Keeping a boat safe and running properly is both an art and a science and can be very labor-intensive. If you have newly joined the world of boating, it's quite easy to overlook some pieces of safety equipment or some maintenance tasks that should have been done, so here are 20 essential boat accessories for any fisherman:1. Life Jackets, Ropes, Flares
First and foremost, you should always have life jackets for every rider on the boat, aptly checked monthly to keep them in working order. It would help if you also carried flares or other emergency signaling devices
. You should not be stranded at sea with no way home! The larger your boat is, the more important these safety devices become.2. Anchors and Chain
An anchor is a fisherman's best friend; it stops you from drifting and puts you in place actually to fish. Make sure yours is big enough for your boat and can hold its ground in adverse weather conditions like wind or strong currents if necessary. If you're using a smaller boat, you can opt for a flotation anchor instead.
It's recommended that you have the correct amount of chain attached to your anchor - if it has too much or too little, finding and setting it properly will be difficult or impossible. Finally, make sure your anchor is an adequate size for both your boat and the body of water you're fishing in.3. Life Raft or Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs)
Rafts are an ideal accessory for any fisherman, no matter where you happen to be boating because staying afloat is the most important thing if your boat capsizes. Plus, it's safer than swimming; even the best swimmers can't be expected to stay afloat for long in the middle of a big body of water. Please make sure everyone on the boat has their own PFD and that they're readily accessible in an emergency.4. VHF Marine Radio
A VHF radio is essential for communicating with other boats, making it great for fishing deep water or places you don't have cell phone reception. This is especially helpful during inclement weather, emergencies, and when entering unfamiliar waters.5. Life Raft Pump
Adding this to the list of essential boat accessories
may seem odd, but having some pump can be very useful if your boat springs a leak unexpectedly. Pumps are light, easy to store and prevent a small mishap from becoming a big problem.6. Anchor Trolley
An anchor trolley is an accessory that keeps your anchor at the bow or stern while you're fishing. This makes operating easier while preventing snags on structures like rocks or poles. It can be a real time saver and make anchoring your boat much easier.7. Depth Finder or Fish Finder
Cruising around in a boat or fishing without a depth finder or fish finder is like driving around in a car at night without headlights; now that's a dumb idea. Check out the HawkEye DepthTrax
or FishTrax depth finders and fish finders
and transform your boating and fishing from a giant guessing game to a more refined science.
Even though everyone on the boat may be wearing PFDs, it's still important to have one on hand if someone falls overboard. If you're trying to catch a huge marlin or tuna, the extra time it takes to pull someone out of the water could mean losing your biggest catch ever.9. Marine Band Radio
If you intend to dive deeper into your fishing adventures, you can invest in a Marine Band radio. These radios are designed specifically for use on the ocean, and they work across hundreds of miles to help divers communicate with their boat's captain. If you're diving deep enough, cell phones don't work anymore; this is a good idea.10. Sunscreen
Most people think sunscreen is something only used during the summer or for outdoor activities like soccer, but it's also an essential accessory if you plan to spend time on the water. Even though you might be wearing protective clothing, direct sunlight can still cause sunburn and skin damage.11. Float Tube
Float tubes work much like traditional kayaks, but they're designed to place you above the water where fish are more likely to see or hear you. Float tubes are great for catching fish
even in relatively shallow water, and they allow you to go places that are difficult to navigate with a larger boat.12. Anchor Light
An anchor light is an accessory every boater needs because it ensures that you and other boats can see where you're at. It's required by law to have an anchor light aboard your boat, and they're inexpensive and easy to use, making them great for amateur anglers as well as pros.13. Shore Line Reel
If you like fishing from the shore (a fantastic way to catch many different species), a shoreline reel is a great accessory. Shoreline reels come in many varieties, but they're all designed to help you pull your catch up from the water and onto dry land quickly. They can also be used on small boats or kayaks if you want to try fishing off the side
.14. Ice Auger
Ice fishing is a perfect winter activity, and it can pay off if you're willing to put in the effort. If you want to try ice fishing without all the hassle of cutting through thick ice, an ice auger is a great option. They're compact enough to fit into a backpack or back seat, and they drill holes quickly so you can get to fishing.15. Sinkers
Sinkers are an essential accessory if you want to catch fish other than those that live near the surface because they sink your line directly down to where the fish are hiding. Sinkers are often made of weights or split shots connected with fishing lines. Sinkers are especially good for catching bottom feeders like catfish, carp, or smallmouth bass.16. Lures
Lures are another great way to draw fish up from the depths and keep them interested in your bait even once it's on the surface. Various types of lures are available, depending on what kind of fish you want to catch. Still, they usually incorporate bright colors and unique movements to attract the attention of large predators.17. Scent
Despite doing everything right with your bait, fish may not be able to detect it in certain conditions or won't find it interesting enough to eat. You can apply to bait to help it stand out, and different scents work well for different fish depending on what they're used to finding in their natural environment.18. Sink Tip Line
If you're going deep-sea fishing, a sink tip line is a must-have accessory to keep your line from getting tangled as you pull it up from the water. Sink tip lines have a different weight at the end that allows them to sink down but also helps prevent tangles as they move through the water.19. Digital Camera
If you're going out fishing for fun or if your goal is to catch and release rather than harvesting, a digital camera is a perfect accessory. Digital cameras give you a chance to document your fishing experience
, and you can even use them to take underwater shots if your boat is equipped with an external camera mount.20. Foul Weather Gear
Even the best fishermen don't always have good luck, and on those days when you're not catching anything, it's important to make sure you stay safe. Foul weather gear like rain gear, fleece jackets, and boots are must-haves when it's not ideal out on the water.
Now that you know of some essential boat accessories
, you can decide the ones you need in your collection. You might already be an experienced fisherman or boater, and this list may not apply to you at all, but it's always good to brush up on the basics.