Winter fishing necessities

After spending 2017 traveling the Southeast tournament fishing I decided to take a much needed break from bass fishing. I have heard from some of my closest friends that I should grab the ultra-light rod and go chase Crappie and panfish during the wintertime. So I did just that. But before I went fishing I had to repack my winter gear that does not come out of my Kraken until April.

Key items I put in a dry bag in the hull are as followed in no particular order:

1. Towel
(This is to dry off quickly if I were to fall in. If I need a shelter in place this can double as a pillow.)

2. Extra rain pants
(I carry an extra pair that I bought a few years ago that I can flatten out so where this can double as a pillow in the summer time. They are to help keep heat in and can be pulled up to my chest since I am short.)

3. Fleece Top
(I learned back in my scouting days that a polyester fleece top is a must have eight months out of the year. This is a no brainer. It will help get you warm quick without absorbing sweat.)

4. A long sleeve cold gear dri-fit shirt
(I have used a long sleeve cold gear dri-fit shirt for years. It is tight fitting and a thick shirt. It can help keep body heat in. It is also a good base layer.)

5. Toilet paper
(The obvious would be to use the bathroom but to start a fire quickly a piece of toilet paper will do the trick. In the event you need a fire fast, a flaming roll of toilet paper will last a enough time to get a fire going and allow you to start building it so you can warm up.)

6. Lighter
(I take a lighter so I can flick it and get a flame. I also carry a flint and steel as a backup.)

7. Wool socks
(Wool socks will not absorb the water as much. It can also help keep your feet warm while you wait for your boots to dry.)

8. Emergency blanket
(The pocket sized emergency blanket can double as a blanket but also a shelter if needed.)

9. Hot hands
(This is so you can keep hands and toes warm in the event you are waiting for a bit to warm up.)

10. Stocking cap
(I have a big head and I cannot find very many to fit my head but when I found them I bought a few so I can keep one in different areas for when they are needed.)

My list of ten things are based upon experiences I have had throughout my life in Tennessee/Western Kentucky area. This list is evolving as the older I get and the more I experience or learn about from others.

My advice would be to take a look at your weather in your area and base you winter emergency bag upon the conditions.

I hope you are able to take something from my list of items that I keep in my kayak in the case of flipping during the winter months.

– Anthony Shingler

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