My grandfather was an avid fisherman. In fact, it is the first thing I think about when I remember him: those quiet evenings on the boat with the sun setting over the lake, or the crispy summer mornings, with both of us seated on the riverbank, watching the float intently and waiting to see it plunging into the deep.
I was always amazed by the sheer amount of expertise he had collected over decades of fishing, all the different species that he could name and how he knew which bait was needed to catch, it seemed, every fish in existence.
My first overnight fishing trip
Accompanying him on my first overnight fishing trip is to this day one of the fondest memories of my childhood.
I have never seen him as calm, as relaxed, as endlessly content as he was on those days, which were spent paddling in the lake, fishing for hours on end, then sitting around the campfire in the evenings listening to my grandfather and his friends telling stories from their youth and laughing hysterically.
Preparing for the trip – it‘s more than fishing
Last year I finally decided to gather up my friends and embark on my own fishing trip – this was when I learned just how much you needed to know in order to prepare yourself for a challenge like this.
Admittedly, as hard as we all tried, we made some mistakes during our preparation. We got soaked in a downpour on the very first day of our trip, as we failed to bring some waterproof clothes with us on the boat. All of us got sunburnt a couple of days afterwards because we had run out of sunscreen. Not to mention that our bones ached every morning due to our decision not to bother packing up quality gear.
What we learned
We had learned from our mistakes the hard way – but that does not mean that you have to do that too. Whether you are new to fishing and are looking for some simple beginner‘s tips, or have years of experience but still wish to improve your knowledge and make sure that everything will go as smoothly as possible on your next trip, here is a list of things that you absolutely must consider before setting off on your next adventure.
- Pick the right fishing spot. You will need to find a spot that is not only teeming with fish, but is also easily accessible and has a campsite nearby for you and your fishing friends to stay at. Travelling to and from your chosen body of water will take a long time if it is located far away from your camping area, and wasting precious hours on making the trip every day is not something that you want to do on a fishing trip. Go for a campsite with modern facilities, such as showers, bathrooms and the like, if you are looking for extra comfort – this guide on WorldFishingNetwork.com is my go-to resources.
- Target right – Different fish require different bait, so it is necessary to read up on the sorts of species that reside in your chosen fishing spot and bring the right type of bait with you. You should be able to find some fishing reports online – not only will you find out what species you can expect to catch, but you will also be able to learn a whole lot of other indispensable tips and tricks related to fishing from true experts in their field!
- Get the right gear. Choosing quality gear is another element of a fishing trip that you absolutely cannot do without. Delve into the internet or head straight into your local fishing store and ask for advice. You will need a sturdy rod, a trustworthy reel and other tools in order to make sure that once the fish bite the bait, you will be able to coax it out of the water and into your boat.
- Pack the right stuff. When you are packing for your fishing trip, it is extremely important to be able to make a distinction between necessities and things that you can do without – believe me, you do not want to overpack. As far as clothes are concerned, keep it simple. Take an extra T-shirt, shorts, a pair of jeans or sweatpants, a warm hoodie, a pair of trusted, durable boots, a hat, sunglasses and some waterproof, wind-resistant outerwear with you. Other important items include sunscreen, towels, a flashlight or a head lamp, drinking water, food and plenty of snacks that you can munch on while fishing. For a more in-depth info – you can check out this page on Fix.com.
- Sleeping on the trip – choose the right tent and a mattress to match. You can trust me when I say that fishing is hard work – it may not seem that way at first sight, but after a whole day on the water, fiddling with the bait, staring at the float and hauling out the fish, you will feel tired and you absolutely will need a good night‘s sleep before repeating the whole thing all over again the next day. Good sleep, or lack thereof, can ruing a fishing trip.
Your tent and the best air mattress for it
The importance of making your tent as comfortable as possible cannot be overestimated. There are a few types of camping mattresses that you can choose from, but an air mattress is probably your best bet. Its size depends on the type of tent that you are going to use.
If you choose a dome tent, keep in mind that its floor space is bigger than its headroom and a regular air mattress raises you 6 to 22 inches above the ground – for this reason, a thick mattress has to be placed further away from the sides of the tent, reducing its floor capacity and possibly leaving you with no free space to move around in.
Choose a tent with a floor capacity of at least 50 square feet for a single twin-sized air mattress or a tent with a 100-square-foot floor for a queen-sized one. You can also go for a large cabin tent in order to make your nights at the campsite even more enjoyable. Without getting into more debth about this – I‘d reccomend visiting this page on TheSleepStudies.com where they review and rate all the sizes and types of air beds.
- Set up your camp in the right way. Once you have arrived on the campground, take some time to set up a comfortable, safe and spacious camp for yourself and your companions. Put your food away or lock it up during the night or when you are away from the campsite – otherwise it might attract wild animals. Having some cards or other games with you is also a good idea, which will allow you to pass the time quickly and enjoyably during the times when the fishing does not go that great. Remember – preparation and planning is everything.
- Get the right boat. Unless you choose to fish in a stream or a river that can be easily accessed from bridges or shores, a boat is an absolute necessity. Rent it from trustworthy locals or look for a friend or an acquaintance who already has one – you might be able to borrow it from them or even convince them to go on the fishing trip with you.
That pretty much it
Once you go through these steps, you can consider your trip pretty much all set up! Now sit back, take a deep breath, relax and enjoy a truly unique experience that does not compare to any other adventure that you have ever embarked on before.