How many times have you arrived at your fishing location just to discover you’ve left something at home?

If you’re like me, you have a gathered a great deal of fishing gear over the years so you have everything you need for every occasion.

And still, from time to time there I find myself looking for nippers, extra leaders, pliers, or even a landing net. And it’s very frustrating, knowing, that you have them at home.

So, this is why I’ve created a very handy and foolproof way to ALWAYS bring the necessary gear with me. Yes, you guessed it – a Checklist.

How to prepare for a fishing trip?

To be best prepared for your fishing trip, it’s a great idea to have a checklist of gear you might need when you’re at the location.

Creating a checklist for fishing gear is mostly a trial and error endeavor. To get it right might take some time and tweaking. But once it’s finished, it’s a lifesaver!

Before starting a checklist, consider your fishing style, where you fish, and what are the things you use the most. This will give you a great idea what sort of gear you might need.

For example, as I’m usually more of a run-and-gun type of pike fisher, I mostly like to grab only the necessary gear to keep things as light as possible.

Then again, if you like to fish different species, e.g. pike and carp, you would want to create yourself multiple checklists – seeing that you will need different kinds of gear.

The essentials on a fishing Gear checklist

If you’re creating a checklist of your own, try to think about these four questions:

  • What gear do you need to start fishing? – e.g. fishing rod, lures, bait, and maybe a fish finder
  • What gear do you need to land a fish? – e.g. landing net, rubber boots, fish mat, a bag for the fish (if you plan on cooking it at home), and pliers
  • What do you need if your fishing gear breaks? – e.g. nippers, extra leaders, extra line, pocket knife, and maybe some tape
  • What do you need if you’re staying for longer? – e.g. drinking water, snacks or food, extra clothes, and a good headlamp

Once you have thought through these four situations, you should have everything covered for most fishing trips.

It’s important to create a list that would be versatile in most situations. This way you don’t have to change the list every time and can add or leave only a few things, if needed, to keep the list most useful.

In case you need some more inspiration for your own fishing trip gear checklist or want use mine, let’s go over it.

Pike fishing gear checklist: the essentials

Although this list is more geared towards pike fishing, you can also use it as an outline for other species.

Here’s my pike fishing gear checklist following the same four questions mentioned earlier:

What gear do you need to start fishing?

  1. Fishing license
  2. Fishing rod (two, if I intend to catch and use live bait)
  3. Seven types of lures: soft plastics, metal spoons, spinners and spinnerbaits, topwater (frogs and poppers), crankbaits, and jerkbaits
  4. Rubber boots (in case I need to step on wet grounds of into water)
  5. Deeper fish finder (an absolute beast when fishing in unfamiliar locations)

What gear do you need to land a fish?

  1. Landing net
  2. Unhooking mat
  3. Longnose pliers
  4. Bag (in case I want to bring the fish home for cooking)

What do you need if your fishing gear breaks?

  1. Extra line
  2. Extra leaders
  3. Pocket knife
  4. Nippers
  5. Small roll of tape
  6. Superglue

What do you need if you’re staying for longer?

  1. Drinking water
  2. Snacks or food
  3. Extra clothes
  4. Tactical flashlight
  5. Small medkit
  6. Battery bank
  7. Bug spray

These are the essential things I bring with me on every fishing trip.

Of course, the list will vary if, for instance, I’m going bait fishing or ice fishing – but as I mostly go bank or boat fishing, this is my go-to checklist so I would remember everything.

PRO TIP: After you have finished your own list or have decided to use mine, print it out and keep it near your fishing gear. This way you’ll always look at it before a fishing trip


To make sure that you have everything packed for the upcoming fishing trip, It’s a great idea to create yourself a fishing gear checklist.

The benefits of a list are that you don’t have to spend much time at home thinking about what you might need to take with you – as everything has been though out earlier and written down.

Also, once you actually get to your fishing location you can be sure that you didn’t leave anything at home – thus, saving you from ruining an awesome fishing experience.

To create a list, keep in mind the four aspects mentioned earlier in the post: what you need to start fishing, what you need when you catch a fish, what you need when something breaks, and finally what if you plan on staying longer than anticipated.

Follow these tips and I’m sure you’ll be thankful next time you’re fishing and need nippers or superglue for some reason.

I really hope that this article helped you in understanding all the benefits of having a fishing gear checklist, and also help you in creating a checklist of your own. If you liked the article, please be sure to share it with friends who might also be seeking that information.