Spend enough years remembering what you forgot once it’s too late and eventually you develop a system. I may step onto other people’s boats with an array of tackle and cameras (or not), but this kit always goes with me
Every essential in my kit fits into an original Abel Tackle Bag (1). The thing is a black hole in terms of what it will hold, but the pocket arrangement makes organizing and finding things easy. First to go in the main compartment are a lightweight raincoat, bibs and gloves (2), and atop those, binoculars (3). Plenty of room remains for anything else I may need for the day: lunch, some tackle, a GoPro or fighting belt. I fit a spare hat and an extra neck gaiter (4) around the edges. Four outside pockets hold the rest of the gear by category. Electronics (5) go in an end pocket: a PLB, DeLorme inReach (if I’ll be in a place with no other communication options), handheld VHF and SPOT tracker. In the opposite end pocket go fishing tools and cutters: a belt knife, pliers, line cutter, clippers and a folding knife (6). Offshore I keep the line cutter on me, always readily available, and a knife on my belt, in my waistband or in a pocket. A front zippered pocket carries spare sunglasses, cleaning wipes, glasses cleaning liquid, a microfiber cleaner and terry towel (7). I hate dirty sunglasses. The second front pocket holds sundries: sunscreen (8), aspirin, a few band-aids and tape, with room left for a cellphone and my wallet in zip-lock bags. Plus, I stash a few Benjamins in a baggy in an inside zip compartment for emergencies or tips. This kit pretty much assures me a safe and comfortable day on the water.