August 26, 2017

Pocket Items Every Angler Should Have

Old-timers from another era taught me a simple habit that helps me succeed.

Pocket Items for Inshore Fishing

This is where I first learned the value of pocket items common-to-all. It's old-school knowledge from generations of experience. It boils down to really simple concepts.

Four to six man reconnaissance teams are small. Each Marine must be self-sufficient.

He does this by being prepared and keeping certain things on his body, readily accessible, not inside his pack or outside arm's reach.

This simple habit transfers seamlessly to inshore fishing.

There are tools I keep on my person, mostly in my pockets, that I use to help me fish. These include pliers, extra soft plastics, a clicker, and more.

The idea here is to be more efficient by being self-sufficient.

It's about being prepared.

I know it seems like an obvious concept, but it was lost on most anglers I've fished with. If I had a dollar every time someone asked, "Can I use your pliers?" I'd definitely have extra gas money!

If I spend less time walking to the center console to get pliers to unhook a fish, or whatever, then I am spending more time casting a line in the water and, you guessed it, catching fish.

My Favorite Pocket Items


This is the very most important thing I keep on me, so important I keep them dummy-corded to my person.

This way I can't accidentally put them down and have to walk back to where they were. They are always there.

My pliers future built-in blades for cutting braided line. They help a bunch!


Fishing is dirty. I use a towel to dry my hands, wipe off slime and clean my sunglasses.

This is especially important when deepwater-jigging. I like a good grip when palming the reel, so I use the towel to wipe water away.

When sight fishing, I gotta keep my sunglasses clean! So the towel helps there, too. These come with a carabiner, so I just keep it clipped to my belt.


I am easily burned by the sun. I keep this in my pocket so I don't forget.

Extra Soft Plastics

Sometimes plastics are easily torn. I keep a few extra of whatever I am using, as well as different colors for experimentation.

Extra Soft Plastics

Have them ready to rock and roll!

Walking to the tacklebox to ferret out more plastics is wasting time.


I love my clicker!

It helps me keep track of how many trout I've caught or how many redfish I've seen when sight fishing (this helps me understand how many redfish are in an area, even if I didn't catch them).

Clicker Redfish Speckled Trout

That was a good day of sight fishing!

Note I cannot remember who, but another angler told me to go to the baseball section of any outdoors store to get the plastic clickers. They don't rust.

Wherever you are, thanks for that tip!


This isn't applicable to everyone. I haven't bought live bait for personal-use in years.

But, if you do use live bait, pains like hardhead catfish are inevitable. Use a flipper to quickly get them off the hook.

Knowledge Bomb

Use a flipper for trout when on a fast trout bite. This way you can get them off the hook faster and your bait back in the water. 


Keeping pocket items is a simple habit that will make you a more effective angler. When you are more effective, you catch more fish.

When you catch more fish, you become more confident.

When you are more confident, you can put other people on fish and ignite their passion for inshore fishing.

Nothing but good comes from this simple habit!

Captain Devin

About the Author

Devin is a former fishing guide and lifelong inshore angler. He founded Louisiana Fishing Blog in 2012 to share his ideas as a charter captain and still writes in it today. Since then he's created a fishing university — LAFB Elite — where he teaches inshore anglers how to safely navigate Louisiana's coast and catch more fish.

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