Fishing hard or fishing smart? Chances are you’ll have to do both to succeed. Even if you’re a pro, you still need some fishing boat accessories to make your life easier. Apart from the basic safety equipment and essential fishing gear, there’s a whole world of things out there which can help you land trophy fish and make clients happy.
Do you have to buy everything? Absolutely not. It all comes down to how necessary a certain item is or how badly you want it. It also depends on the fishery you want to master and the type of angling you offer. All in all, there are handy accessories that you should consider having. Ranging from must-haves to over-the-tops, here’s our list of those little helpers every captain should look into.
Let’s face it, if you’ve fished the local streams and rivers your entire life, you probably won’t need a fishfinder. However, heading offshore in the pursuit of bluewater residents makes the fishfinder your number one ally. It’s a powerful tool that helps you be in the right place at the right time. Especially true when you’re fishing in the deeper waters.
There’s a reason charter operators rely on fishfinders for a productive day out on the water. Not only do they allow you to see what’s under your boat, but they can also scan the area around you and give you navigational insight. If you were thinking about buying one for yourself, now’s the time to finally do it. To choose the fishfinder that meets your requirements, check out our blog post on the matter.
2. Navigation System
Nowadays, fishfinders usually come with an inbuilt chartplotter or GPS combos. However, if you’d like to invest more in your navigational equipment, you can always buy these independently. While chartplotters and GPS systems have a similar purpose, they operate on different levels. Knowing this can help you determine which one to put in your shopping cart.
If having only numbers on your screen is all you need, then go with the basic GPS system. They’re affordable and extremely reliable. In case you prefer to see exact coordinates on a map, the chartplotter is your navigational buddy. They pair up the GPS data with electronic maps to help you navigate in a user-friendly manner. But only you can tell which one does the job better for you.
3. Trolling Motor
There’s no dilemma about the next item on our list. A trolling motor is a rock-solid must-have! Whether you’re a freshwater or saltwater angler, precision and stealth play a vital role in how successful your hunt will be. The trolling motor does precisely that – it gives you control over maneuvering and noise. Who doesn’t want to maximize their chances of snatching that elusive fish?
This powerful tool opens the door to many fishing opportunities. You won’t have to worry about spooking the fish anymore. Smooth sailing is further guaranteed with the trolling motor taking care of the strong current for you. It comes in all shapes and sizes, so you’re bound to find a perfect fit for you. The trolling motor is a true game-changer and fishing boat accessory worth investing in.
Can you imagine leaving your long-awaited catch out in the sun the entire day? Of course not! You want it fresh, so keeping it out of a cooler isn’t an option. This makes it one of the high-priority products you simply can’t (and shouldn’t) fish without. Luckily, the market is full of top-tier coolers, so finding the ideal one that will do the trick for you should be easy.
Whether you’ll go after the soft or solid-sided cooler, or pick the one with wheels instead of the one with handles, it’s entirely up to you. What you should be paying attention to is its durability and ice retention. Sturdier construction and thicker insulation are your winning combo. This is especially important for the longer fishing trips during the summer months.
5. Portable Fuel Tank
Speaking of extended trips, have you ever been in a situation where you could use some extra fuel? Be it an overnight trip or tournament fishing frenzy, having an additional tank with fuel is always welcome. Even if you don’t use it, it’s reassuring to know that you can keep on chasing that dream catch as long as it takes without having to return early.
Choosing the portable fuel tank that’s right for you means taking the size and fuel capacity of your boat into account. There’s no point in buying huge containers if you’re mostly focusing on short trips and have no extra storage room on the boat. Still, the fact remains you should have some sort of backup. So, if you can’t make up your mind, give it a try with a medium-sized tank. That should be enough to save the day.
6. Rod Racks and Holders
Fishing can be messy and that’s ok. However, it would be nice for the rods not to be all over the place. Luckily, there’s a simple way to prevent your anglers from stumbling on them. Be it an active day of fishing or a calm day at the dock, rod racks and holders come to the rescue. They’ll keep your precious fishing poles in perfect order.
The racks and holders themselves don’t take up much space. You can mount them pretty much anywhere. Just make sure that area is easily accessible. Apart from that, you can play with the position, angle, and direction of the holders. As for the racks, you’ll use them mostly for storing your poles, so put them either on the side or install one of those rod-up racks. They’re practical and look cool at the same time.
7. Drift Sock
While not an absolute necessity, a drift sock is a useful thing to have while drift fishing or angling from an anchored boat. Apart from slowing down the boat and holding its position, the drift sock can also give you more control over the direction you’re heading towards. It’s particularly useful during the windy weather and choppy sea. But, what is it exactly?
The drift sock is a funnel-like bag placed in the water to create a sort of a drag. This in turn allows you to be in charge of the boat’s movement while fishing. It usually comes in a kit and it’s foldable, so you can easily tuck it away. So, if you’re a draft fishing enthusiast, this is definitively a budget-friendly accessory worth having.
8. Boat Fenders
The next fishing boat accessory on our list is entirely about protecting your investment and neighboring vessels as well. Regardless of how skillful you are, it’s always a good idea to minimize the risk of damaging your boat while docking. The simplest way to do this is by padding it with boat fenders. They’re the best solution for saving the hull and your money.
Fenders, also known as bumpers, serve as removable cushions that soften the mooring conditions. Depending on your boat’s size and docking environment, you’ll decide on the fender’s shape, placement, and quantity. Be it the round or cylindrical ones, make sure to align them evenly. And remember – the more you have, the better.
Since we’re on the topic of getting in and out of the water, we couldn’t move on without mentioning the boatcatch. Sure, you can launch your boat manually and wet your feet in the process. But, wouldn’t it be wonderful if this routine could be trouble-free? Well, it can be. The boatcatch streamlines your launching and retrieving experience.
This mighty device is all about safety and efficiency. It’s made of stainless steel and has a lifetime warranty. Durability at its best, right? Fast and hassle-free loading and unloading of your boat from the trailer are guaranteed. Although an upscale fishing boat accessory, the boatcatch is good value for money. It’s lasting, useful, and requires almost no maintenance.
10. Power Poles
Do you know what pairs up nicely with boat launching? Power Poles! They’ll secure your boat once you put it on the water. But that isn’t the only thing they’re good at. Any type of anchoring in the shallow waters and they’ll shine. Power Poles are the kings of silent deployment and your secret to full coolers. Swift and strong, they’re your golden ticket to prime sportfishing.
Power Poles tend to be on the pricey side, but you get a lot of bang for your buck. Charter operators who have been using them for years claim they can make all the difference. An added bonus is the exceptional warranty you get with a pair of these. So, if you’re a professional angler fishing the flats, think about upping your game with Power Poles.
11. Portable Spotlight
Chances are you already have some sort of spotlight on your boat. But, do you have a portable, waterproof, rechargeable, and hands-free LED spotlight? If you don’t, it’s high time you fixed that. Whether you’re night fishing or repairing your boat, this kind of flashlight is like a crew member you never knew you needed.
Depending on the brand, you can come across extremely durable spotlights at a reasonable price. The more options it has, though, the more expensive it is. Some spotlights have slippery-proof handles and floating properties, making them less prone to damage. Some also boast lifetime warranties. Whichever one you choose, this multifunctional fishing boat accessory will come in handy in all sorts of situations.
12. Fish Fillet Knives
While this last item could easily be part of the must-have section, we placed it here because not every charter operator offers fish filleting services. But, regardless of whether you provide filleting to your clients, use it for your own fish cleaning, or want to treat everyone with fresh sashimi while out on the water, top-notch fish fillet knives are a worthwhile investment.
Ranging from high-end models to economical ones, each knife is a piece of art. They vary in size, shape, material, and purpose. The blade’s length and curve are important, but the material might be a game-changer. Also, while you want knives to be long-lasting and razor-sharp, you should buy a different filleting set depending on the fish you primarily work with. So, before spending a fortune on a filleting set, do your research.
13. Grill Mount
The final category on this list is what sets you apart from your competitors. You don’t need these over-the-top items, but your clients will absolutely adore them. And the number one thing that’ll put a smile on their faces is food. What better way to wrap up an amazing day of angling than by cooking freshly caught fish while still on the boat? A grill mount promises a 5-star experience!
Unlike regular grilling equipment, these mounts are made to withstand the marine environment. They come in compact and sturdy designs. Stainless steel and removable storage options do wonders to prolong their life. So, once you purchase your grill mount, you’ll be good for a while. And your customers will be thrilled because they’ll be enjoying the special treatment.
14. Next-Level Fish Ruler
You have at least a dozen of fish measurement devices in your fishing arsenal. But, what about an inbuilt fish ruler? Wouldn’t it be convenient if you could measure your catch on the spot without having to dig out and unfold your ruler? Well, if you have it installed on your boat, you and your clients could have a hassle-free measuring experience. Plus, it looks cool!
There are a lot of creative fish rulers that can be both useful and decorative. Adhesive tapes are easy to implement, but the hand-painted rulers are brag-worthy. While both options tend to be waterproof, the painted version is a more permanent solution. So, if you’re curious to see how this will work for you, give it a try with the adhesive foam fishing ruler and go from there.
15. Kids’ Fishing Set
No fishing boat accessories list would be complete without having something special for the little ones. Toddlers might not be old and strong enough to fish like their parents, but they’re certainly super eager to take part in the fishing adventure. So, how about giving them a chance to fish on their own terms? Well, fishing sets created with kids in mind can make this a reality.
Kids’ fishing kits range from toy-like to pro-like based on the age and experience of the children. The youngest ones will be happy with colorful plastic rods. The older ones would rather be taken seriously, so you’ll need a mini version of what their parents have. Both sets will be a hot topic of conversation among your clients – they’re functional and picture-perfect!
16. High-quality Camera
Last, but certainly not least, if you didn’t snap a photo of your customers enjoying all the perks you have on your boat, it didn’t happen! Not only do those photos attract new people to fish with you, but they also go a long way towards having returning clients. If they had the time of their lives with you, they’ll want to share those cherished memories with the rest of the world.
Long story short, kick it up a notch with a high-quality camera. It’s simple – high-resolution pictures and videos sell! Depending on your budget, you can even invest in a phone with a good camera, just make sure that both camera and phone are waterproof. Nobody wants to end up with a broken device and lost memories.
Pimping Your Boat Is the Way
Passionate anglers and boat owners will all agree that they have at least one gadget that’s their loyal fishing buddy. But why stick to one, when you can have a whole world of fishing boat accessories to help you up your game? So go nuts and pimp your boat the way you like it, because you and your clients deserve it!
Have you found your next fishing boat accessory on the list? Which accessory did you like the most? Do you have cool boat bling to recommend? Let us know in the comments below.