Three Things Every Tackle Box Should Have
Kevin Felts 12.11.19
Fishing should be a low-stress situation. Whether it is fishing off the bank or on a boat, there are three items just about all anglers should have in their tackle boxes.
These items are:
- Long needle nose pliers
- Fingernail / toenail clippers
- Heavy duty wire cutters
Why needlenose pliers? For reaching into the fish’s throat to work the hook lose. One of the important issues with fishing is safely releasing fish we do not keep. Some fish are a little more aggressive than others when hitting a lure. As such, some fish may swallow the hook, or get it lodged deep in the throat. Few things are as frustrating as working against time to free a hook so the fish can be safely released. Then when we do get the hook out and put the fish back in the water, it just lies there motionless.
What do we do in this situation? We take the fish and start moving it back and forth in the water so water can run across the gills. Sometimes this helps revive the fish and it will swim away. Other times the fish cannot be revived. Maybe the fish is in shock or it spent too much time out of the water. So the goal of the long needle nose pliers so to get the hook out as fast as possible and get the fish back into the water.
Fingernail clippers are a given as just about everyone has used them for cutting fishing line. When tying a hook to the line, nail clippers makes trimming the extra line very easy.
Last but not least is a pair of heavy wire cutters. Some of you know why to carry these, while others may be a little bewildered. What should we do when someone gets a hook in their hand? We cannot pull it out because of the barb. Do we want to leave the hook in our hand while we drive back to the boat launch then to the emergency room to have it removed?
The quick and easy solution is to push the hook through the skin, cut the barbed end off, then guide the hook out. Hopefully there is a first aid kit or bandanna on board to help with the bleeding. Depending on the size of the hook there may not be too much bleeding as the hole may close when the hook is removed. Chances are a lot of us have an extra pair of wire cutters laying around the house.
If someone does get a hook in her hand, let’s not put off a visit to the doctor for a tetanus shot and maybe antibiotics. But the wire cutter will help get the hook out and make the person more comfortable. It will probably be easier to look at a bandage on the hand than a hook sticking out of the flesh.