If you are wondering about what you need to pack on your boat, we have a checklist of the 10 essentials in your boat for hunting and fishing. They include safety attire, fishing license, fishing gear and other must-have supplies for a successful day on the boat.

1. License and Registration

It is important to ensure that you have the proper documentation on board because there is no fun in getting a ticket from the local law enforcement and violating the local regulations could cost you hundreds of dollars in fines. The coast guard can also use the information on your paperwork to help you in case of an emergency.

Both new and experienced boaters require approved permits and depending on your state’s requirements, you may need a boating license, boater education card and boat registration.

Boating licenses and permits promote sustainable hunting and fishing practices by setting a limit that prevents us from depleting fish and wildlife population.

The licenses are available at a reasonable fee that could be as low as $25 depending on the type and length of the boat and they apply in the specific locations where they are issued. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife even allows you to purchase different types of fishing licenses online.

Apart from the standard license, some states may require additional paperwork for certain species when fishing and hunting to maintain wildlife and fish habitat.

Check your local state department laws and store the necessary paperwork in a watertight box on your fishing boat.

2. Tool kit

Before you embark on your hunting and fishing excursion, check that you have a tool kit on board for minor repairs of the boat itself and other fishing equipment. The minimum tools you need are scissors to cut bait and line, rust-resistant pliers to tighten knots and detach the hook from the mouth of the fish, and assorted fillet knives to cut bones and slice meat.

Include superglue or electrical tape to secure knots and loose wiring, an LED flashlight for visibility in dim surroundings and jumper cables that come handy in case your battery is depleted.

We also have a nice list of the best generators for boat and they include inverter generators with additional modes to power greater or lesser loads effectively.

3. Safety gear

According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), a personal flotation device (PFD) should be among the top essentials in your boat for hunting and fishing because wearing one can prevent fatalities if you fall overboard and keep you safe if you are forced to evacuate your boat in case of an emergency.

The United States Coast Guard recommends testing your PFD or USCG-approved life jacket in shallow water to ensure a comfortable fit and proper performance in water. You should also bring along polarized sunglasses and waterproof sunscreen if you will be fishing and hunting all day.

4. Line, rods and reels

This is pretty much self-explanatory but those are the three key items that have the greatest impact on your fishing setup. They help you to cast, set the hook and catch fish. For instance, a braided line of approximately 10-pound test is ideal for inshore saltwater. Remember to pack a lot of bait for the boat trip.

5. Emergency necessities

When you are out on a boat, you should be prepared for emergency situations. Include fire extinguishers for proper protection against any accidental fires and flares or visual distress signals to summon for help. A satellite phone onboard would also be more reliable in picking voice transmission signals than an ordinary cell phone.

Adventure Medical Kits | Medical First Aid 2.0 Kit

6. Landing net

You will need a landing net to bring the fish to the boat or shoreline after you hook it. The size of the landing net will depend on the target fish size but it should ideally come with a collapsible handle to save storage space.

7. Anchor and oars

The University of Wisconsin reports that recreational anglers are five times as many as commercial anglers worldwide. Ensure that your checklist of the essential equipment you need in your boat for hunting and fishing features an anchor and oars in case your boat runs out of fuel or the engine malfunctions.

You could install a power-anchoring system with two extendable poles on either side of the engine that you deploy to control the boat and place it in the best position for casting.

8. Water and snacks

Fishing on a boat can dehydrate you because it is a strenuous activity that involves rowing and paddling as we control the boat and fluid loss can be unbearable if we happen to fish under the glaring sunlight. Pack water in your boat to replenish those fluids and prevent effects such as dizziness and fatigue.

Examples of great energizing snacks when fishing on a boat are nuts, apples, raisins and other dried fruits. A cooler on your boat will also be convenient for storing your beverages and snacks on your hunting and fishing expedition.

9. Navigation tools

If you are angling in unfamiliar territory, you may want the assistance of navigation equipment such as a radar reflector on board to make your boat more visible and a magnetic compass to help you find fish while staying on the right track.

10. First aid kit

When you are outdoors fishing or hunting, you should stock your boat with first aid essentials that will help you in case of misfortunes and injuries that might occur when you are a long distance from the shores and immediate help.

Your boat should have a safety kid on board with basics such as bandages, disinfectant wipes, medical tape, antihistamines, a bottle of vinegar, painkillers, and tweezers. These supplies can take care of allergic reactions, seasickness, stings, bites and wounds.


Author: Sarah Duke