A Bag of Tricks
Never leave home without your fishing bag.
Unfortunate experiences linger in my memory. If you spend enough time on the water, sooner or later you will have your own tales to tell. Remember Murphy’s Law, “If something can go wrong, it probably will”.
Most of us expert to return to the marina sometime after a full day on the water without any mishaps. We all know the weather in the afternoon will be just like the stillness and sunshine of the morning.
But, sometimes it does not turn out that way. My fishing bag goes with me on every trip.
The Galveston Bay complex can change quickly to thunderstorms on these pleasant days of summer even in the winter preceding these major cold fronts. Pack an extra jacket (water-resistant), long pants and extra cotton shirt. Also, place an extra hat, just in case. No one likes to spend the entire day out on the water without one.
Everyone should carry a first aid kit. In addition, take your cellular phone with extra batteries) which can come in very handy if you need to call 9-1-1. A handheld VHF radio will also suffice.
In your first aid kit, place a box of matches; they can be used to start a fire if you wind up on deserted shoreline.
Fishing pliers are essential. Many times I have had to use extra ones in my bag, because a friend didn’t bring his or we lost them overboard. Throw in a folding Fillet knife or, if room permits, an electric fillet knife with an extension cords.
The insect life aboard my boat would amaze you.
You can bet, if you start to wade fish early one morning and get close enough to the grass line without much wind, you will find a swarm of gnats, flies, live bugs or our infamous mosquitoes, feeding on your body. Any type of insect repellent (can, tube or spray) can be a skin-saver. In addition, sunblock and lip balm can keep you out of harm’s way in the sun.
Sunglasses don’t last forever, even if they are tied around your neck. Carry an Extra pair, particularly if they are prescription. If you wear bifocals, take a back-up pair. Without them it can be a long, out-of-focus day out there.
If you take food, it pays to add a little more than you intend to eat. Carry some emergency rations like candy bars, peanuts or raisins. Place them in a plastic bag.
Speaking of plastic bags, throw some extra ones in your fishing bag. You’ll find plenty of uses for them, and they work well when you are packing your fillets.
If you are as curious as I am about how well other boats are doing, or if you just want to scan the horizon for flocks of birds, binoculars can come in handy. A small, lightweight pair will fit in the bag.
Remember that this is a small bag, not a suitcase. Based on your own experience, you’ll probably come up with some other items that are important for your area.
Of course, it pays to take a spool of extra line and maybe a good back-up reel, plus all that tackle you think you’ll need.
As always, have fun on the water.
See y’all on Galveston Bay.
Capt Paul Marcaccio.
T.P. & W. & USCG License