Essential Kayak Fishing Gear: Landing Gear

One of the first things that drew me to kayak fishing was the simplicity. Now that I have been kayak fishing for a while it has gotten a little more complicated I now have a trailer to carry all my gear. Carrying all this stuff is not necessary but some of it is necessary to ensure you are able to land your next trophy. I will spare you all my opinions on rod and reel selection. This series of post will highlight the items I would pack every time I go kayak fishing no matter where I am going.

Fish Grips I learned that I needed to carry grips at all times the hard way. As I was measuring an upper slot redfish during a tournament it decided to go crazy and ended up back in the bayou. Ever since then I have carried a gripper on my kayak at all times. The Plastic Fish Grip work well on Largemouth Bass and smaller fish and they float. I use the heavy duty metal Boga Grip when I am targeting larger saltwater fish like bull redfish. The plastic style also can double as a brush anchor when tethered with a length of cord it can clamp on to a small tree branch or bush.

Landing Net The second Item I always carry is a landing net. I don't always use my net to land the fish I hook but I always like to carry it just in case I have a big one barely hooked. I like to carry a wading net like the ForEverlast G2 Pro Net because the short handle is easy to stow on the kayak.

Cooler  After you have landed your fish it is important to get it iced down and keep it cold to ensure the best quality when its time to eat. A good cooler is also necessary on those hot days to keep plenty of cold beverages to make sure you stay hydrated. The Yeti Hopper  is the top of the line it is made to be used and abused. I am getting one of these. Currently I am using a cooler made by Igloo
 combined with a heavy duty fish bag  which protects the cooler from punctures from fish spines and separates my snacks and drinks from the fish slime.

Cameras When kayak fishing you are often alone or far enough away from your buddy that he might not see that trophy fish you caught and released. You want to have proof when you return to the dock the easiest way is to use your camera on your phone just make sure you have a Waterproof Cell Phone Case the cheap ones work well for me.
 The second option is a digital camera these are useful if you are in a CPR tournament. The quality of the images are better than than the phone and are pretty simple to access and share.
The third option is the coolest it allows you to give anyone a first person experience of your adventure. There are many action cameras out there I cant tell you which one is the best. The Gopro is a favorite of professionals and amateur filmmakers but their competitors are catching up so weigh the pros and cons before making your choice.

Bump Board This is simple one a standardized ruler for measuring your fish.  Many tournaments require this style of ruler so its a no brainer. The only problem with these rulers is that they don't float but there are some great tutorials to make a hawg trough float. the other addition I make to these is to use a large rubber bands to hold my fish down while taking the picture.

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