Editors & Publishers
T.J. & Monique Quesnel
Ontario Fishing Network
published 12 times a year on or near the beginning of every month. Our
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© 2009 Due North
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By Tim Allard
Boating demands a certain amount of gear for both safety reasons,
but also to be ready for emergency repairs. To ensure you're well
prepared for the season, here are some essential boating tools and
gear you should own.
You should also always carry a towing kit for road side
repairs. It should include extra trailer light bulbs and fuses, a
spare tire, jack, chocks, and tools. Frequently check trailer tires
for wear. Top up air pressure and lubricate wheel bearings on a
regular basis; having a grease gun and portable air compressor makes
work of these duties. When leaving home or the launch fasten
tie-down and winch straps to the boat and inspect them regularly for
wear (carry spares too in your kit). Lastly, secure items like oars
and gas tanks so they don't move during travel.
An important element of boat organization is proper safety
equipment placement. A fire extinguisher is useless buried beneath a
pile of items; it should always be within reach. Same for PFDs and
other safety gear, like flares, whistles, throw ropes and so on.
Also, learn to neatly loop rope to avoid tangles. Always check state
and national requirements for specific items based on the size of
vessel or water you're fishing. Other Essential Supplies
Piggybacking on the above safety items, I also recommend storing the
following in your boat: first aid kit, bug spray, sunscreen, spare
sunglasses, various medications (allergies, motion sickness,
headaches, etc.), an emergency hook remover kit, a few water bottles
and snacks like nuts and granola or energy bars. I keep these in
various Ziplock bags stored within a sealed, plastic tote for extra
water protection. Label plastic totes with permanent black for quick
A Proper Supply of Boat Tools
Just like safety items, you should also carry a tool kit
(screw driver, ratchet sets, pliers, etc.) for any on-the-water
repairs you might need to perform. I carry a spare prop, pins, spark
plugs and oil for my main motor and the first two items in this list
for my electric.
I also have a small plastic tote for miscellaneous items that have
served me well over the years. It contains electrical tape, a knife,
zip ties, plastic bags, a spare flash light and batteries, absorbent
towel, and plenty of spare fuses. Jumper cables are also good to
have in case you need to boost your boat's cranking battery. In the
past two years I've seen this happen three times, all in different
boats. This happens more than many of us would like to admit, so
spend the $20 and keep jumpers in your boat.
Release Tools at the Ready
When practicing catch and release, having the proper tools
within reach is critical to getting fish back in the water quickly
with minimal stress. Plus, the faster you can properly land and
release a fish, the sooner you can catch another one. This begins by
keeping your net easily accessible. Next, have a designated spot,
compartment, or holder for pliers, haemostats, a hook disgorger, jaw
spreaders, line cutters, scissors, and scale. Keep a golf or utility
towel within reach to dry off hands afterwards; this prevents
fingers from getting chilled in cold weather. You can buy mounts to
hold these items. A friend of mind keeps all his muskie release
tools in a utility belt. When he's fishing solo he wears the belt so
his tools are always within reach.
The above are just some tools you should have stored in your boat.
Be sure to replenish supplies throughout the season. Carrying the
above tools will ensure you're prepared for a variety of minor and
more serious boating situations.