re not done.
“When I was a kid, my dad” says Pete “used to always fill a thermos with tomato soup when we were going ice fishing. To this day, it’s still one of the best warm-ups out there!”
4 – USB CHARGING PORT
The FNC1 custom Fish’n Canada Princecraft has a few of these little babies in the dash. They come in handy for not only charging phones, but action cameras like Garmin Virb’s and GoPro’s as well.
5 – ROD HOLDERS
There will come a time when a fishing rod holder ends up being “handier than a pocket on a shirt”. You may think you’re a caster, but just setting that rod into a holder when you’re taking that coffee break that we talked about earlier, is often a godsend.
As well, there’s no better way to ease the workload while trolling. If the wind is too crazy to hand-hold your sticks, rod holders are perfect. We keep then in storage until they are needed.
6 – BUG SPRAY
Although most of our guys fishing is done on a boat where the usual scenario is relatively “bug-free”, it’s the launching areas, docking areas etc. that are often infested with blackflies and mosquitoes. A can of bug spray in the boat is often worth its weight in gold!
Mosquitoes have been called the most deadly predator on earth, and here’s why.
7 – UNDERWATER CAMERA
This is a specialty item that we often carry. With all the amazing technology that companies like Garmin are using with their fish finders, you may wonder why we would need a camera. To be honest, we do not extensively use underwater cameras for that very reason; our Garmin’s are amazing! However, in ultra-clear water situations like the St Lawrence River for example, Pete and Ang will often find fish with their Garmin gear, and then do another drift with an Aqua-Vu to make sure of the species they are after. It is a proof-positive reiteration as to what exactly is below the boat.
8 – DRIFT SOCKS/SEA ANCHORS
Here is another item that does not get used often throughout the open water season but when needed, it is a savior. A drift sock slows down a boat while either trolling or drifting. So often, slower speeds are needed for fish like Walleye that these babies are essential.
Another alternative are paddles that are attached to our boat’s Power Poles. These reduce the boat’s speed tremendously.
9 – EMERGENCY GEAR
Let’s face it, if you are outside and partaking in an activity like fishing, the inevitable could happen. Dealing with fishhooks, knives, Pike & Muskie teeth, Walleye fins and gill covers or maybe a quick outboard repair with some tools that aren’t quite perfect for the job… this could all lead to injuries.
A full first aid kit is an absolute must on all boats.
Look at it this way, if an injury were to occur, you could either call it a day and make your way to the closest hospital or you could “possibly” take things on yourself, patch up those problem areas and get back to filling out that limit. Of course you need to be smart but, at least the option is there!
10 – WATER, WATER AND MORE WATER
Our last submission to this list is SOOOO critical to a successful day in the boat. As anglers often fishing in extreme conditions like heat, they need to stay hydrated. The best way of doing that is to drink lots of water throughout the day. Believe it or not, you will fish much more efficiently and effectively on a hot day with lots of water in your system vs. lots of food. Of course, with good nourishment as well as hydration, you’ll soon morph into a fishing machine!
Kevin Callan talks about a past remote river trip in where one of his fellow campers was sick from major dehydration… it’s not a pretty situation to be in.
Hopefully, you look this top 10 over and pick up an item or two (or more) to add to your fishing rig for this season. And hey, if you are not an angler, then certainly other outdoor activities might warrant an item or two from this list.
We know that not all these suggestions meet every angler’s expectation, but they sure do work for us.
Be safe out there and have fun!