The Beginner's guide to shore fishing
Part Three - Accessories

By Simon Day.

fishing accessories

Here are some often overlooked but very useful items you might want to think about.

Making life easier

You really do need a very sharp knife for fishing so not only do you need a knife you also want to buy a knife sharpener for your home. Your local tackle shop should have a range of knives. The cheaper ones are fine for the job, just make sure they remain very sharp or your bait presentation will be lost.

Often overlooked but vital to keep your knife as sharp as possible. You don't need an expensive chopping board. I had a piece of wood laying about so I took a measurement of my bag and used a saw to saw it down to the size of one of the pockets on my bag. It is just big enough for an average sized mackerel to fit on which is all you need it for

You may wonder why you need pliers but when you hook a fish like a garfish which tend to swallow the hook you'll be glad you did. Try and buy the thin pliers which curve off at an angle because these make the job of getting the hook out much easier. I make my own rigs so I always carry with me my crimping pliers because they are perfect for the job.

Fishing pliers

You may not go out fishing at night but sometimes the fishing is so good you really want to stay on that extra couple of hours but you can no longer see the rod tip. Just buy a couple of night-light's but buy the ones that come with their own Sellotape. Now you never have to worry about time again.

Note: The Sellotape on most night sticks are rubbish so bring a small sellotape of your own, the stick will stay on MUCH longer if you do!

This really is a must have and it's the one thing I keep forgetting to take with me.

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Prolonging Bait

In the summer heat your bait will dry out in a very short period of time. Even in the winter it won't last as long as you think. Here are my top tips for keeping your bait fresh:

Most tackle and DIY shops carry a small range of buckets. You don't need a huge great thing. Just something small enough to keep a few mackerel in. I used to have quite a large bucket but it was a pain to carry so I bought one half the size.

When you get to your location fill the bucket a third of the way up and immediately place any mackerel, squid, eel bait you have straight into it. Your bait will now last all the time you're there. The reason you only fill it a third is so any jumper or coat your wearing doesn't get wet.

Not only is it useful for you but it also keeps the bait out of the sun. It won't stop the bait drying up but will slow the process down. The downside is because your on the coast most of the time it's too windy to use one.

Another great way of keep bait cool but I still don't think it's better than the bucket. For one reason no matter how well you wrap the bait up you will always have a smell in the box and cleaning these boxes out isn't as easy as a quick rinse of a bucket.

Leave bait wrapped up
The first thing I do when I get home is wrap up my mackerel fillets into cling film. If you don't have any of the above then as a last resort leave your bait in the cling film and in the shade. The moisture from the bait will help keep it from drying out.

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Looking after yourself

Never ever take anything for granted because that's the day you'll get washed out to sea! Here are some tips for taking care of yourself.

I count this as a must have when fishing from rocks or the beach and don't think this is a winter only item. A flotation suit is designed to keep you alive if god forbid you ever fall in the water. Our waters get very cold and currents very strong so you need all the help you can get.

It may sound like a daft thing to carry but mobile phones tend not to work in 50 foot of water so you need something that you know will be heard from the shore. It isn't easy to shout for help when you're in a sea with a temperature close to zero and as much as I hate the film Titanic the whistle does prove my point very well! Plastic ones are very cheap and could save your life!

You see these in the shops all the time. From around 99p these are cheap and make threading the line through the hook simple, even with good vision. This is a permanent addition to my tackle box! Even a x1 magnification can really help.

If you are going to be fishing off of cliffs or other dangers like sand banks then the simple answer is don't! In the winter months there just isn't the people around to hear cry's for help. If the place you want to fish is even slightly dangerous then take a friend with you. If you really can't but still want to fish then make sure you tell people where you are going and how long you'll be there. It is preferable that you keep the trip short to limit the amount of time you could be missing.

If all else fails then when you go out place your phone inside some waterproof plastic. I carry a rig bag which contains all my rigs and also my mobile phone if I'm on my own or a higher risk fishing spot. If yours is a flip-up mobile then make sure you have enough room to flip the thing up. It may be a slight pain getting the phone out to answer calls but if you tell the people they are then aware you might miss the first call.

Beginners Guide » Page 4 (tips & tricks)

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