The warm season is approaching, so you know what that means: it’s fishing time. Therefore, you must be prepared for it. If your experience with fishing is limited, you might need some help with getting the equipment you need.

I know that when I first started fishing I was clueless. I had no idea what my tackle box should contain. In time, though, I’ve come to the conclusion that personal preference plays a crucial role.

Even so, there are still some components that mustn’t miss from your tackle box. I’ll list them in today’s post and tell you what makes them crucial. If you are not sure what type of tackle box to buy check out our 2018 guide on fishing tackle boxes.

  1. Fishing License

Did you know that if you don’t have your fishing license, you might end up in some serious trouble? Depending on species you’re fishing, you might be required to pay a fine, or in a worst-case scenario, you could face legal action. That being said, make sure you have your fishing license at hand if you stumble across a park ranger.  Find your appropriate state license through the DNR.

  1. Lures and Bait

Before each fishing trip, you should get the proper lures and bait; otherwise, your rate of success will be drastically reduced – emphasis placed on proper. Many times, I somehow managed to pack the wrong lures, which, as you can imagine, was a disaster.

That being said, when you pick the lures and bait, you should determine what species you plan on fishing. As you already know, each species is likely to bite specific lures and baits. At the same time, the water conditions are just as critical.

What is more, in the event in which the fish you’re targeting doesn’t bite one lure, you should be prepared. There’s no harm to it – quite the opposite.

  • Extra Line

There are many situations in which your fishing line is likely to break. For instance, that may happen if you get it caught on a log, or it simply gets tangled and breaks. These are mere examples, though – the scenarios are endless.

What I’m trying to say is that having extra line is mandatory on a fishing trip. The line you need will depend on where you’re fishing and the species you’re targeting.

Let’s say that you’re fishing in rough conditions. Therefore, you should pack a durable, tough line, to be on the safe side. This will significantly diminish the likelihood of incidents. On the other side, if you’re fishing in clear water, stealth is recommended – so, go for a thin, clear line that will lure the fish.

  1. Bobbers

Bobbers, also referred to as floaters, are equally important. That’s because they give you a “hint” when the fish bites your bait. In plain English, the minute a fish bites the bait, the bobber sinks. This lets you know that you can reel the catch.

Essentially, you have plenty of choices to pick from when it comes to bobbers. The most popular ones are the round red and white plastic ones. Another option would be using a piece of cork that has a stick in it. What you have to do is tie it to your line and you’re all set.

  1. Compact First Aid Kit

Although nobody plans on getting hurt during fishing trips, these things are never planned, are they? I speak from experience, being prepared is a must.

For example, small injuries are quite common, such as having the hook caught in your thumb. Another typical scenario might be falling down.

For this kind of situations, it makes sense to pack a compact first aid kit that contains some band-aids, bandages, waterproof medical tape, and anything that could help you care for fishing-related injuries.

  1. Sinkers

As a rule of thumb, hooks are too lightweight so that they can sink deeply. This means you should attach a sinker to the fishing rig to make up for that. Still, I don’t know how, but many of my sinkers managed to get lost along the way.

So, my advice to you would be to pack a bunch of extra sinkers to have at hand. In general, sinkers are made of lead, brass, steel, tungsten or bismuth.

Also, you should pick the sinkers that match your fishing scenario. Let’s say that you’re going fishing in a location with a lot of vegetation. In this case, the last thing you want is to get heavy sinkers that are prone to get snagged. What I’m trying to say is that your sinkers should be adequate for your fishing conditions.

  1. Knife or Line Cutter

Without a doubt, a knife or a line cutter is an irreplaceable component of every fishing trip. For instance, if you get a snag, and getting out of that seems impossible, your only option is cutting the line.

You’ll also use it for releasing the snarled hooks out of the fish’s mouth, and for many other typical fishing scenarios. Nonetheless, in order for it to function accordingly, it should be razor sharp. Otherwise, you’ll overcomplicate your work.

  1. Needle Nose Pliers

In the event in which a fish swallows the lure, or has really sharp teeth, a set of needle nose pliers can be of great help. This way, you can get down into a fish’s mouth without the need to stick your hand in it.

Another typical scenario in which a set of needle nose pliers can be effective is if you catch fish with a tough lip – a catfish, for instance. I cannot stress enough that sticking your hand down a catfish’s gullet isn’t the best idea. That’s primarily because their mouths are similar to sandpaper, meaning that they might rip your hands.

My all-time rule when it comes to planning fishing trips is to be prepared. And this should be each fisher’s principle as well – both experienced and inexperienced. Of course, there are many other things you could add to your tackle box, but these are my all-time essentials.

Feel free to comment on this post by letting me know what other components are of crucial importance to you during fishing!