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Trolling for Salmon: An Expert Guide to Catching Salmon

Want to cover more area and increase your chances of catching more salmon? It’s time to change tactics and start trolling for salmon. But what trolling equipment do you need? Do you need downriggers? Can you catch salmon using divers and weights? Find out in our expert trolling for salmon guide below. 

What Is Trolling

If you’ve ever seen anglers drawing lures or baits through the water behind a moving boat, that’s what we call trolling! The logic here’s that the boat’s movement builds up waves on the waters, attracting salmon.

The most common fish you can troll are salmon, bass, and trout.

Common Salmon Trolling Setup

If you want a successful salmon trolling trip, there are a few items you need to have in your fishing gear arsenal. A typical salmon trolling setup includes a flasher, leader line, rods, and hooks. 

Flasher

Pro-Troll Fishing Products ProChip 11 Fin Flasher with EChip (Blue Plaid, 11-Inch)

You can use flashers to troll salmon. These devices look like rubber pads with two ends. And yes, the narrow tapered end is the front.

But there’s a rule here — rig it wrongly, and you’ll get a few salmon. If you rig it correctly, you can go home with a catch. To be on the safer side, we recommend you rig it frontwards and tie it to your fishing line from your reel and rod.

Leader Line

Seaguar STS Salmon Fluorocarbon Leader Fishing Line, 40-Pound/100-Yard, Clear

If you’ve gone fishing on any Alaskan rivers, you’ll know that monofilament and fluorocarbon leaders tippet, tapered leaders, and specialty leaders are pretty standard. But a salmon steelhead leader should do a perfect job when trolling for salmon, especially when you’re casting large streamers.

Anytime you’re trolling for a Chinook salmon, a 38″ leader is highly recommended. If you want to improve your results, you can shorten or lengthen it by 2.”

Lure

Sougayilang Spoons Hard Fishing Lures Treble Hooks Salmon Bass Metal Fishing Lure BaitsSILVER 5pcs

You need to consider your location to determine the best type of lure and style that will work for you. For instance, if you want to catch wild salmon in the northernmost zones of Alaska, you’ll need standard lures like plugs and spinners. But the most common lure when trolling for salmon is a flasher with a hoochie. You can also add some cut plug batfish (herring) to make it more enticing. 

Expert Tip: If you want to catch pink salmon, opt for 1/2″-1-1/2″ spoons and pair it with a 15lb lighter line. For coho salmon fishing, switch to medium-size spoons. Orange, green, and chartreuse are popular lure colors. 

Rods

Fiblink Saltwater Offshore Heavy Trolling Fishing Rod Big Game Conventional Boat Fishing Roller Rod Pole with All Roller Guides (2-Piece,6-Feet,30-50lb)

Salmon trolling is slightly technical, so you’ll need the best gear to get the right results. For trolling rods, look for a longer, more robust, and more flexible option. Its length needs to be around 10’6″ (at least 8’6″), and the line rating has to fall within 15 to 30 lbs.

Many fishermen trolling deep waters use downriggers (sometimes with a heavy lead weight). You can also use line counters or line counter reels. But ideally, you don’t need a line counter while setting your bait with a downrigger.

Have you fished with downrigger rods before? Well, they’re different from other types of fishing rods.

  • They are typically trolling/casting style rods.
  • Uses fiberglass-graphite or fiberglass.
  • The length should be between 8’6″ and 10’6.”

When trolling for salmon, ensure that you have compatible rod holders – unless you want to hold your several rods simultaneously. 

Hooks

Goture Stainless Steel Fishing Hooks Long Shank Hooks Extra Strong for Saltwater Freshwater Size 6/0-12/0 10Pcs 8/0

There’s a tendency that the hook (particularly the tine) won’t even penetrate a salmon’s jaw. So, if you are trolling for King Salmon, getting a bigger hook size is always the better choice. Here are our hook size recommendations when trolling for salmon. 

Type of HookIdeal Hook Size for Salmon
Circle Hook2/0 – 4/0
Octopus Hook1 – 4/0
Siwash Hook1 – 2/0
Salmon Egg Hook4/0 – 10/0

Reasons Why You Should Troll for Salmon

Many trollers swear that trolling is the most effective technique to catch salmon. But why? 

  • The method is psychological and versatile. Remember, the essence is to trick the target fish into believing that the bait you laid is a moving prey. Funny.
  • It’ll help you drop as many as possible lines and target multiple water depths—all at the same time.
  • Trolling helps you target their most hidden spots. If you’re a fan of fishing in vast and deep waters, you’ll fall in love with trolling.
  • It also helps you mix up baits on each fishing line. So if one of the lines gets hooked and it’s not attracting fish, the other ones will rise to the task and draw the fish to themselves.

Trolling for Salmon With Downriggers

When it comes to trolling for salmon, many anglers use downriggers. But what are downriggers exactly, and should you have them in your fishing gear? 

What Are Downriggers?

Scotty #1106 Depthpower Electric Downrigger w/ 60-Inch Telescopic Boom & Swivel Base, Rod Holder

Downriggers have a weighted line which you can retrieve by an electric motor or a manual crank. Their job is to sink your trolling rig and bait the fish to a particular depth by joining it to a big weighted line.

Expert Tip: We suggest using downriggers on aluminum salmon fishing boats with offshore brackets.

The weighted line is made of wire on end, and there’s a clip that’ll help you grab your fishing line and exert enough pressure to push it down the weight. Anytime a fish bites the lure, the clip gets released from the weighted line.

That’s the signal that it’s your turn to fight the fish.

Why Use Downriggers

Thanks to advancements in tech, angling is now easier when you use downriggers to troll for salmon. So what are the benefits of using a downrigger to troll?

  • Consistently Accurate and Precise: You don’t have to guess where your bait is. They’ll give you the exact measurements, and all you need is to expect the signal from the device that there’s a salmon around.
  • Give Extra Flexibility: They allow you to get your baits in front of salmon. And this is practically impossible when you use divers or any other weight setups. For instance, if you’re trolling for King salmon at 90 feet down, you won’t worry about getting your lure to such depth. Plus, downriggers are also effective for lake trout, kokanee, and yellowfin tuna. 

Trolling for Salmon Without Downriggers

What happens if you don’t have downriggers? That’s not a problem; You can still troll for salmon using divers and weights. 

With Divers

Luhr Jensen 20' Jet Diver Red Magic/Metallic Red, Yellow/White, 5540-020-0943

This is probably the most widely-used method of trolling salmon without downriggers. Even if you’re hearing this for the first time, it can be inferred that divers “dive” into the deepest parts of the waters while fishing.

If you’ve never used diver for angling before, here’s how you should use it for trolling salmon: 

  1. Position the boat upstream of a salmon’s run.
  2. Hit the button on the reel and ensure your thumb is on the spool.
  3. Easily set the rig into the waters with the bait entering first.
  4. Let the diver follow.
  5. Monitor the number of lines you have out through the outfitted reels.
  6. You can use a bobber stop to tie the line at a measured distance.
  7. Slide the reel into gear and let the boat start slipping downstream at about 2/4.
  8. Focus on where the lines enter the water
  9. Make sure the boat is coming downstream in a straight line.

With Weights

If you are indifferent about getting a diver for your next fishing adventure, you can also use lead weights to troll salmon. You can also use the two most common weights – snap weights and keel weights.

Keel Weights

This fishing device ensures the weights are located in the right direction as you troll them. If you want to troll at 30 feet deep or probably less, a 6 to 8oz keel is perfect.

To use keel weights: 

  1. Ensure you knot the keel weight directly with a bead above your line.
  2. Reel the rod’s pointed end and make sure there’s a swivel below the reel (within 6 feet).

Snap Weights

Bimini Lures Pro Snap Weights for trolling - Red Clip (Red- 25 Clips per Pack)

The swift “on and off” feature of snap weights makes it easier to detach them anytime you catch a fish. The ideal setup is to release 50 feet of line, add your snap weight, and release another 50 feet.

Although it depends on your speed and weight, we’ve worked on some depths you can follow while using snap weights.

WeightDepth at 1mphDepth at 1.5mphDepth at 2mph
½ oz10-15 feet deep5-10 feet deep1-5 feet deep
1oz15-20 feet deep10-15 feet deep5-10 feet deep
2oz25-30 feet deep20-25 feet deep15-20 feet deep
3oz30-35 feet deep25-30 feet deep 20-25 feet deep

Trolling for Salmon FAQs

What Depth Do You Troll for Salmon

The depth for trolling salmon depends on your location and your fishing gear. When you’re trolling for salmon with downriggers, it’s recommended that your depth is between 10 to 20 feet for maximum results. If you are saltwater fishing, it’ll be better to go for a 10lb downrigger. For freshwater, anything around 6 to 8 pounds will do the perfect job.

Where to Fish for Salmon

If you’re in the US, you have a lot of options. You can head to the Pacific Northwest, which covers the Columbia River, Oregon’s Buoy 10, and the Willamette River. Alternatively, you can go to the south and go to California Delta or drive east and troll at the Great Lakes. 

What Is the Best Trolling Speed for Salmon?

The best trolling speed for salmon should be around 1.5 to 3.5 mph. But it all depends on your setup. You can release the lure for a couple of feet and check how well it swims to adjust the speed.

It would help if you got this adjustment right, especially when you use bait like a Rapala, which must be tuned to run at a specific speed. On the other hand, dodgers are built to hurl from side to side without much whirling. You might make the dodger whirl if you start running above 2.5 mph.

Final Thoughts on Trolling for Salmon

Whether you’re an amateur or skilled angler, trolling for salmon is your best chance at spending a perfect day on the water. So, prepare your fishing gear and get some salmon! Now that you have an expert guide to lean on, this is your chance to put all you’ve learned into action to hook and land lots of salmon.

Trolling for Trout With or Without Downriggers

Most beginner trout anglers shift their focus to other species when hot summer months hit, but it doesn’t have to be. This is because trolling for trout is the most effective way to reel in the elusive, cold-water species, even in the middle of summer. You can even use this technique to catch other species. 

Here’s everything you need to know about trolling for trout, including tips and tricks, the ideal trout trolling setup, and the best lures.  

What Is Trout Trolling?

Trolling involves dragging lines off the back or sides of a slow-moving boat. This technique is the most common way of fishing for trout, especially during the hotter months of summer when the fish tend to occupy the deepest ranges of their preferred depth.

A standard trout trolling gear includes using downriggers, particular trolling lures, and lines. These items are made to help the fishing line maintain the desired depth and attract fish while being towed behind a boat.

Expert Tip: Trolling is not only effective for lake trouts. You can also use this fishing technique to catch Steelhead, Brown Trout, and Atlantic Salmon. 

3 Reasons Why You Should Troll

There are three main reasons to go trolling for Lake Trout: 

  • Allows you to fish in deeper water: When you’re trolling, you can fish deeper than if you were casting. The constant slow motion of trolling in a boat allows lures like deep divers to easily reach their maximum depth faster than if you were anchored in place casting. 
  • Cover more area: Moving in a boat at a slow speed allows you to cover a lot of areas. Using a fish finder will also help mark the fish around the boat and at varying depths. 
  • Lake Trout are roaming predators: Lakers are not known for staying in one place and ambushing their prey. They cruise the deeper waters around structures like bays, drop-offs, islands, or pilings. 

Trolling for Trout With Downriggers

Scotty #1073DP Laketroller Manual Downrigger, Post Mount, Display Packed BLACK, Small

There are plenty of anglers that prefer trolling with downriggers. The benefit of using downriggers is that they make it infinitely easier to get your lures or bait to the desired depth. And they can do so precisely. 

They come in a large variety, from hand cranks to an electronic push of a button too. Also, most downriggers tend to be rather affordable. However, many would rather be trolling without downriggers because it takes away from the authenticity of the experience. 

How to Use Downrigger for Trout Trolling

Using downriggers may seem intimidating to use. However, this piece of equipment is pretty straightforward to operate, whether you opt for a manual or electric downrigger.

  1. Attach the downrigger and downrigger bracket. 
  2. Position the boom perpendicular to whichever side of the boat it’s on.
  3. Put the downrigger weight on the end of the cable line and let it drop into the water.
  4. Fix the downrigger clip to either the cable or the weight.
  5. Let out 5 to 50 feet of line.
  6. Have the boat in forward gear to help take out the line.
  7. Attach the fishing line to the downrigger clip.
  8. Release the reel spool to slowly drop the line and downrigger in a controlled manner by using your finger or thumb to manage the speed. 
  9. Do so until you reach the desired depth, then close the bail or engage the reel. 
  10.  Place your fishing rod in the rod holder.
  11. Begin trolling at your preferred speed.

Trolling for Trout Without Downriggers

If you find using downriggers a cheat code to catch trouts, you can always skip this piece of equipment. It makes fishing more authentic, but you can also put your trout knowledge to the test – it takes skill and experience to determine the correct depth when trolling for trout without downriggers. 

There are a few different ways and gear that will help if you’re an angler that chooses to go this route.

Flat Lining

This is the simplest method of trolling that you can apply without the help of downriggers. There are no extras or weights that will be attached to your line other than the chosen trout trolling lures. 

Expert Tip: This is considered a near-surface technique because the lures will not reach anything beyond a moderate depth. It is a good method for trolling lures like lipped divers, crankbaits, and jigs. 

Planer Boards

Krazywolf Planer Board (P009),Includes Spring Flag system,Left&Right L8'xW3',Pair,Yellow

If you want to cover more area, you can use planer boards. This device, which can either be wood or foam, attaches to your fishing lines and pushes them away from the boat. Many anglers use multiple planer boards in their trolling for trout set up to spread out multiple lines and prevent tangles. Some use weights to help the lures reach the desired depth. 

To use:

  1. Cast your line. 
  2. Attach the line to the two clips on the planer on the side you casted from.
  3. Release more lines and let the planer float to the side of the boat to the desired distance.
  4. Begin trolling. 
  5. The movement of the planers or tattle flags will alert you of a bite.

Lead Core Line

Sufix 668-118MC Performance Lead Core Fishing Line, 18-Pound, 100-Yard Metered

Trout trolling anglers also use a lead core line, which is just a fishing line with a lead core. This makes it much heavier than monofilament and doesn’t require attaching additional weights. 

Not only will it drop to whatever the desired depth is quickly, but it is also color-coded to help you determine depth. It is also marked with ten different colors, and each section is 30 feet in length. Ideally, you want a 6-8 lb line for trolling. 

Trout Trolling Setup: 3 Setups You Should Try

Just as there are different trolling methods for trout, there are different setups as well. And knowing the different varieties and adding them to your fishing arsenal will increase your chances of success, whether you are after rainbow trout. 

There are three styles that you’ll often hear of. They include inline weight rigs, 3-way swivel rigs, and flasher rigs. Each of these trolling setups offers different actions to attract trout, can combine other lures or bait, and can reach a variety of depths.

Trolling Rig With Inline Weight

Trout with inline weight rig diagram

This trout trolling setup allows you to switch lures quickly and is attached directly to the weight via a swivel. When using this method, you’ll need to use an improved clinch knot to tie the swivel to the fishing line.

The swivel allows you to change lures easier and faster. Once the swivel is secured directly to the line or the end of a 6-foot fluorocarbon leader, you should clip the swivel to the front eye of an inline weight. This setup is especially effective for fish suspended off of the bottom. 

3 Way Rig for Trout

Three way rig for trout diagram

The simplest setup to troll trout lures with is the 3-way swivel rig, and it functions the best in lakes. 

As its name suggests, it uses a 3-way swivel that attaches the main line, a dropper line (often combined with one or more weights), and a leader line which the lure is attached to. 

This is an extremely versatile setup because you can have varying weights to reach any depth. You can also utilize different lures and baits to achieve different actions.

You can do so by using the dropper line to attach a different lure or weighted hook and worm instead of a weight. Then the leader line can sport a diving crankbait or similar. 

Flasher Rig for Trout

diagram of flasher rig for trout trolling

This popular setup uses an extra-large colored or metallic blade that will spin in the water, creating vibration and shine similar to the flashes of live baitfish that trout usually prey on. 

Expert Tip: The flasher is positioned 8 to 20 inches from where the lure is attached. 

Here’s how you can use a flasher rig for trout trolling: 

  1. Attach a snap swivel to the mainline.
  2. Tie, then tie the line to a barrel swivel. 
  3. Attach a weight to the snap swivel and a 2-foot leader to your flasher and the barrel swivel. 

Keep in mind that flashers and dodgers are not the same. The latter wobbles and is better for slower trolling speed. 

Trout Trolling Lures: What Is the Best Lure?

There is no shortage when it comes to trolling lures for trout fishing. Anything from spoons and crankbaits to jigs and rooster tails are excellent options. 

However, certain lures work better depending on the season. Each season, Lake Trouts move to different depths within the water column as they have little tolerance for temperatures above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. 

This means during the cooler months of early spring, fall and winter, you can find them in shallower water ranging from 10 to 30 feet deep. When the water temperatures begin to heat up in late spring into summer, they can move to depths of 100 to 200 feet. 

Their behavior also changes, so the kind of lures you use for each season will reflect that.

  • During Spring: Spring calls for bright, high-action lures since the trout will be aggressive and hungry coming out of the winter season. The best lures to use at this time include Needlefish spoons, Rapalas, and spinners. 
  • During Summer: Use less bright lures during summer trolling for trout. Some of the summer favorites are wedding ring lures and Needlefish spoons.
  • During Fall: The fish will be coming up to shallower water as the temperatures begin to cool at this point of the season. This is the perfect time to use lures like Kastmaster spoons, Z-Rays, or Cripplures.

Conclusion

Trolling is extremely popular and by far the best way to fish trout on large water and during summer. And with two trolling for trout techniques – with or without downriggers – and three different trolling rig setups, you can find a suitable tactic for your needs.  

Remember, there is no lack of creativity when it comes to fishing! So, trying out new or unusual combinations of methods and setups could lead to surprising results.

Deep Sea Fishing Near Me: The Best Spots for Big Game Fishing

Have you always dreamed of fishing in some of the country’s best deep sea fishing spots but don’t know where to start? Well, you are in luck. You can stop searching “how do I find the ideal place for deep-sea fishing near me?” online. 

We’ve rounded up the best deep fishing locations in the United States, including the best fishing techniques and nearby charter options, so you can finally take your dream deep fishing trip and have an absolute blast! 

What Is Deep Sea Fishing?

Deep-sea fishing, also called big game fishing or offshore fishing, requires a trip into the open waters. But unlike sea kayaking and other saltwater fishing types, you’ll be traveling at least fifteen miles away from the shore. 

Plus, you’ll be fishing around areas where the depth of the water is between 650 and 6500 feet. At these depths, you’ll likely reel in wahoo, sailfish, marlins, and bluefin tuna. 

Fishtrolling2

What Do You Catch When You Go Deep Sea Fishing?

When you go deep-sea fishing, you’ll catch pelagic fish species that roam in the ocean’s epipelagic layer, roughly 650 feet deep. Light still penetrates through the water at this level, allowing plankton and algae to grow.

Since there is food, small foraging species like anchovies and sardines are a common sight, as well as predators like tunas and sharks. Larger coastal fish, including salmon, dolphinfish, and mackerel, are also present. Even ocean and southern fishes, two of the biggest fish in the world, roam the epipelagic zone. 

What Are the Best Deep Sea Fishing Techniques?

Given the depth level of where you’ll be fishing, you’ll need to deploy deep-sea fishing techniques for a higher probability of reeling in big fish species. These methods include trolling, bottom fishing, and kite fishing. 

Trolling

Trolling is a fishing technique where a moving boat drags a hooked bait behind the boat at various depths. The boat’s movement creates a wake, attracting fish. And, since a bait or lure is trailing behind the boat, it can also entice them to strike. You can use as many lines to trick the fish that the hook is moving prey. Mackerel, salmon, barracuda, trout, and kingfish are some of the fish you can catch using this technique.

Kite Fishing

When kite fishing, you can keep your bait on the water’s surface as the mainline remains out of the water. The multiple release clips on the kite line also allow you to present baits at varying distances from the vessel.

In your search for charter boat fishing near me, you will likely notice that many charters like the Double Threat Fishing Charter offer kite fishing because this technique can cover vast surface areas. You can even fish in inaccessible waters. 

Bottom Fishing

Compared to trolling and kite fishing, bottom fishing is more straightforward. You’ll use a saltwater fishing rod and lower the bait to the bottom or near the ocean floor. A knocker rig is often used in bottom fishing because it keeps the bait at the bottom, while its sinker, which is knocked around in the water, entices a bite. 

Some fish species you can catch using this technique include black sea bass, red snapper, halibut, and grouper. 

Where to Go Deep Sea Fishing Near Me?

The water masses surrounding the United States offer endless opportunities for anglers of all skill levels. Even better, you’ll find world-class fishing charters in numerous fishing spots to assist you in catching that big tuna. Here are 11 fishing destinations you should visit.

Destin, Florida

If you search deep-sea fishing near me online, Destin, Florida, often tops the list, and with good reason – it is the luckiest fishing village! Since this destination is close to the Gulf of Mexico and the East pass, it’s a prime fishing territory. You can even participate in Destin’s annual fishing tournament known as Fishing Rodeo.

For anglers searching for party boat fishing near me in Destin, Olin Marler’s Charter Fishing Service offers outstanding services for up to 40 passengers. You can enjoy trolling and bottom fishing on a full day or half-day trip for up to 30 miles. 

Florida Keys, Florida

Another must-visit location for deep-sea fishing is Florida Keys, one of the best fishing spots in North America. 

Thanks to its tropical weather and clear coastal waters, the Florida Keys provides you with an experience like no other. Fishing activities happen throughout the year in the Keys. You can also catch various fish species, including amberjack, snook, bonefish, king mackerel, tarpon, permit, redfish, and yellowfin tuna. The best way to catch these species is to charter a boat. The Lightly Salted Adventures offers half-day fishing trips.

Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Both beginners and expert anglers flock to the beautiful and historic Cape Cod peninsula to catch different fish species, including bluefin tuna, bluefish, and striped bass. While on a charter trip, you can even get a chance to spot whales and porpoises. 

Note that your catch depends on location and season, so you need a professional captain for guidance. Magellan Deep Sea Fishing Charters has knowledgeable captains who can ensure you have an enjoyable, safe, and productive trip in the Atlantic Ocean.

San Diego, California

San Diego is another popular fishing spot thanks to its temperate climate conditions and a handful of saltwater and freshwater spots just an hour away from the city. You can catch rockfish, halibut, bonefish, spotted bay bass, leopard sharks, mahi-mahi, albacore, bonito, corbina, perch, and giant tuna. 

You can book a sportfishing trip with various tour providers and fishing charters. Coletta Sportfishing has private fishing charters that can accommodate up to six people for a five or six-hour exciting sport fishing trip. Alternatively, you can go for a full-day tour to hook and reel specific fish species.

Seattle, Washington

Aside from the iconic Space Needle, Seattle also attracts many anglers to its premier fishing destination known as Puget Sound. Although salmon fishing is what draws in the crowd, you can also reel in halibut and lingcod. Another popular spot is the Strait of Juan De Fuca. 

You can book All-Star Fishing Charters with licensed captains to ensure you enjoy your full or half-day trip. 

Montauk, New York

If you want to catch a blue marlin or cod, head to Montauk, New York. In June, you can spot sharks in this deep-sea fishing spot with the primary targets, including blue, thresher, and mako. In July through September, you can catch dorado, wahoo, and marlin. You can go for half-day, full-day, twilight, extended, or even overnight trips using Montauk Fishing Charters. 

Kona, Hawaii

Anglers will also love deep-sea fishing in Kona, Hawaii. You can catch blue marlin, striped marlin, shortbilled spearfish, yellowfin tuna, wahoo, and dorado throughout Kona’s fishing season. Bite Me Sport-Fishing offers charters to private and shared groups who want to have an exceptional fishing experience in the deep seas.

Charlestown, South Carolina

Charlestown has a sub-tropical climate, and is close to creeks, rivers, and the ocean. As a result, Charlestown offers deep-sea fishing opportunities where you can catch many fish species all year round. 

You can head out into the gulf stream for about 45 to 60 miles and catch wahoo, sailfish, or mahi-mahi. If you are looking for fishing charters near me that offer half and full-day deep-sea fishing tours, check out Marsh View Fishing Charters. They have insured and licensed captains who can guide you in catching bait and pulling fish aboard.

Outer Banks, North Carolina

Water streams from the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean supply the Outer Banks with a wide array of fish. You can catch red drum, marlin, wahoo, king mackerel, and bluefin tuna. Although you can go deep-sea fishing any time of the year, the ideal months are April to September. Sharky’s Charter Booking can offer you four to ten hours of deep-sea fishing experience in the Outer Banks. 

Galveston, Texas

The reefs, jetties, piers, and beaches in Galveston provide numerous locations for anglers to fish. Since Galveston is close to the Gulf of Mexico, there is warm water and numerous migrating fish. You can expect to catch black drum, cobia, flounder, speckled trout, redfish, and sheepshead. 

If you want to try catching one of these species, you can book a charter from Wave Dancer Charters for a 40 to 80 miles fishing trip. This licensed fishing charter service provides bait, tackle, reels, and rods for the fishing trip. If luck is on your side, you can catch a giant kingfish.

Bristol Bay, Alaska

You might think Alaska is not suitable for deep-sea fishing, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised that you can catch king salmon, rainbow trout, halibut, and lingcod. You can book a charter boat from Action Alaska. Under the guidance of an experienced captain, you can catch the big game species.

Ready for Your Next Deep Sea Fishing Excursion?

Hopefully, our list of best deep-sea fishing locations can finally put a halt to your “deep sea fishing near me” online search and finally make your dream fishing excursion a reality. Happy fishing!

This post was produced by  Savoteur and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

Trolling for Crappies: The Ultimate Guide to Crappie Trolling

Crappie fishing is a common activity for most anglers. However, catching crappies is not an easy task because of their size. Trolling for crappies is one of the most effective techniques to catch these elusive fish species. Whether you are a professional or beginner angler, here’s an ultimate guide you can refer to.

What Is Long Line Trolling for Crappie

Most anglers who fish crappies use long line trolling because it’s the best way to catch crappies faster. Long-line trolling, also known as the pull technique, involves securing reeds on a stationary road rack positioned at the back of the boat while pulling jigs at various depths.

When anglers use the trolling technique to catch cappies, it becomes easier to cover a lot of water. An advantage of long lining is that you can do it in almost any water. However, it’s crucial to perform this fishing technique around flat areas, main channels and ledges. 

Crappie Trolling Rig Setup

When fishing crappies, you need to have the right rig set up and gear for the best results. Let’s take a closer look at what you need to pay attention to when setting up a crappie trolling rig

Terminal Tackle

Picture of tackle box for trolling crappies

A terminal tackle is broadly categorized into hooks, floats, sinkers, feeders, snaps, swivels, split rings, beads, blades, and jigheads. You can attach the terminal tackle by either clipping or tying it at the tip or end of the fishing line.

While there are different types of terminal tackles, the size usually depends on the target fish species. The best size when trolling for crappies is 1/32 to 1/4-ounce jig heads which adequately cover most scenarios. If you want to increase your chances of catching more fish, you should tie the jigs 3 or 4 feet apart.

Bait/Lure

picture of live minnows for trolling crappies

Since crappies have a diverse diet, anglers can use different baits to capture them. However, the best and most effective lures for trolling crappies are live minnows because it is naturally part of their diet and small enough for them to swallow. 

You can also use spinners, spider rigs, spoons, and crankbaits to attract the crappies. Spoons are metal objects that look like food for crappies, while crankbaits act as stationary bait when trolling at slow speeds. Spider rigs are also popular because they keep the line taut as you troll, reducing the chances of spooking the fish.

Pro Tip: When choosing the bait, you should also know the type of crappie bite to help you reel in at the right speed.

Rods and Reels

Picture of trolling reel

When trolling for crappies, you need a specific rod and reel. A trolling rod handles the weight of the fish and the resistance of the trolling line. On the other hand, the trolling reel is different from the standard reels because it has a larger spool, a depth counter, a multi-speed, and a stronger drag system.

  • Ideal Rod Length: The best rod length during crappie fishing is 6ft to 16ft. This varies depending on personal preferences, water depth, and the time of the year.
  • Rod Action: When fishing lightweight species like crappies, light action rods are the most ideal. This rod action is usually defined by how easily and far the tip will bend. Keep in mind that light action rods are paired with smaller hooks because they have less resistance.
  • Type of Reel: During crappie trolling, anglers need to check the durability, drag, and strength when choosing the reel. The spinning reel is the best choice when trolling because it has a smooth drag, it’s also easy to adjust, and the line is consistent. It’s also functional and affordable.

Fishing Line

The type of line you use during trolling for crappies is very important. You need to get a heavy-duty line that’s strong enough to handle water resistance and the weight of the fish. Ideally, you can use monofilament or the braided line.

Monofilament lines, which have a higher demand globally, are easy to cast, more affordable, abrasion-resistant, and have more color options. On the other hand, braided lines have low visibility options and are more expensive.

While either line works, your choice will rely heavily on the water clarity and the fishing technique.

Rod Holders/Racks

Millennium Marine Spyderlok, for Boats and Anglers Gen II

Rod racks or holders are essential during trolling because they hold the rods horizontally, making it easier for anglers to adjust each rod. Most rod racks usually have 4 rods, but you can use two racks at the front of the boat. Anglers can hold on to them as the trolling motor pulls the bait into the water.

Hooks

Generally, crappies have larger mouths than their size; therefore, you’ll need to go for hooks that are light-wire and sharp. The best hook sizes are #2, #4, and #6; however, you can go beyond this range if you are using tiny or larger minnows.

Additionally, thin hooks are preferable because they bend more easily, making them harder for crappies to see. The Aberdeen hook style is the most common and the top choice because it has all these traits.

Crappie Trolling Rigs

A rig could determine whether you catch fish or not. Factors such as water temperature, water color, and the lake habitat significantly influence the effectiveness of your trolling rigs. Therefore, you need to choose the proper rig, know how to set it up and, use it, and apply the recommended trolling speed. 

Let’s take a closer look at the different crappie trolling rigs.

Spider Rig

The spider rigging method involves adding a dropper line to the main fishing line and using two rods with lures at the end.

How to Set It Up

The most common setup for this rig involves putting multiple poles in rod racks. Most anglers add two minnows or two jigs on the hooks tied at different lengths. You’ll need a 16-ounce jig, making it easier for the line to hold.

When to Use It

If you adjust the speed, baits, and depth, you can use spider rigging to catch crappies all year round. During early winter, crappies are feeding and stay in large schools in the middle water column, making it easier for anglers to spot them. You can also easily catch them during summer, fall, and spring.

Trolling Speed

Anglers need to maintain low speeds when using spider rigs; the ideal speed is 0.3 mph.

Umbrella Rig

5 Arms Alabama Umbrella Rig Fishing Ultralight Tripod Bass Lures Bait Kit Junior Ultralight Willow Blade Multi-Lure Rig (2 pcs 8 Blade)

An umbrella rig is suitable for you if you want to have multiple baits and several jigs in the same spot but without using more rods. 

How to Set It Up

You’ll need to join several steel wires to a single jig head. Each steel wire will need to have a swivel at the end. You can then attach the bait of choice to the rig.

When to Use It

Based on its design, the umbrella rig simultaneously gets as many multiple baits in the water. You can use this rig when trolling in deeper water during summer when crappies swim deeper for cooler waters.

Trolling Speed

The speed should be slow when trolling crappies with this rig, about 0.5 to 0.9 mph.

Dropper Rig

Dropper rigs are usually dropped down in the water column to capture crappies. Typically, the bait gets suspended by a weight at the bottom. They come in three categories, fixed float, tandem dropper, and slip float rigs.

How to Set Up

To capture the crappies, attach a sinker to the end of the mainline. You’ll need to have 1 to 4 dropper lines, approximately 1 ft long and spaced 1 ft apart. The sinker should be about 16 ounces. When attaching the dropper lines, use a swivel or a loop knot and add baits of various colors.

When to Use It

You can use a dropper rig anywhere on the water. While the flat areas are ideal for fishing all year round, the ledges become suitable when the crappies start moving to shallow areas during spawning season.

Trolling Speed

The ideal speed should be about 0.8mph

Three-Way Swivel Rig

Diagram showing a three-way swivel rig for trolling crappie

This rig is the best choice when trolling for crappie, and you don’t know the exact depth of the water body. It allows crappie anglers to have multiple options simultaneously and increases the chances of bites.

How to Set Up

Tie the main fishing line to a three-way swivel. Cut 2 to 3 18 inches line pieces and add swivels at the end of each line. At the end, you can add hooks that will stay in different water depths as you troll for crappies.

When to Use It

The three-way swivel rig is ideal during summer when the temperatures increase. It helps the angler figure out what the crappies are biting.

Trolling Speed

For this rig, the speed should be about 0.4 to 0.8 mph.

Trolling for Crappie Comparison Table

 Best LureBest SpeedBest DepthComments
SummerCrankbaits1.5 – 2.5 mph12-18 ftCrappies will be mostly in river channels and deep creeks
NightMinnow or Jigs0.7 mph10 to 20 ft in stained water.20 to 30 ft in clear waterAnglers tend to catch more crappies at night.
FallCrankbaits0.8 to 1.3 mph20 to 30 ftDuring Fall, crappies move to their schools in deeper waters.

Trolling for Crappie in Summer

When trolling for crappie in summer, the post-spawn crappies will be in their bedding areas; therefore, the recommended depth is 12 to 18 ft deep during summer. Additionally, the fish stay suspended during this season; hence, you should use slow-strolling small crankbaits to cover more water.

Troll at speeds of 1.5 to 2.5 mph in a slow S pattern as you wait for the crappies to take a bite. When the temperatures are high, you can get the crappies in offshore humps, where they move to feed on baitfish.

Trolling for Crappie at Night

Crappies are more active at night, so it’s an ideal time for trolling. When the water is clear, the crappies are 20 to 30 ft deep, 10 to 20 ft deep in stained water, and 5 to 10 ft in muddy water. Therefore, you need to know everything about the water body before trolling for crappies at night.

You can use minnows or jigs as baits for crappies at night. The recommended trolling speed is about 0.7 mph.

Trolling for Crappie in the Fall

When trolling for crappies in the fall, you need to keep in mind that they move back to their schools in the deeper waters. You are likely to find them 20 to 30 ft deep in their schools. You can use crankbaits since crappies are predators and always looking for food.

The ideal speed during the fall is 0.8 to 1.3 mph to ensure that you capture the crappies at the right time as soon as they take the bite.

Trolling for Crappies FAQ

Where Are Crappies Found

Crappies’ original habitat was in the U.S. and Canada, but they are now present in other countries. Crappies, especially the adult ones, are found in reservoirs, ponds, freshwater lakes, streams, and backwaters. They prefer areas with cover and wood such as brush piles, tree branches,  stumps, fallen trees, vegetation, or boulders. Additionally, they stay in large groups.

What Depth Do You Troll for Crappie

On most occasions, crappies stay in shallow waters; therefore, you can troll 2 to 8 ft deep. However, during seasons when they move to deeper waters, anglers have to troll for 10 to 30 ft, depending on the location and water depth.

What Time of Day Is Best for Crappie Trolling

The ideal time to troll for crappies is nighttime or in the morning, just before 10 AM before it becomes hotter. The crappies tend to move in deeper waters and have a slower bite when the temperatures are high.

Final Thoughts on How to Troll for Crappies

Trolling for crappies makes it easier to catch these fish. Thanks to the different techniques, anglers can use trolling all year round. You just need to understand the various tactics and conditions for each season.

How to Catch Octopus: 6 Ways to Catch an Octopus

Octopus Vulgaris or octopus is one of the most fascinating creatures in the ocean. It can regrow its limbs, release a cloud of ink to avoid predators and its skin cells can even change color. It is also intelligent and even an escape artist. Its! That only means one thing for beginner anglers – they are tricky to catch. Luckily, knowing the proper ways how to catch octopus can make the hunting process easier. 

Here are the best fishing techniques you should use if catching octopus is on your bucket list. Let’s get started!

Where to Find Octopus

A picture of an octopus

Octopuses can be found in the tropical and temperate oceans worldwide. They live in areas with many den-like hiding places such as reefs, caves, and shipwrecks. You can also find them in low tide areas, chasing crabs, fish, or other prey trapped in the tidal pools. Octopuses often stay at the bottom of the ocean floor and in places where they can hunt for cuttlefish and other smaller fish, mussels, clams, and scallops.

Expert Tip: If you are octopus hunting around August to October, you’ll find octopuses offshore. From November to January, you can expect them hanging around towards the shore. 

Octopuses are primarily nocturnal creatures, and they spend the majority of their time hiding in their dens during the day. When they venture out, they tend to be very shy and quickly dart back into their homes if they sense any danger. Octopuses are also excellent swimmers and can propel themselves through the water using jet propulsion.

The breeding season of octopuses is during spring and summer. The male octopus will pass a sperm sac to the female through one of her arms. The female then stores the sperm in her mantle cavity, where it fertilizes her eggs. 

The gestation period for an octopus is usually around five months, after which she will lay anywhere from 50,000 to 200,000 eggs. The female octopus will guard her eggs until they hatch, which takes around 65 days. Out of the many eggs laid, only a fraction survives due to the small sizes that make them vulnerable to predators and external elements like storms in November.

How to Catch Octopus

If you are wondering, “how are octopuses caught,” there are a few different ways to go about it. Some are easy, while other octopus hunting tactics are a bit complicated and require experience in fishing. Here are some different octopus-fishing strategies to consider:

Using Fishing Pole and Net

This is one of the most common methods of how to catch octopus. You will need a fishing pole and net for this method. Attach the fishing net to the end of the rod with a fish inside. First, you will need to find an area where you think an octopus might be hiding. Lower your net once you have found a spot and wait for the octopus to swim into it. When the octopus is in the net, quickly pull it out of the water and remove the octopus. Of course, don’t forget to add live bait like crab meat. 

Using Octopus Pots and Traps

Octopuses caught in a fishing trap

Octopus pots and traps are specifically designed for catching octopuses. These devices work by baiting the octopus with food and then waiting for them to swim into the pot or trap. Here’s how: 

  1. Pick a strategic area to hunt octopuses.  Aim to hunt around den-like habitats. 
  2. Tie strong knots of rope around your pots. Make sure you have enough rope.
  3. Place live baits like crab meat inside the pots. You can also use standard bait like raw fish. 
  4. Drop the pots in a spread-out area to cover as much seafloor as possible. 
  5. Wait for the octopuses to get into the pots. Checking the pots should be done after 24 hours.
  6. Once you have an octopus, slowly bring the trap to the surface of the water. 

Pro Tip: Remember, the octopus is still alive when you pull it out from the pot, so you have to be fast before it escapes. If you want to reduce the chances of your catch escaping, always harvest during low tide. Use an online tide chart for accuracy.  

Using a Spear or Speargun

If you are a more experienced fisherman, you may want to try catching an octopus using a spear or speargun. 

  1. You will need a spear gun and some bait. 
  2. Look for an area (near rocky substrates or piles of rocks) where octopuses are likely to be hiding and then wait for one to swim by.
  3. When you see an octopus, quickly shoot it with the spear gun and then retrieve the octopus from the water. 

If the octopus is in its den, start by coaxing it out by poking around using your spear. The octopus will immediately get defensive and try to grab on to your spear. Go ahead and thrust your spear, aiming between the eyes, for a fast kill. 

Once the octopus is dead, you can bring it to shore. Since different regions use different kinds of spears for octopuses, ensure that you consult with the local fishers and hunting stores to get advice on what spears you should use.

Using Chicken Feet

A bowl full of chicken feet

This may sound like an odd method, but you can actually use chicken feet to catch octopuses. And it’s pretty simple. 

  1. Attach a hook to the rope. 
  2. Hook the chicken feet. 
  3. Throw the rope into the water. Make sure to hold the other end! 
  4. Wait until you feel a tug. 
  5. Slowly pull up the rope. 

Tip: Be sensitive to the weight of the chicken feet when you have dropped them into the water. When they feel a bit heavy, that is your cue to take them out of the water.

Using Fork and Rope

This is another interesting method of catching octopus. It is similar to the chicken feet method, but you will use a fork instead of using chicken feet. 

  1. Sharpen the fork’s teeth. 
  2. Bend the teeth inwards and tie a line and a piece of a plastic bag to the fork. The plastic bag will help attract the octopus to the fork. 
  3. Then, attach a rope or line to the fork and tie it firmly. 
  4. Sling the fork and throw it into the water, where it will go to the seabed. 

Using Fishing Rod and Jig

Octopus caught using a fishing rod and jig

This method is quite tricky, and you might find yourself struggling compared to the other techniques. There’s also a higher probability that you’ll be reeling in other species. 

Once you have found a spot, lower your jig into the water. Wait for the octopus to bite. Once you feel an octopus on your line, don’t pull it back immediately because the octopus is likely not properly hooked and may let go. 

Stay calm until you are sure it is properly hooked the reel it in. You may also face a challenge when getting the octopus out of the water, so ensure you have something to scoop them with.

Tip: Remember to use colorful jigs and find an area where you think an octopus might be hiding.  

Final Thoughts

Although catching an octopus can be challenging because of its behavior and habitat, it is still exciting and fun. All you have to do is try out the methods discussed above on how to catch octopus, and you will be on the right track. Remember, octopuses are intelligent and like to hide, so you have to be smart with your technique.

The 20 Best Travel Tips to Travel Like a Pro

Traveling can offer you the most amazing experiences in the world. But if you’re not used to it, travel can also be quite daunting and stressful. So if you’ve never traveled before or are looking to experience more, here are a few expert tips to help you out on your next adventure.

Travel Light

One of the best travel tips is to travel light. These days flight cancellations and delays happen regularly, so traveling with a carry-on means adapting to tight connections without waiting for your bags.

Packing light also gives you more freedom and flexibility when you travel. You can move around more easily, not get weighed down by luggage, and take advantage of spontaneous opportunities.

If you rent a car at your destination, you can skip ahead of the crowds and get to the car rental counter much quicker than those waiting at the baggage carousel.

Get Annual Travel Insurance

A good travel insurance policy gives you peace of mind on your trip. It covers you for unexpected medical emergencies, travel delays, lost luggage, and more. In addition, annual travel insurance is beneficial and significantly cheaper if you travel frequently.

Some credit cards offer travel insurance as a benefit so check to see if your card has this perk before buying a separate policy. And check the fine print to ensure whichever travel insurance policy you buy includes air ambulance coverage.

Work On Your Packing Habits

Don’t leave packing to the last minute. Start at least a few days in advance and coordinate interchangeable outfits so you can pack lighter. Use packing cubes to organize your suitcase. They’re great for maximizing space and keeping your clothes wrinkle-free.

Save space in your suitcase and make packing easier by planning your outfits. First, lay out all the clothes you want to bring and mix and match them to create different outfits. That will also help you pack fewer shoes since you can wear the same pair with multiple outfits.

Pack Essential Items in Your Carry-on

In addition to travel insurance, always pack essential items in your carry-on. That includes medications, travel documents, a change of clothes, and electronics chargers. Then, if your flight is delayed or canceled, you’ll have everything you need to make the most of the unexpected situation.

If you are heading from a cold climate to a warm destination, pack a pair of flip-flops in your carry-on to slip into when you reach your destination. Flip flops don’t take up much room, and you will be thankful to get out of your socks and boots when that blast of warm air hits!

Create a Packing List

Create a travel packing list of everything you need for your trip to make packing easy. If you make an effort to make a list once, you can reuse it for every trip, updating it as you need. That will help ensure you don’t forget anything essential and help keep your luggage organized.

If you want to go one step further, consider making specific travel packing lists for summer/beach vacations, winter/ski vacations, etc. You can also make specific lists for road trips and camping trips.

You will be amazed at how much stress you will remove by creating these packing lists.

Dress for Comfort

When you travel, comfort should be your number one priority. Wearing loose and comfortable clothing will make traveling long distances easier to deal with inevitable travel delays.

You should also dress for the climate and environment. If you’re spending time outdoors, pack appropriate clothing and footwear. And if you’re traveling to a hot climate, loose and breathable clothing is a must.

Please don’t pull out those clothes hanging in your closet for years because you think you will wear them on vacation. Chances are, if you don’t wear them at home, you probably won’t wear them on vacation, and they will end up taking up precious room in your luggage.

Eat Away From Tourist Attractions

If you want to save money and better understand the local culture, eat away from tourist attractions. Restaurants in touristy areas tend to be more expensive and geared towards tourists.

Instead, do a little research or ask a local for recommendations on where to find the best restaurants. You will save money, but you’ll also try some authentic local dishes.

Choose the Right Bag

The type of travel bag you take with you makes a big difference. A travel backpack is often the best option as it evenly distributes the weight and frees up your hands. A carry-on bag with organizational pockets will be game-changing if you like to be organized. If you’re traveling with a lot of gear, a rolling suitcase is also a good option. And if you’re traveling with just a few items, a tote bag or crossbody purse will do the trick.

Be aware of the size and weight restrictions for carry-on luggage on the airlines you’ll be traveling with, and choose your travel bag accordingly.

Pack Toiletries That You Can Use For Multiple Purposes

Save space in your travel toiletry bag by packing items that serve multiple purposes. For example, you can use lip balm as a lip moisturizer and sunscreen. You can use coconut oil as a hair treatment, a body moisturizer, and a makeup remover.

Other great multi-purpose travel toiletries include face wipes, travel towels, shampoo/conditioner combo, conditioner as shaving cream, double-ended makeup brushes, and a straightener as a curling iron.

Book Flights in Opposite Seasons

If you have the flexibility, book your flights during the opposite season of when you want to travel. For example, if you wish to fly to Europe in the summer, book your flights at the beginning of winter for the best prices.

While celebrating July 4th festivities, it is the perfect time to book your Christmas and New Year’s getaways.

You can also save money by booking flights on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, typically the cheapest days to fly.

Be Willing to Travel During Shoulder Season

Shoulder season is the time between peak travel season and off-peak travel season. That is often the best time to travel as the weather is still lovely, but there are fewer crowds and lower prices.

September is one of the most beautiful months to travel to many destinations. Families with kids are back in school, most tourists are back home, and the weather is still warm but not too hot.

If your travel goals include visiting popular tourist destinations, travel during the shoulder season to avoid the crowds and save money.

Cultivate Patience

No matter how well you plan your trip, there will always be things that don’t go according to plan. However, learning to roll with the punches and going with the flow will help you travel more easily and stress-free.

Forget about perfection and embrace imperfection on your travels. After all, the imperfections make the journey so exciting and fun.

Don’t Forget An Adapter

If you’re traveling internationally, don’t forget to pack a travel adapter so you can charge your electronics. Different countries have different electrical outlets, so it’s essential to check what type of adapter you need for the country or countries you’ll be visiting.

There are some great all-in-one adapters on the market with retractable plugs for each type and various USB ports, including Type A, Type C, and Micro-USB.

Download Offline Maps

If you’re traveling to an area with spotty cell service or data coverage, download offline maps of the area before you go.

Several great apps allow you to download maps for offline use, including Google Maps, HERE WeGo, and Maps.me. With offline maps, you’ll be able to navigate your way around even if you can’t get online.

Wake Up Early To Avoid The Crowds

If you want to avoid the crowds, wake up early and get out there before everyone else. Many of the most popular tourist attractions open early in the morning so you can beat the crowds and have the place almost to yourself.

Not only will you avoid the crowds, but you’ll also get to enjoy the sights and sounds of the city before the hustle and bustle of the day begins. And if you are looking to take some great photos for your travel photo books, the morning light is perfect for photography. You will also have fewer people in your images during those early morning outings.

Learn A Few Foreign Words

Learning a few words and phrases in the local language will go a long way in helping you travel like a pro. Of course, it will help you get around more easily, but locals will also appreciate your efforts.

Start with some basics like hello, goodbye, please, and thank you. Then, once you’ve mastered those, try learning a few more phrases that will come in handy while you travel.

Write Down The Address Of Your Hotel

When traveling internationally, you will be required to provide the address of your accommodations when going through customs. To avoid any problems, make sure to write down the address of your hotel or accommodation before you travel.

You can also use a service like Google Maps to find the address and then save it offline to access it even if you don’t have data or Wi-Fi.

If you’re going to be traveling to a place where you don’t speak the language, make sure to write down the address of your hotel before you go. It will come in handy if you need to take a taxi or ask for directions.

It’s also a good idea to have a business card or two from your hotel to show to a taxi driver or someone who can help you find your way.

Make Sure You Have Enough Storage On Your Phone

If you’re taking a lot of photos and videos on your trip, make sure you have enough storage on your phone. No one wants to run out of storage space in the middle of a trip and have to delete all their photos.

Before you travel, clear out any unwanted files and apps from your phone and make sure you have enough space to store all the new memories you will be making.

Pack Your Own Water Bottle

You’ll save money and reduce waste if you pack a water bottle when you travel. Bring an empty water bottle with you and fill it up once you’ve gone through security at the airport.

Many airports now have water fountains where you can fill up your bottle, or if you’re traveling in the US, you can take advantage of the free water refills at most fast-food restaurants.

You can fill your water bottle each morning at your accommodation before you venture out instead of buying water in the middle of your day’s adventures.

Pack Good Travel Shoes

One of the essential things to pack for travel is good walking shoes. Chances are, you’re going to be doing a lot of walking, often much more than you would walk at home. Therefore, you want to make sure you have comfortable shoes that won’t give you blisters. If you buy new shoes for your vacation, spend a few days breaking them in first before traveling.

Final Thoughts

With a bit of preparation and these handy tips, you can enjoy your travels to the fullest. Experiencing new cultures and seeing amazing things is what travel is all about, so get out there and explore the world. Safe and happy travels!

This post originally appeared on Savoteur.

Complete Guide to Alaskan Cruises in 2022: Including Ports of Call and What to Pack

An Alaskan Cruise is the best way to explore a truly unique state. The ship will take you to various cities in this gorgeous region while you make the most of your vacation without ever having to switch hotel rooms.

A cruise to Alaska, as opposed to a land trip, also enables you to maximize the many landscapes you can experience in a short amount of time. Cruise season in Alaska is from late spring to early fall, so there are plenty of options for you to embark on a truly memorable trip in North America’s Pacific Northwest.

Typical Length of Alaskan Cruises and Ports of Embarkation

The majority of cruises to Alaska are about seven to 14 days. (You’ll find some shorter cruises, like a Discovery Princess itinerary with Princess Cruises, a “sampler” of sorts. It is a four-night cruise to Alaska from Vancouver, Canada.)

Mostly all of these cruises depart from and return to an area of the Pacific Northwest. Many of the cruises embark from the US cruise port of Seattle, Washington, if leaving from the mainland USA. Canada’s port in Vancouver is also a popular Alaska cruise port of embarkation. Some cruises sail from the Port of Los Angeles in California.

Alternatively, you can fly to Alaska and start your cruise there. A popular port to start or end a cruise is their capital, Juneau. In addition, some smaller cruise ships can embark or disembark from smaller cities, like the port in Sitka.

People often say that a cruise ship sailing Alaska is sailing through the “Inside Passage.” That refers to the famous coastal route vessels sail from Washington, through British Columbia, to Alaska. It’s said that the sea is calm along this route because it closely borders the mainland on one side and islands on the other.

Some cruise itineraries sail this route while others go further into Alaska towards the city of Whittier, close to Denali National Park.

Cruise Lines That Travel to Alaska

Big cruise ships and small cruise ships travel to Alaska. Some vessels carry 3,000 passengers or more, and others have just 40 guests or less.

The type of experience you want can influence your choice of which Alaskan cruise line you choose.

Here are some major cruise lines that have Alaskan cruise itineraries:

  • Celebrity Cruises
  • Princess Cruises
  • Royal Caribbean
  • Norwegian Cruise Line
  • Holland American Line
  • Carnival Cruise Line
  • Disney Cruise Line

Some smaller cruise lines with 100 passengers or less that are solid options to consider in Alaska include:

  • Alaskan Dream Cruises
  • Maple Leaf Adventures
  • Windstar
  • Uncruise

If you’re not sure if you want to go big or small, consider a mid-size ship that carries approximately 400 to 1,000 passengers:

  • Seabourn Cruises
  • Oceania Cruises
  • Viking Cruises
  • Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Where Do Alaskan Cruises Go?

Alaskan cruises stop at beautiful ports. If you want to sail to the major cities, a big ship (like Celebrity or Royal Caribbean) will stop at Alaskan cities you regularly hear about. But if you want to sail to some more remote areas of Alaska, consider a cruise on a small vessel.

Alaskan cruises visit well-known cruise ports like Glacier Bay National Park, Seward, Skagway, Ketchikan, Kodiak, Juneau, and Icy Strait Point. (Icy Strait Point won a “Port of the Year” award from SeaTrade in 2020 – a cruise industry conference – over other cruise ports worldwide.)

Smaller ships can go to Alaska’s lesser-known ports, including Thorne Bay, Wrangell, Petersburg, and Haines.

Best Time of Year for an Alaskan Cruise

Alaska has a cruise season, which is from April through October. June through August are the warmest months, while April and October will make for a colder cruise.

Average temperatures from the mid-to-high 60ºF are the warmest Alaska typically sees at the height of summer.

Keep in mind that there is more daylight during summer than you may be used to due to Alaska’s geographical location. For example, Juneau experiences 18 hours of daylight in June, with sunrise before 4:00 am and sunset after 10:00 pm many days.

Notable Landscapes and Experiences in Alaska

If thinking of Alaska evokes images of evergreen trees, blue and white glaciers, bears, and salmon, it’s all accurate! But, in addition to this, you may see whales and moose as you sail through beautiful fjords.

Dog sledding is a popular excursion during a cruise through Alaska, as are helicopter tours. Native American history and cultural experiences are a highlight of exploring this region. That could include anything from seeing Formline art in ports to learning about totem poles and seeing local dance performances.

What to Pack for an Alaskan Cruise

Prepare to layer clothing as you set out to explore Alaska!

That means packing things like jeans and leggings, long sleeve and short sleeve shirts, fleece jackets, and an outer coat. It’s also a good idea to be prepared for rain, especially if you’re visiting during August or September, the rainiest months of the year.

Otherwise, in terms of what to pack for the onboard portion of your cruise, check with your cruise to see how formal or informal the ship is. Some cruise lines have formal nights where you get to dress up for the evening. Other cruise lines (especially very small ships) are casual.

Don’t forget your camera and battery chargers for camera batteries and your phone, if that’s your camera.

Consider traveling with a good pair of binoculars as well. Part of the fun of cruising to Alaska is the potential to see a lot of wildlife. Binoculars will get you even closer to the beautiful creatures around you.

You want to wear supportive footwear while you’re off the ship. It’s even better if your shoes are waterproof or sprayed to be water-resistant! If you don’t have a raincoat, consider packing a poncho or umbrella.

Keep plastics at a minimum and strive to be an eco-conscious cruiser in a place as gorgeous as Alaska, whose eco-system is fragile and precious. We recommend Stasher bags for cruises, which are great for packing and many uses onboard and while exploring a port. They help to support reducing the need for single-use plastics.

How Much Does an Alaskan Cruise Cost? (And How to Budget for It)

As with any vacation, various factors affect how much a cruise to Alaska costs.

Don’t forget that you’re not simply booking the sailing, but you will likely need to account for flights and potentially a hotel for the night before your cruise. Whether or not you need to account for accommodations on land depends on your flight options and when you arrive at the port of embarkation area in advance of your cruise.

Generally, the larger the ship, the less the starting price for the cruise. However, it would help to consider what is included in the price. Also, generally speaking, the longer the cruise, the more money it will be. A 14-day cruise is going to cost more than a 7-day cruise. The exception may be if you’re looking into a shorter luxury cruise versus an extended cruise on a standard ship.

Excursions are often included in cruise fares for small ship cruising, ranging from approximately $3,000 to $14,000. Yet big cruises don’t include tours, which can add up if you add an excursion for multiple people every day of the voyage to a base fare of $900. Don’t forget about money for gratuities – tip your tour guides!

Book a Bucket List Alaskan Cruise Today

While a cruise to Alaska may have been a bucket list trip in the past to book “one day,” nowadays, more and more people are booking a vacation to this great area as soon as they can.

With lots of beauty and adventure awaiting your arrival, many Alaskan cruise options fit anyone’s travel style and budget.

This post originally appeared on Savoteur.

Best Fishing Life Vest to Keep You Afloat

Every angler knows that the waters are unpredictable. It can be calm and steady at one point, and then waves are crashing on your boat in a blink of an eye. That’s why wearing a fishing life vest is a must for all anglers! If it’s your first time picking one up, we’ve rounded up the best fishing life vest options, including a handy buying guide.

What You Should Consider Before Buying a Fishing Life Vest

There are hundreds of personal flotation device options available. It can be tricky to know the best fishing life jackets for your needs. Do you opt for a low-profile, inflatable vest? A kayak life vest for fishing that has a high-back design? Do you need a lifejacket with extra storage for fishing gear like small tackle boxes? To help you make the right decision, here is everything you need to consider when shopping for a fishing life vest.

Life Jacket Types

When shopping for a fishing life vest, you’ll come across Type I, Type II, Type III, Type IV, and Type V. These indicate the type of life jacket. Each one has its pros and cons. So, let’s delve right into them.

  • Type I: Also called an offshore life jacket, a Type I life vest can turn your face up if you get unconscious in the water. And, as its name suggests, it is best used in open and rough waters, where rescue may be slow. However, this type of life jacket is heavy and has a bulky design.
  • Type II: When you are fishing near the shore, a Type II or near-shore life jacket is what you need. This life jacket is slightly less buoyant than an offshore life jacket but still does a good job turning your face up if you get unconscious, especially when you opt for an inflatable version. 
  • Type III: This jacket is also called a floatation aid. As its name suggests, it ensures that you keep floating with your chins out of the water. However, they don’t turn an unconscious person face-up in the water. Although this PFD is more lightweight, it provides adequate buoyancy to keep you afloat in most cases.
  • Type IV: Type IV is a throwable floatation device. It is not meant to be worn but instead thrown or given to someone who has fallen off the boat.  
  • Type V: Also called special-use devices, Type V life jackets are made particularly for kayakers or kayak anglers. It is a hybrid life jacket, meaning it has a built-in foam and either a manual or automatic inflatable system.  

Standard vs. Inflatable vs. Hybrid

Life vests fall into three categories— standard, inflatable, and hybrid. So what sets them apart?

Standard vests rely on foam material to keep your head above the water. However, they are often bulkier and heavier compared to other types. 

On the other hand, inflatable life vests resemble standard vests but tend to be lighter and less bulky. They have a compressed gas cylinder or co2 cartridge built into them that can inflate the vest fast once you pull a ripcord. Depending on the design, inflatable life vests get categorized as automatic or manual.

Lastly, a hybrid life vest combines inflation and flotation. Although design varies, a regular hybrid life vest typically has a foam core surrounded by air-filled chambers.

Material

Life jackets have developed from the generation of animal skins to the present foams and fabrics. These materials automatically activate buoyancy when the life jacket gets submerged in the water. Or you can activate it manually by pulling the ripcord. Let’s find out which material best suits your kayaking and fishing needs.

Foam

PE (polyethylene)foam is commonly used in vests worn in the water because it has a higher buoyancy rating than EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) foam. On the other hand, EVA can ward off cold temperatures and has better protection against UV rays.

Fabric Material

The fabric of fishing life vests can vary. Common fabrics include:

  • Neoprene vs. BioLite: The synthetic rubber used in constructing neoprene makes it sturdier to withstand extreme temperatures. On the contrary, BioLite fabric is a tubular woven fiber synthetic fabric that makes it lighter, comfy, and more versatile.
  • Nylon vs. Polyester: Both fabrics are strong. However, if you’re looking for a material that will survive in all kinds of weather, nylon should be your ideal choice. Polyester has higher tensile strength, making it excellent if you want your vest to be super secure on the water.
  • Polypro vs. Mesh: Polypro is known for being quick-drying, lightweight, and having a minimal stretch. Mesh fabric is the more breathable alternative to polypro. It lets air flow while protecting against wind chill and splashback.

Always consider the denier rating of each fabric before deciding on your next life jacket. Denier rating describes the fabric’s weight and can help you determine its durability and breathability.

Extra Features

Regardless of whether you prefer an inflatable life jacket with adjustable shoulder straps or a regular life vest with soft foam and side adjustments, you should always consider extra features, especially if you’ll be wearing it during fishing. 

  • Pockets and Loops: Most lifejackets for fishing have multiple front pockets, allowing you to store small fishing accessories. Some can even have loops so you can clip tools with a D-ring. As a rule of thumb, always choose a vest with as many pockets and loops as possible – they are handy to have!
  • Ventilation: Unless you prefer night fishing, always get an inflatable PFD with ventilation. Most fishing life vests have mesh ventilation at the lower back for breathability.
  • Reflective tape: If you’ll be casting until the break of dawn, make sure to get kayak PFDs with reflective tape. Yes, fishing vessels are mandated by law to keep their headlights on at night, but extra visibility is still helpful.

Comfort & Fit

Large, oversized life jackets may not keep your head above the water, thus increasing your chances of drowning. On the other hand, small jackets will make you feel uncozy. It can also burst open during inflation due to limited room for expansion.

What Are the Best Fishing Life Vests?

While numerous factors determine a perfect boating experience, selecting the best fishing life vest is always challenging. Let’s look at some of the finest PFDs to make your next fishing expedition safer. We reviewed hundreds of life vests to come up with these recommendations, but you should make any selection choices on your own to ensure the life vest meets your needs and you are comfortable with the instructions on how to use it and what safety features it has.

1. NRS Chinook Fishing PFD

This US Coast Guard Certified fishing PFD from NRS is one of the best life vests for anglers. At the front, two large zippered pockets can hold hooks, lures, and even a tackle box. Surprisingly, this lifejacket has a rod holder and a knife lash tab for your fishing convenience. The only downside? This life jacket is expensive.

NRS Chinook Fishing PFD

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2. Onyx Kayak Fishing Life Jacket

Onyx’s kayak fishing life jacket also boasts multiple loops and three pockets. It also has six adjustment straps (two on the shoulders and two on each side) for a snug fit. What makes it different from Chinook is the addition of the padded foam back which can come in handy if your kayak has a high back seat. It also has a mesh back panel that allows heat and moisture to escape.

It’s got a downside, though. The front pockets use velcro and are awkwardly angled forward that it will most likely get in the way when you are paddling.

Onyx Kayak Fishing Life Jacket

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3. Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Old Town Lure Angler Men’s PFD / Life Jacket

Old Town’s lifevest is a combination of NRS and Onyx. You get plenty of pockets at the front to store your fishing tools, licensing documents, and snacks all in one place! And you won’t have to worry about your stuff falling out because the pockets are deep and well secured.

A mesh back panel is also available to keep you cool as you paddle or fish. Like Onyx, there is a high padded back as well. However, it is a Type III jacket. As we’ve mentioned earlier, Type III jackets don’t turn an unconscious person face-up in the water.

Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Old Town Lure Angler Men's PFD / Life Jacket

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4. Stohlquist Fisherman Lifejacket

The Stohlquist Fisherman Lifejacket is your best option for comfortability and ease of use. Its foam backrest makes it comfortable to wear, while the ergonomic design reduces bulkiness. One issue with this vest is that it misses out on sizes small enough for kids or teens. So, if you have a child who loves to go fishing with you, you need to explore other options first.

Stohlquist Fisherman Lifejacket

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5. Onyx A/M-24 Absolute Outdoor Inflatable Life Vest

If you don’t need pockets and loops and would prefer a fishing life vest that is minimalist yet reliable, Onyx’s A/M-24 Absolute Outdoor Life Vest is a wonderful choice. And unlike other options on our list, this life vest has an automatic inflatable system that immediately kicks in if you fall into the water. If it doesn’t work, you can pull the handle, and it will inflate.

On the downside, this life vest lacks reflective patches that would make other boaters try to spot you in the dark or low-light conditions.

Onyx A/M-24 Absolute Outdoor Inflatable Life Vest

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6. Mustang Survival Industrial Mesh Vest

If you are on a tight budget, the Hardcore Water Sports High Visibility Life Jacket won’t empty your pockets. Although it is 30%-40% cheaper than other life vests on our list, you’ll get a life vest that is highly visible (it’s brightly colored and includes reflective panel squares on the front and back) and adjustable waist straps.

Although it has two large pockets, they only use velcro to keep your valuables where they should be.

Mustang Survival Industrial Mesh Vest

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7. Hardcore Water Sports High Visibility Life Jacket

Hardcore Water Sports’ life vest is also a US Coast Guard approved. Unlike other lifejackets, it comes with open sides, helping with breathability and mobility as you fish. Don’t worry, though. This design choice doesn’t affect fit since you get three adjustable straps with quick-release buckles.

The best advantage of this fishing life vest is its visibility. It’s brightly colored, making it easy for other anglers to spot you if you fall off your boat. Unfortunately, this jacket doesn’t come with any pockets.

Hardcore Water Sports High Visibility Life Jacket

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8. Kokatat Leviathan PFD

The Kokatat Leviathan PFD goes above and beyond to make sure your next fishing trip is not only safer but also more comfortable. It’s the only option on our list that has handwarmer pockets! This feature may not be suitable for most anglers, but you’ll appreciate it if you are night fishing or ice fishing.

If that isn’t enough, you can attach a tributary hydration system, which is handy if you want to stay hydrated without leaving your rod unattended. Other notable features include a total of 14 pockets and multiple side adjustments.

Kokatat Leviathan PFD

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Lifejackets Can Save Lives

Fishing can be dangerous. Always wear a fishing life vest even if you know how to swim or never have had an accident before. Remember, lifejackets can save lives!

The Most Comfortable and Best Fishing Neck Gaiter for Sun Protection

Always ending up with a painful sunburn around your neck region after a fishing excursion? The best fishing neck gaiter armed with a 30+ UPF rating can make fishing sunburn-free. You can even use it for other outdoor activities for optimal sun protection!

What You Should Consider Before Buying the Best Fishing Gaiters

All fishing gaiters are designed to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays, but how efficient it is in doing so can make all the difference. You will also need to consider other factors like ease of maintenance (is it machine washable?) and choice material (is it made from breathable fabric?).

If you are a value-driven angler, you should always keep a keen eye out on the gaiter’s:

  • Sun protection rating
  • Material
  • Size
  • Stitching
  • Breathability
  • Moisture-wicking
  • Comfort and fit

Balaclava vs Neck Gaiter

Not sure what’s the most suitable option for your angling needs? Well, these two share certain similarities but generally differ in application.

Also known as a ski mask or running mask, a balaclava protects your head, ears, and neck to protect them from the adverse effects of the wind, rain, or icy air. The complete head covering usually has a cutout for the eyes, but you can find other designs with openings for the mouth and nose.

On the other hand, a neck gaiter is scarf-like. It only covers the lower portion of your face to the neck.

While both balaclava and neck gaiters protect your face and neck from the adverse effects of the elements, neck gaiters are more suitable for fishing. Not only do fishing face mask gaiters offer versatile applications, but their special breathable designs ensure you put them on for the longest fishing duration without any discomfort.

Sun Protection

Naturally, the sun produces energy as it shines. This energy constitutes UV radiation in the form of Ultraviolet A (UVA) and Ultraviolet B (UVB). Your naked eyes cannot detect UV radiation. Your skin, however, can feel the effects it unleashes.

Generally, UVA often leads to aging of the skin and UVB burning of the skin. That means prolonged unprotected exposure to either radiation can severely affect the DNA in your skin cells, which may result in skin cancer.

Sun-protective clothing came into the scene to mitigate the damaging effect and offer a more convenient alternative to sunscreen. Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) is the metric used to measure the amount of UV radiation the fabric of your clothes lets into your skin.

For instance, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, a fabric with a UPF rating of 50 can block up to 98% of the UV rays from reaching your skin. That means only 2% of the rays get to you, significantly minimizing your exposure risk.

Material

The popular materials used in making the best fishing neck gaiter include fleece, poly-spandex, polyester, and merino wool.

  • Fleece: This fabric is extremely soft, breathable, warm, insulating, moisture-wicking, and dries quickly. However, it easily absorbs bad odors.
  • Poly-spandex: This fabric is known for its stretchability (it can retain its shape!) and durability. It is also breathable and moisture-wicking, making it a highly popular choice for activewear. 
  • Polyester: In the case of polyester, you’ll get a fabric that is UV-resistant, low-maintenance, and comfortable. On the flip side, it lacks breathability and has poor moisture absorbency.
  • Merino wool: Merino wool is another popular choice for fishing gaiters because it is extremely soft, odor-resistant, wrinkle-proof, and breathable. On the contrary, the material is very costly, less stylistic, and doesn’t release moisture quickly.

Comfort, Fit and Size

Regardless of the material, the best fishing neck gaiter should be comfortable enough so you can wear it throughout your fishing expedition. You don’t want a gaiter that’s too loose or tight to avoid breathing or itching issues.

While most fishing neck gaiters are one-size-fits-all, you should still check the circumference and length, especially those that aren’t made from stretchable fabric. 

Low Stitching

In the design of fishing neck gaiters, low stitching comes in handy to mitigate chafing. Skin chafing results from increased friction between your neck or facial skin and the gaiter fabric. Low stitching steps in to minimize that contact while enhancing the soft feel of the material.

Breathability and Moisture-Wicking

Neck gaiter breathability essentially affords you an outdoor-friendly experience in your fishing. Generally, lightweight fabrics offer more breathability than heavy ones. On the other hand, a fabric with a moisture-wicking feature can transport and pull accumulated moisture on the surface, making it faster to dry.

What Are the Best Neck Gaiters for Fishing?

The best fishing neck gaiter is a function of many features, as highlighted above. Whether you are a bait fishing fan or a trolling lover, you will find the following review of the top neck gaiters helpful in finding your best fit.

1. KastKing Sol Armis Neck Gaiter

The KastKing Sol Armis tops as the best fishing gaiter for a compellingly good reason. First of all, it prioritizes protection without sacrificing function. With a UPF rating of 50, the gaiter provides the much-needed maximum protection for your neck and ears from the sun’s UV rays.

Moreover, this top-tier gaiter boasts a breathable poly-spandex fabric that dries quickly to keep you comfortable throughout your fishing expedition. The unique material is also highly flexible stretching in all directions to afford a tight-fitting gaiter that doesn’t detract from comfort.

Secondly, the multipurpose design of the gaiter paves the way for versatile applications, whether as a face mask, fishing mask, hood, balaclava, or headband.

On the flip side, this gaiter is a bit too thin to keep you warm.

KastKing Sol Armis Neck Gaiter

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2. Simms Sun Gaiter

The Simms Sun Gaiteris aesthetically appealing and also functionally tasteful. Thanks to its hardy design, the gaiter provides uncompromised protection from sun exposure without squeezing out comfort.

The gaiter even features intuitively laser-cut breathing holes in the front section. With this addition, you can breathe easily surrounded by a cool breeze while keeping sunglasses fog completely at bay.

A powerful material rated UPF 50 undergirds UV protection. The fabric also integrates a quick-dry capability to ensure your angling adventure thrills regardless of a wetting rainstorm or splashy wave.

While this sturdy gaiter promises unwavering protection from the wind, dust, and sun, it may be a little pricey compared to its counterparts offering the same level of protection.

Simms Sun Gaiter

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3. Coolibar UPF 50+ Vermilion UV Layered Mask

Made of poly-spandex material with a rating of UPF 50, this gaiter provides full coverage from your nose all the way down to your chest. And as its name suggests, the gaiter is functionally layered to add convenience and flexibility.

The top layer mimics a face mask covering the nose and mouth, while the bottom layer rests on the chin before spreading out to the neck and shoulders. The gapping between the two lightweight layers improves breathability.

Moreover, you can easily adjust the gaiter using dual snaps at the back neck and the ear straps to complement different outfits. Unfortunately, this cleverly designed gaiter is expensive.

Coolibar UPF 50+ Vermilion UV Layered Mask

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4. GOT Sports Fishing Mask Neck Gaiter 

GOT Sports Fishing Mask Neck Gaiter is one of the most inexpensive fishing neck gaiters, but you can use it as a running scarf, headband, and neck wrap. It is made from polyester microfiber and perfectly suits both men and women.

The gaiter provides adequate protection against UV rays and insects, wind, dust, and cold. What’s more, the super-thin fabric makes the gaiter extremely lightweight, breathable, and comfortable.

There is even a quick-dry feature that instantly wicks away sweat from your skin. Furthermore, it is washable and reusable. Although fairly inexpensive, the gaiter may not be ideal for maximum UV protection.

GOT Sports Fishing Mask Neck Gaiter 

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5. BUFF Coolnet Uv+ Multifunctional Headwear and Face Mask

Although coming in one size, the BUFF Coolnet still fits the best fishing gaiter description thanks to its multipurpose attribute. With more than 12 wear options, you don’t need a different headwear or face mask for your outdoor adventures.

The versatile gaiter comprises recycled REPREVE performance microfiber and elastane with a UPF rating of 50+ hence promising maximum UV protection. Additionally, the quality fabric integrates HeiQ cooling technology and Polygiene odor control to keep you dry and fresh all day long.

Despite being a single-size gaiter, the fabric can stretch in all directions to accommodate seamless modifications. Moreover, the gaiter comes in diverse colors and patterns to spruce up fishing aesthetics.

BUFF Coolnet Uv+ Multifunctional Headwear and Face Mask

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6. Fishmasks Single Layer Neck Gaiter

This best fishing neck gaiter boasts a poly-spandex fabric to shield you from the sun, surf, wind, and moisture with the same level of dedication. The extremely lightweight design dotted with mesh accents will idyllically suit both male and female anglers in any discipline.

Backed by a UPF rating of 50+, the gaiter promises full-range face and neck protection from the sun’s harshness to let you focus entirely on baiting your prey. The gaiter also features incredible moisture-wicking capabilities to knock out sweat and keep your face ever-dry.

Furthermore, you don’t have to bring home all the fishy odor from your angling thrills. This gaiter boasts special additions to inhibit bad fishy smells from sticking. A great fitting and inexpensive design, the Fishmasks Single Layer Neck Gaiter is worth every buck.

Fishmasks Single Layer Neck Gaiter

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7. Columbia Freezer Zero™ Ii Neck Gaiter

This polyester-elastane fishing gaiter melds protection, performance, and comfort. In addition to its 50 UPF rating, the angler-friendly fabric also incorporates Omni-shade protection to mitigate UVA and UVB rays that can potentially cause adverse sunburns and prolonged skin damage.

Moreover, the design is a tight weave to accommodate UV-absorbent yarns for the ultimate protection. The gaiter’s functionality also stands out. It boasts a sweat-activated to keep you cool and comfort stretch fabric and laser-cut venting to guarantee unrestricted movement and comfortable angling.

Needless to say, this best fishing neck gaiter stands out for its unique sun-shielding and sweat-wicking capabilities. However, If you are on a budget, you’ll have to look elsewhere.

Columbia Freezer Zero™ Ii Neck Gaiter

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8. MISSION Cooling Neck Gaiter

This polyester-nylon neck gaiter takes great pride in its special ability to cool the skin instantly. To activate the cooling effect, simply wet the gaiter with water, wring it, and snap it thrice. In five minutes or less, you’ll be able to lower your body temperature and stay cool for the next couple of hours.

In addition to the eco-friendly cooling, the neck gaiter also boasts a 50 UPF rating that protects your neck from harmful UV rays, debris, dust, and wind. It also comes with more than a dozen wear options, whether as a face mask, hood, bandana, or head wrap.

MISSION Cooling Neck Gaiter

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9. Huk Men’s KC Scott Trophy Neck Gaiter

Although extremely lightweight, this neck gaiter provides excellent protection from the sun. It is neatly woven with UPF 30+ materials to keep harmful UVA and UVB rays from reaching your skin during your angling endeavors.

Besides its ample sun protection, the gaiter also intuitively takes care of odors thanks to its anti-microbial feature that arrests and annihilates any sight of the microorganisms responsible for the funky smell. Moreover, the gaiter fabric is also breathable and features hydrophobic properties, quickly moving moisture away from the sweaty spots to other drier parts of the material.

The inexpensive neck gaiter boasts a stain-resistant treatment for easier maintenance. It is thinner around the mouth to support easy breathing, and compared to other low-quality masks, this gaiter is worth your money.

Huk Men's KC Scott Trophy Neck Gaiter

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Avoid Sunburn While Fishing

Don’t let the sun’s harmful UV rays ruin your next fishing trip! With the best fishing neck gaiter, you can finally say goodbye to those nasty and painful sunburns on your nape. Hopefully, this elaborate review will bring you closer to an educated buying decision.

Best Kayak Trailer Models for Safe and Smooth Kayak Hauling

Kayaking in different locations is exciting and fun, but there’s one problem – transporting a kayak or canoe is not the easiest thing to do! That’s where these best kayak trailer models come in. 

Rather than putting your watercraft on a roof rack and risk straining your back, all you need is to put it on a trailer’s marine-grade galvanized steel frame, tie the ratchet straps, and be on your way to your next kayaking adventure. Some are even fitted with larger wheels and a suspension system for smooth hauling!

What You Should Consider Before Buying a Kayak Trailer

The last thing you’d want is a trailer that damages your kayak or cause an accident. Here are the things you should look out for before you purchase a trailer for your kayak.

Kayak Trailer Types

Picture of a multi-sport kayak trailer.

All kayak trailers have one purpose – to make kayak transporting convenient. However, some types are more suitable for a specific lifestyle or kayaking needs.  

  • Low Bed Kayak Trailer: Manufacturers design a low bed kayak trailer to sit lower or closer to the ground. This low-profile configuration allows you to easily load and unload your watercraft; it minimizes the need to lift your kayak.
  • Multi-Sport Trailer: As its name suggests, this trailer is not only capable of carrying a kayak, it can also carry sports equipment like bicycles. They are often made from strengthened steel tubular frames to support the weight. 
  • Stacked Trailer: This kayak trailer type consists of multiple racks, allowing you to stack kayaks on top of each other. It consists of a heavier-duty elevated frame and larger wheels. 
  • Side-by-Side Trailer:  The design is to carry two kayaks on a low-bed frame, each next to the other. This style makes it easier for drivers when pulling up and dropping off their passengers at water access points.
  • Trailer Top Carrier: If you already have a trailer but not for kayaks, you can convert it by using a trailer top carrier. It directly attaches to the trailer, giving you an extra level to place kayaks and other kayak gear like paddles on top.  
  • Multi-Kayak Trailer: This kayak trailer is a combo of stacked and side-by-side. You have up to three elevated levels, and each level can accommodate two to three kayaks next to each other.

Number of Kayaks

How many kayaks do you own, and are you planning to bring all of them to your next weekend getaway? Knowing this can help you further shortlist your option for the best kayak trailer. Keep in mind that it’s not recommended to modify the trailer to accommodate more kayaks in the future. Doing so can throw off balance and put stress on the frames.

Maximum Load Capacity 

All kayak trailers have a recommended maximum load capacity. Overloading can, again, put pressure on the frames, wheels and axles, causing the trailer to sway or give out. So, unless you want to cause an accident, always double-check the maximum weight capacity of the kayak trailer.

Frame Material

You have two options for the frame material – galvanized steel and aluminum.  Galvanized steel is inexpensive. The downside is it’s heavy, which means it can put more stress on your vehicle to haul. On the other hand, aluminum is more expensive, but it is lightweight, corrosion-resistant, and has better payload capacity.

Hitch Size

Most kayak trailers are designed to fit different types of hitch receivers. Some designs include a ball mount that will accept multiple styles of hitches, while others incorporate a receiver that “snaps” over the ball mount for a more permanent installation. If you have a hitch that allows horizontal adjustment, you may not need an adapter with a ball mount.

Tongue Length  

Don’t want your kayak hitting your vehicle? Get a trailer with a longer tongue length. Unlike regular utility trailers, kayak trailers have an extended tongue to accommodate the protruding stern. A more extended tongue also results in less strain on the hitch.

Wheel Size and Suspension System  

The best kayak trailer models are fitted with either a leaf-spring or Torsion Axle suspension system. The latter has fewer moving parts and offers better handling control. On the other hand, a leaf-spring system has curved springs, allowing equal weight distribution per wheel. 

As for the wheel size, smaller wheels make loading and unloading easier because it’s much closer to the ground. However, they are not recommended because they wear out faster and are not suitable for highway driving.

Kayak Trailer Accessories You Will Need 

In addition to getting a kayak trailer per se, you will need to pick up a couple of accessories for secure and safe kayak transporting. 

  • Tow Flag: Nothing works better than a bright color to make your kayak trailer more visible to other drivers on the road. Using a tow flag prevents anyone from rear-ending your trailer and causing damage to you and your kayak.
  • Cam Straps: You don’t want your kayak sliding and hitting the pavement, right? Cam straps make sure that nothing comes loose and falls off of your kayak trailer.
  • Receiver and Cable Lock: If you want to be 100% absolutely sure that the hitch is locked in place, get a receiver lock. You can also grab a cable lock to lock the wheels when parked. 
  • Kayak Cover: Transporting an expensive kayak? Get a kayak cover. Not only does it protect your kayak from rocks and tiny debris flung up by other vehicles, but it can also shield your kayak from the sun.

What Are the Best Kayak Trailers

Now that you have everything you need to make an informed buying decision, it’s time for the most exciting part – your options for the best kayak trailer! We’ve picked these trailers for kayaks based on their durability, ease of assembly, storage options (does it fold or does it fit inside a garage?), and of course, how hard it is to maneuver.

Keep in mind that you will need to register a kayak trailer before taking it on the road!

1. Malone Auto Racks Ecolight Sport Trailer

The Malone Auto Racks EcoLight Sport Trailer is a good option if you are after a light-duty trailer that you take out once or twice a month. 

This galvanized trailer can hold up to 400lbs, which is more than enough if you only have one or two kayaks. Worried that it will easily rust and corrode? Don’t be. The trailer is marine-grade, offering better corrosion resistance even after repeated exposure to saltwater. You also get a 5-year warranty.

But what makes this trailer really stand out is its DOT-approved submersible incandescent lighting. 

Now on to the disadvantages. Its 8″ wheels – albeit rated up to 70mph – are tiny compared to other trailers on our list. Plus, it will take you at least three hours to assemble this trailer, even if you follow the instructions to a T. 

Malone Auto Racks EcoLight Sport Trailer

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2. Wilderness Systems Heavy Duty Kayak Cart

Already have a kayak roof rack and just want to make kayak hauling from the parking to the launching point easier? The Wilderness Systems Heavy Duty Kayak Cart has you covered. 

Although smaller than the Malone Auto Racks EcoLight Trailer, this hand cart for kayaks can support up to 450lbs – that’s 50lbs more than Malone’s! If that isn’t enough to win your heart, it’s the only option on our list that doesn’t require large storage space. As a matter of fact, you can take it apart and put it inside your kayak’s cargo.

Wilderness Systems Heavy Duty Kayak Cart

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3. Ultra-Tow Folding Aluminum Utility Trailer Kit

If you find the 450lbs capacity of the Wilderness Systems not suitable for your needs, check the Ultra-Tow Folding Aluminum Utility Trailer Kit. This trailer has the largest load capacity on our list – a whopping 1400lbs! 

Despite its high load capacity, you can neatly store this trailer inside your garage. How? Well, you can fold it in half. Unfortunately, the 12″ wheels are not rated for highway driving, and assembling can take hours.

Ultra-Tow Folding Aluminum Utility Trailer Kit

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4. Yakima Rack and Roll Trailer

The Yakima Rack and Roll Trailer is an excellent option if you are after a trailer made from an aluminum frame and has extra security features like locking levers. It also gives the smoothest kayak transporting experience because it has shock absorbers! Unfortunately, it can only support up to 300lbs.

Yakima Rack and Roll Trailer

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5. Ironton Personal Watercraft and Boat Trailer Kit

Need a kayak trailer that can support at least 500lbs? You need to get your hands on the Ironton Personal Watercraft and Boat Trailer Kit. 

It has a 610lbs maximum load capacity. Yes, it’s nowhere near the Ultra-Tow, but it’s a great middle-ground for kayakers that wants more hauling load capacity. Plus, it has a spacious trailer bed so that you can carry other kayaking gear.   

Unfortunately, assembling is not the easiest.

Ironton Personal Watercraft and Boat Trailer Kit

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6. Malone MicroSport Trailer 

Are you going kayaking with friends or family? This trailer is the answer to transporting multiple kayaks. Available in two or four kayak carrier configurations, you have an assurance that you’ll get your kayaks to the destination in a single trip. 

The Malone MicroSport Trailer also uses two materials – galvanized steel for the frame and aluminum for the cross beams. This design may seem odd, but it actually makes sense because you get the sturdiness of the galvanized steel while its aluminum crossbars keep the weight down.

Carrying multiple kayaks in one trailer has its downside. This trailer is the most expensive option on our list.

Malone MicroSport Trailer 

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7. Ce Smith Multi-Sport Trailer

We’re ending our list of the best kayak trailers with the CE Smith Mult-Sport Trailer, but that doesn’t mean it’s of low caliber. As a matter of fact, we highly recommend the CE Smith for its ease of assembly and 800lbs carrying capacity. Also, out of the options on the list, it’s the only model with a bunk carpet. The lights are also submersible. 

Unfortunately, you can only transport one kayak at a time. Nevertheless, it deserves to be a part of our best kayak trailer list.

CE Smith Multi-Sport Trailer

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Conclusion

There you have it. You are now adequately equipped with the knowledge of what to look for in the best kayak trailer. What are you waiting for? Grab yourself one of these fantastic kayak trailers and embark on that kayaking experience you’ve been dreaming about. See you at the waterside.

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