Having the right fishing accessories helps you land more fish, and every saltwater fisherman should have the essentials. They also help you unhook the fish quickly, getting it on the stringer or back in the water, and getting you back to the fish!
The right fishing accessories will help you take advantage of the superior planning and execution that has yielded that tug at the end of your line. You’ve executed the hookset, and are about to experience sweet success…if you have the right fishing accessories with you. Here they are, don’t leave home without them.
Okay, I take a little back from above. Leave some of your fishing lures behind. And leave them in a couple of nice, neat, organized tackle boxes in your closet or garage, and out of your wife’s way. And if you’re not married yet and get into this habit now, there’ll be one less thing to “work out” those first few years of marriage!
Here’s where you’ll be carrying the ones that didn’t get left behind. You’ve thought about where you’ll be fishing and what lures you need to bring. Pare them down and make them fit in something you can carry on you while wade fishing.
I’ve been really happy with my large-small box combination from Hookset that comes with a shoulder strap. It’s very nice to be able to cinch up the strap and keep it dry when I’m wade fishing in deeper water. And it holds enough for where you’ll be fishing.
An alternative to the wading box. I’ve tried them and they’ve worked fairly well. But the bottom pockets ended up soaked. If I was fishing in shallow water and didn’t need much stuff a vest would work. Fly fishermen generally don’t need as much stuff, and a mesh vest would work well.
I’ll call it a landing net because of how useful it is when landing fish. It’s a good idea to have one for a couple of reasons. You won’t forget the ones that get away right at you while you’re trying to grab them. You won’t forget them, and they may be the difference between having enough for dinner or not. Then you’ll really be ticked!
Another reason is that most of the fish you’ll be catching have sharp teeth and or spiny fins that can get you good if while you’re trying to grab them. Speaking of grabbing them, flounder just doesn’t have any good handles.
The third reason is your lures, both a potential danger to you and to them with a sharp-toothed fish. Those double treble hooks on topwaters or plugs come in handy when hooking the fish, but can be really painful when grabbing the fish that’s just not ready to be strung.
Speaking of your lures, I remember surf fishing this summer and catching some nice speckled trout. When we were landing them they were shaking their heads and tore up our Texas Trout Killers. We had to change about every fish. Having a net would have cut that down a bit, not to mention the couple that got off (oh yes, I remember!).
Last thoughts on nets: The new ones come with floats or float themselves, reducing drag and preserving your investment. They also come with coated bags which are less likely to snag and get tangled in your hooks. Finally, buy one that is made to fish in saltwater. They’re made tougher and will last longer.
These handy fishing accessories will help you cut lines and change lures faster. They’ll save your teeth if you have that habit (guilty here). Having neat knots where the tag end is clipped short will reduce snags. And then dealing with cutting braid is much easier. It’s near impossible to bit through. That’s where the scissors come in.
My clippers work well for mono and not as well with a braid. I’ve seen scissors advertised especially for fishermen who need to cut braid. I know, another thing, right? But if you find yourself needed to change often and cut braid, I’ll bet you’ll be glad that you have them.
speaking of clippers and scissors, it’s nice to have them hung around your neck. That being said, make sure it’s one that is tough. I lost a nice pair of clippers in the surf last summer (and the lanyard as well) when it got sucked off sometime during my wade. If it can be tugged and loosened, it will while wade fishing.
Must have fishing accessories when wade fishing if you’re planning on keeping fish. The important aspects are a long, thick rope, good float, and sharp spike. The length of the rope is important in case a shark gets interested in your stringer, and the thick rope will not tangle, saving you time and a headache.
I don’t think any are sold anymore without floats, so no worries there. And a sharp spike helps to get them through both lips quickly so you can get back to catching his friends. A cousin to the stringer is those floating styrofoam rings with a mesh bag underneath. A benefit to these is that you can get fish in there more quickly.
The drawback is one that I experienced firsthand, causing me to retire the thing immediately. And this goes for the standard stringer as well. If the current or wind blows the things near where your backcast will be, you better be careful about hooking the thing on it and giving yourself a major backlash! I had two in a row that I had to cut, and that was the end of my ring/bag experiment.
But I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed with some things, and I guess you can add that to the list!
These are handy for weighing fish and for lipping them once you have them under control. I have them and have taken them wade fishing. They grip the fish really well once you clamp the lip, but I’ve found it difficult to get the clamps on a fish while the fish is shaking.
There are probably others that have better luck with them than I have for landing fish. Another good idea is to attach a small float to them if you take them wading so you don’t watch over a hundred bucks sink to the bottom.
I almost got to the end of this section without mentioning pliers, my mistake! They are very important fishing accessories to have when getting treble hooks out of fish or when a single hook is deep in a fish’s mouth. Almost all saltwater fish we catch along the coast have teeth. The needle nose varieties work the best. Some come with a sheath you can hood on your belt and some wade belts come with built-in holsters.
The nicer ones are 4-6” wide, padded, and help you carry your essential gear while wadefishing. The width and padding provide good back support. This comes in handy when wading for extended lengths or in mud. They also give you places to tie your stringer and keep your pliers handy. And then some help you carry an extra rod, which is nice if you’re throwing tops and plastics.
To wrap it up, the right fishing accessories make sure you take advantage of the work you put into hooking fish and bring that fish closer to the dinner table or back in the water quickly to fight another day. Fishing accessories vary in price and quality, and if you keep up with things, buy the better ones. I think they'll last longer and serve you better.
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