While most anglers are focusing on the rods, reels, and lures needed to catch fish there is much more to fishing that they should be considering as well. Finding, landing, unhooking, and releasing fish are all critical parts of fishing that require their own tools to allow anglers to be efficient while on the water. Without the right tools anglers can injure or kill the fish they are trying to let go and even hurt themselves by getting hooks in the hand, cut by fish teeth, or cutting themselves with the wrong tools! Now that we have laid out the reasons for having all the right tools with you on board what are the right tools?
1. Net - While hand landing fish is possible it increases the likelihood of fish getting away, getting a hook in the hand, or hurting the fish by not supporting its weight properly while picking it up. Using a net, and particularly the right net, reduces these possibilities to a minimum. When selecting the net it should be big enough to allow the fish to enter head first and completely catch the fish so it isn't forced to turn around or bend to fit. This will allow the fish to flop and get away! When targeting very large species (Lake Trout, Muskie, Northern Pike) selecting a net with a very deep mesh is critical for the release of the fish as it allows anglers to keep the fish in the water while unhooking, preparing for measurements or pictures, instead of hauling them into the boat. The net being used should be selected for the target species however there are a few common traits that all good nets share.
- Thick Rubberized Mesh Coating (to prevent hooks from getting stuck and to prevent mesh from hurting fish)
- Big Holes In Mesh (To prevent tangling of the net with your baits. The smaller the holes the more it can tangle)
2. Long Pliers &/Or Unhooking Tool
No matter the species you target a set of long pliers or an unhooking tool like the one here are a must! It is often difficult to get your fingers on the hook and have enough room to twist or push it out. This is where pliers and the removal tool come in. This lets anglers get hooks out of fish quickly and without additional injury to the fish so they can be caught another day. (https://www.amazon.ca/Fishing-Extractor-Adjustable-Wrist-Strap-Freshwater/dp/B08HR1MPZX/ref=sr_1_28?crid=3W0FJ7IBUUS77&keywords=unhooking+tool&qid=1667259190&sprefix=unho%2Caps%2C320&sr=8-28)
When fishing for toothy critters it can often be difficult to keep their mouths open while you get the hooks out. Spreaders solve this problem by using a spring mechanism to hold their mouth open for easy access and without getting your hand anywhere near their sharp teeth!
4. Hook Cutters
Some hooks just find their way into locations where they can't be removed without causing more damage to the fish. In this scenario the best move is to cut the hook from your bait and let the fish go. The hook will rust out quickly and offers the fish a better chance of survival compared to if you rip its gills, stomach, or other key organ apart trying to get the hook out.
5. Hook Sharpener
Keeping a hook sharpener handy is the best way to keep your baits in peak condition. Over time the abuse of running into rocks, hitting your tackle box or other lures, and catching fish the hooks get dull. When they get dull you lose more fish. Don't let this happen, keep a sharpener handy and your hooks sharp!
When it comes to tieing lines there is always some that needs to be cut. Using knives is not very precise and while in a boat that can be rocking back and forth or have other distractions can lead to cutting yourself. Scissors are the best way to avoid this. Scissors allow you to be precise in your cuts, safe, and are easier to use meaning you can be back in action more quickly when you do need to re-tie.
7. Split Ring Pliers
If you have ever had to replace hooks on a bait you will know the difficulty in opening split rings to remove the hooks and then again to put a new one on! Regular pliers, knives, and your hands just don't cut it. Split ring pliers are the only tool for the job and let you swap hooks in seconds. (https://www.amazon.ca/Multi-Functional-Lightweight-Stainless-Scissors-Available/dp/B08DLXM3HX/ref=sr_1_43?crid=2YHQA1IXEKH0I&keywords=split+ring+pliers&qid=1667260067&qu=eyJxc2MiOiI1LjQ2IiwicXNhIjoiNC44OCIsInFzcCI6IjQuNjkifQ%3D%3D&sprefix=split+ring%2Caps%2C91&sr=8-43)
8. Power Bank
Being out on the water there are no opportunities to charge your phone or boost your battery if something goes wrong. A power bank is a small, cheap, and easy way to ensure your safety on the water by always being able to use your phone and start your boat in the event of an emergency. (https://www.amazon.ca/20000mAh-Portable-Charger-VEEKTOMX-External/dp/B09CZ88QFW/ref=sr_1_3_sspa?crid=2TYY9ZS7N79PA&keywords=reactor+power+bank&qid=1667260261&qu=eyJxc2MiOiI0LjQ2IiwicXNhIjoiNC4wNCIsInFzcCI6IjIuNDEifQ%3D%3D&sprefix=reactor+power+bank%2Caps%2C84&sr=8-3-spons&psc=1)
Getting lost on the water puts you in a dangerous situation. Not being able to get back to the ramp can lead to all kinds of situations that you don't want to be in. Having a gps reduces this possibility and lets you feel comfortable navigating the waterways. Having a gps with way-pointing capabilities can also allow anglers to manage their fishing spots so they never forget where that hotspot was or spend time finding it again. Fortunately, most fish finder units are also equipped with gps units that allow all of this to be managed from one console.
If you or someone you know is looking to get into fishing or you just want to become a more successful angler be sure to check out our "Zero To Hero Fishing Masterclass" for courses on everything fishing! The masterclass is built to help you learn how to find and catch fish like the pro's by providing all the information you need and a clear development path! Don't miss out check it out now at www.newwavefishingacademy.com/zero-to-hero
Have you ever wondered why lures don't come with instructions and wanted to know how to fish them? Look no further than our "How To Fish" series where you will learn what each bait is, how to use it, when and where it excels over other baits, our preferred setup to use it on, and the common mistakes anglers make when using it. www.newwavefishingacademy.com/how-to-fish