Top 3 Fishing Tools you must have

The critical tools

Posted at 11:00 • 4 Apr • Angela Mitchel • Music

When you're out their catching fish you want to make sure you have the right equipment to get the job done.  

As an avid fishermen I've tried countless tools and from those years of testing and hard trial and error and determined the tools you absolutely must have on your boat or i your tackle box at all times.

Great Set of Pliers! These don't have to be the most expensive set of pliers you can find but they do need to have a few key features.

  1. Stainless Steel - water and metal doesn't go well together. Stainless steel will keep your pliers working and looking good long after you dunk them in the water a few times! Stainless will still rust if inn salt water so make sure to always rinse them after you're out in the saltwater.  
  2. Strong Cutting Blade - I've had so many pliers that fall apart and become loose on the cutting edge after only a few trips out to fish. This is so frustrating when the pliers stop cutting your out on the boat and the fishing stops or your scrambling looking for a knife to cut your line now.
  3. Long Strong Nose - with a nice long nose your pliers double as a hook remover, fuel line cutter and a general tool you can use for almost anything! Make sure the nose of your pliers is strong and stable.

Sharp Knives - Notice I said knives plural. One time we had a bilge pump fail and had to cut the anchor rope or we would have sunk. I always recommend having 2 knives if your fishing by boat. Now heres what you want in your knives.

  1. Fillet knife for cutting up bait and cleaning your fish at the dock. Always clean your fish at the dock. Your neighbors will hate you for throwing fish carcases in the trash cans.  
  2. Backup Knife for using in your gear bag as a backup just in case you need to cut rope or like I've done. you drop the fillet knife over the boat. bring 2 knives you never know what can go wrong at sea and having the backup can save your life.

Fish Saving Devices - With the increase in pollution and problems with our waterways its more important then ever to take care of the fish we catch and release. There are a few simple tools you can have on your boat or in your bag that keep the fish you release alive and healthy.  

  1. De Hooker is used to remove hooks deep inside the fishes mouth or even in its stomach. This is an absolute must for freshwater and saltwater and there is nothing worse then taking a fishes life and not eating it. Get one they are cheap.  
  2. Venting Tool this is another very important and often overlooked tool. When catching fish from 30' and deeper air can become trapped in the fish and expand rapidly. If this is a fish you're keeping great, toss it on ice. The problem is with the fish under or over slot. These fish need to have this air vented so they can swim back down the bottom and grow for next year! Use this tool to "Pop" and release the air giving that young snapper a chance to grow for next season!
  3. Avoid Treble Hooks Treble hooks are tough on fish tough on you and tough on your fury friend that loves to go fishing with you. We recommend switching all treble hooks to Circle or J hooks for poppers top waters and other hard baits. We have not experienced any decrease in hook ups and it is so much safer and softer on the fish and safer for everyone fishing.  



Do you have a pre fishing checklist?

I've spent a majority of my life using tools to make jobs easier and there is nothing worse than having the wrong tool for the job at hand. Several years ago my girlfriend and I took my flats boat out fishing down in Key Biscayne in Miami. We launched the boat, got all of the "things" she needs on the boat eventually and then started making our way around the island to the place we wanted to fish. We got there got the anchor set and first cast zzzzzzhhh drag is squealing and we are both excited! After a few minutes we land the Jack Cravalle and I realized he got gut hooked.. I reach for my pliers.. Can't find them.. Open up my tool box no pliers.. Then I start to feel bad, this poor fish is hooked deep in his throat and I have no way of helping him. I ended up cutting the line and letting the fish go and we pulled the anchor and fired up the outboard and cruised back the 5 miles to the Marina and bought some pliers before heading back out now having missed the ideal fishing time. I tell this story because I know it has happened to every fishermen at some point. Its so easy to forget things. After this experience I decided that this wasn't happening to me again and I wrote down a short checklist that I now use every time before I go out fishing. Here are my 2 checklists I use for Fishing from a boat or fishing from shore. Pre Boat Checklist -     Pre Shore Fishing Checklist -

"Checklists provide reminders of only the most critical and important steps -- The ones that even the highly skilled professional using them could miss."

-Atul Gawande

Angela Mitchel

Pre Fishing Checklist

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Pre Boating Checklist

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