Accessories that will help your fishing
There are a lot of accessories available to fisher-people. There are some pieces of equipment that are permanent fixtures in my boat, and there are other items that I keep in the back of my truck so they can be quickly moved into the boat if needed.
The Pistol Trigger Grip is a tool that the folks at Berkley make that is going to save your hands. It is especially handy and appreciated when using crankbaits for walleyes.
The Pistol Trigger Grip has a handle and trigger kind of like a real pistol. When you pull the trigger, soft, rounded jaws come together. So, when you've got a walleye or any fish in the net, you simply attach those jaws to the lower lip of the fish, lift the fish and remove the hook. If you're going to release the fish, hold it over the water and release the trigger. This releases the jaws and lets the fish fall into the water. Use of this tool greatly reduces the chance of getting a hook in your hand, and also allows you to release the fish quicker and with a lot less handling. If you use crankbaits very much, you need a Pistol Trigger Grip.
The accessory that I use the most is my Cabela's GuideWear rain gear. I keep GuideWear in the truck all the time. It's great for in-the-boat use, but it's also nice stuff to wear whenever it's drizzly, windy, or cold; GuideWear is just good stuff.
GuideWear is available in insulated and un-insulated versions and comes in bibs for your lower body and jackets or parkas for your upper body. I really like the parka, as it provides more coverage, especially when you're sitting on a boat seat or bleacher at a football game. GuideWear is more expensive than a traditional yellow rain suit, and it's worth it.
More and more bodies of water are implementing slot-limits, and that's good. Everywhere a slot limit has been put in place, the fishing has improved. However, you need to accurately measure your fish if you want to keep some. You need a bump-board ruler. A bump-board ruler is a ruler that's turned up at one end. You put the fish's nose against the turned up end, then measure it at the tail. This provides for a very accurate measurement. Northland's Ruler Scale Board is durable, easy to use, and has a length to weight conversion. If you want to keep fish in a slot limit lake, you need a bump-board.
The last accessory to mention is Frabill's new Conservation Series of nets. Catch and release has become a very popular concept in fishing, and if you've made the decision to practice catch and release, you want to use a net that is easy on the fish. The knotless bag on Frabill's Conservation nets protects the fish, reduces the chances of your hook getting tangled in the net, and are designed to prevent the fish from rolling in the net. These nets will enhance fishing in the future.
The accessories just mentioned will help you enjoy your fishing more and will also make it safer, and that's always a good deal.
(Watch all the 2009 episodes of Fishing the Midwest television on walleyecentral.com in the video section and on MyOutdoorTv.com.)