Plenty of people who love fishing have only ever done it from the shore. If you know someone who's a keen fisher, surprising them with a fishing boat trip is a great way to make their birthday – or any other significant event – a special and memorable one.
In a lot of cases, both you and the person you're surprising will be inexperienced when it comes to fishing boats, or most likely any boats at all. The company you're hiring from will advise you on the boat itself and its safe operation, but you should make sure you know what to pack. Don't forget that, if it's a surprise, you need to prepare for your guest as well. Here are some of the important things to remember.
Obviously, you're going to need fishing equipment if you're going to do any fishing. Make sure you have the right type for fishing from a boat – you may need to hire it if your own gear isn't suitable. Don't forget to stock up on bait, too.
If you need a licence to fish in your area, make sure you pack both yours and that of the person you're surprising. If you don't have the right type of licences, allow plenty of time to apply before the day arrives, or you might find yourself having to cancel at the last minute.
Varied, lightweight clothing
The weather can be quite changeable once you get out on the sea, so it's a good idea to have various layers that can be worn or taken off to keep yourself comfortable. Avoid taking anything too bulky or heavy if possible, as this can really get in the way.
Even people who don't normally get seasick can sometimes experience it, especially if they're not used to smaller boats. It's best to pack some medicine, just in case. Your trip can be ruined if severe nausea hits.
Out in a boat, you're very exposed to sunlight, so make sure everyone onboard the boat applies a good quality sun lotion. You don't want to end your day burnt and in pain, and your guest won't thank you, either.
Food and drink
Make sure you pack enough to eat throughout the trip. If you're fishing all day, plenty of small snacks on top of a main lunch will stop you getting hungry.
You should also have some large bottles of water so you can stay hydrated, and maybe a beer or two each. Don't be tempted to drink a lot when you're on the boat, though – save it for when you're back on shore, or you're just putting yourselves in danger.