Did you remember your PFD (1) and favorite fishing rod? Okay, you are just about ready! How about your paddle (2)? Got it! Okay, now you can get to the details. A fish crate (3) is something that has traditionally been a staple for the paddling angler the past few years. You might get lucky when searching to get one of those plastic crates with a metal rim, like the one shown. You can purchase many different models that come equipped with rod holders and separate storage compartments. You can also create a unique storage area using the crate you have. You need somewhere to hold your fishing rod, so it’s only obvious that a little plastic pipe (4) strapped to your crate works great. Most fishing kayaks have built in rod holders, so this shouldn’t be a problem.
Most of what you outfit your kayak with has to do with safety or comfort. Fishing pliers (5) are a necessity, and you can keep them out of the drink by leashing them to a float (6). A pocket knife and nail clippers (7) come in handy for cutting line, etc. Other essentials include bug spray (8), sun screen (9), first aid kit (10), and a hook remover kit (11). Clear plastic lure boxes (12) can provide organized lure selection, and by labeling them you have easy access from your fish crate. A wide-brimmed hat (13) can keep the sun off your face and provide some shade out on the open water. You might bring along a camera (14) with a dry box (15) and a measuring board (16) if you are tournament fishing or looking to keep fish for consumption. A stringer (17) comes in handy for many uses, including tying on to a branch for staying on one spot. An anchor (18) can come in handy as well.
For foot protection, a set of aqua shoes (19) can save you from cuts and cooler water. A float marker (20) is handy to find your way back to your launch or mark fish on open water. A stern light (21) is the law in most states, and you can either make your own or purchase. Most states also require you to have a signaling device like a whistle (22) or air horn. Fish grippers (23) are handy for toothy fish, and your crate can be a pole saver by attaching leashes for each fishing rod you bring along on your trip.
As you can see, there is quite a bit of equipment you can rig your kayak with to provide you a safe and prosperous trip. You can also rig up a fish finder; there are many on the market that can provide you with the ability to observe structure and baitfish in the depths below your vessel. Be sure you bring along a dry bag packed with an extra set of clothes. You can also pack a headlamp, drift sock, cell phone, hand paddle (24), and GPS system. You might even bring along a compass.
Most essential is water (25) and you might bring along snacks or extra food packed in a collapsible lunch bucket (26). Where do you pack all of this gear? Most of it will fit right in your fish crate, but you can also store it below your hatch inside the hull of your kayak. Be sure to bring along a rag or towel!
Clothing should be appropriate for the season, but always beware of a storm! Have a set of rain gear or poncho handy! In cooler water, you might use a dry suit or wader pants and splash top. Kayak fishing can be a memorable experience and the ideas are limitless for your special day on the water!