You’ve sorted through the options, made your selection and ultimately ended up with the perfect fishing boat. The hardest part might be over, but you’re not ready to hit the water until you’re fully equipped with the fishing boat accessories you need.
Choosing the right fishing boat accessories takes some research; you’ll need to find out what accessories are available, determine which ones you need and – if you have room in your budget – which ones you want.
Of course, there are a number of fishing boat accessories that you’re required by law to have – find out what items are compulsory according to the boating guidelines in your area and start with the necessities, such as life jackets, fire extinguisher, compass and a waterproof torch.
Once you’ve sorted out the essentials, start making a list of the fishing boat accessories that you think might make your boating life easier, safer, more comfortable or more enjoyable. Decide on a budget and work through your list of accessories in priority order – if you can’t afford it and you don’t absolutely need it, don’t get it.
Of course, a fishing boat wouldn’t be, well, a fishing boat, without a full array of fishing gear. You’ll need a tackle box; bait; fishing hooks, sinkers and swivels; fishing line, rod and reels – the list goes on. Find out – from other fishermen or a fishing gear retailer - exactly what you’ll need for the specific type of fishing you’ll be doing.
Top fishing boat accessory: Global Positioning System (GPS)
A relatively new technology, the GPS unit is an extremely popular fishing boat accessory. If you can work it into your budget, you’ll find it makes your boating life a great deal easier.
GPS is the boat owner’s best friend – it will tell you where you are, where you should be going and how to get back to where you came from. The most sophisticated GPS receivers can pinpoint your fishing boat’s position in latitude, longitude and altitude.
A hand-held, battery-powered GPS unit will be sufficient for a small fishing boat, as you won’t need to find space on the console to mount it. A mountable GPS will generally be larger, with more features, and brackets to hold the unit in place. Fixed-mount and stand-alone GPS units are installed permanently and have the most comprehensive features. Many stand-alone GPS units combine satellite positioning with fish finding functions.
Of course, while a GPS is an excellent fishing boat accessory, it’s a good idea to learn how to navigate with an old-fashioned compass and chart, just in case you ever get stuck without a working GPS.