Aside from camping with my dad and grandpa when I was younger, I didn’t have much experience with fishing in my younger years. Fishing was a great way to bond with my family, but it mostly consisted of listening to my dad and grandpa telling stories versus actually catching fish. As I got older, I realized that I actually loved fishing and wanted to start getting serious about it. To do that, I started researching modern fishing and technology, accessories, and other gear that has advanced since I first picked up a fishing rod about 30 years ago. Here are some of the various gadgets and fishing gear that have helped me ease into fishing.
This gear has become a mainstay to help me both enjoy fishing more and improve my skills. This isn’t a comprehensive list of everything I use but definitely my must-haves.
Pontoon (or other medium-sized boat)
While I do have a fishing kayak for smaller, relaxing journeys, investing in an actual boat has upped my fishing game. I’m able to travel further distances, can go out into deeper water, and have more storage when I have a good catch day. The option to either go out on a kayak or a boat lets me plan my trips accordingly. If you’re interested in kayak fishing, take a look at these 8 Essential Kayak Fishing Tips for Beginners. My kayak is easier to take with me on camping trips with my family, whereas my pontoon helps me have a relaxing trip while on the water—and my kids can come along, too.
Shallow water anchor
Stress-free boating means that I needed a way to stay in one spot and not have to worry about drifting. A shallow water anchor has been a life saver! Anchoring my pontoon with a traditional anchor was a frustrating mess. It was too cumbersome and challenging to use. With a shallow water anchor, I can easily anchor and stay in one spot.
There are four main types of reels that fishermen use, but spinning reels are perfect for beginners. A spinning reel is a type of fishing reel that consists of a cylindrical drum which is wound with line, and a bail arm which is used to retrieve the line. The line is held in place on the spool by a rotating spindle, which is attached to the drive gear. A spinning reel comes with a fixed spool and a rotating (spinning) arm that winds line to the spool as it is rotated by the rod’s handle. The arm is disconnected during the casting process to free the line from the spool, allowing it to be drawn off by the weight of a lure or rig tied to it. The spinning reel is attached to a spinning rod, which is then placed facing down on the rod handle.
Fish finders are some of my favorite technologies when I’m out on the water. Appropriately named, the GPS and sonar in the fish finder literally finds fish. Fish finders use sonar and GPS navigation to help fishermen with catch success. GPS technologies are one of the most effective ways to utilize technology while fishing. GPS-enabled fish finders may send information to your smartphone. You may now keep an eye on the schools of fish as they swim through the sea with a fish finder with GPS. You may also note the location of a good fishing spot so you can return there in the future. Fish finders with sonar are extremely beneficial in that they can help fishermen determine the size and shape of fish underneath their vessel. This information is crucial when it comes to knowing how to bait a hook, as well as when to reel in.
The best way to ease into fishing is to just get started
There’s no secret trick to start fishing. Get a fishing license, a rod, and some lures, and you can fish from just about anywhere. After I started doing this, I quickly became addicted to the hobby and started expanding my accessories and gear so that I could have the best possible fishing trip. Just keep in mind that the success of your trip doesn’t necessarily correlate with how many fish you caught or how big they were. It may sound corny, but taking my family and friends on my fishing trips have given me some of the best memories of my adult life.