Packing a Fishing Lunch: What’s Your Favorite?

Packing a Fishing Lunch

What’s better than a well packed lunch after a long day of fishing. Bringing in that last bass before you take a break might come close. Bringing along a packed lunch might seem like a simple concept to experienced anglers, but you’d be surprised how many beginners forget the basics.  

You don’t want to go hungry out on the water.  So before you head out for the day make sure you have a solid lunch packed and ready to go.  I know how trivial this might seem, but you don’t want to ruin a great day of fishing with a warm soggy mess of a lunch.

Tips For Packing a Fishing Lunch

Choose a Hard Bodied Cooler

I don’t care how careful you are you’ll eventually step on and destroy your lunch in a soft bodied cooler. Go with one of those hybrid hard/soft body coolers that you would use on a construction site.

Personally I always go with those cheap Igloo Playmate Coolers you always see at garage sales(this is what I’m talking about). They’re big enough to store a big lunch and 4 or 5 water bottles.

Make Sure You Have Enough To Drink

There’s just something about being out on the open water that really drains you.  Sitting out in the hot sun all day really makes you sweat. On those hot summer days you need to make sure you have enough water.

Staying hydrated isn’t just about comfort, it’s a safety issue as well. By the time you actually feel thirsty your body’s already running low on water.  Once you feel thirsty, you’re down to about one third of the required water to survive.

This means you need to pack a lot of drinking water. For every 2 hours you are out on the water you need to have at least one bottle of drinking water / sports drink. Not only will this replenish your thirst, it’ll keep you sharp and clear-headed.

Pack Frozen Water Bottles

You have to carry water bottles anyway, so you might as well freeze them to keep your lunch cool. I like to pack two thawed water bottles  for early morning and four frozen bottles for later in the day. You’ll appreciate that cold frozen water later in the day when the sun comes up around noon.

Bring Easy to Handle Snacks

Remember you’re hands aren’t going to be clean most of the day.  You’ll be handling worms, minnows and bleeding fish. Getting dirty shouldn’t bother the experienced fisherman, but you still don’t want to eat dirt and fish blood.  

Bring along snacks that you won’t have to use your hands to eat.  I always bring along a can of peanuts that I can randomly poor into my mouth.  If you’re more of a chip guy bring a tube of pringles that you can slowly pour into your mouth.  You don’t want to bring out the wet wipes everytime you want a snack.

Bananas are another great option for a midday snack.  Since you only ever touch the peel you can quickly eat a banana without washing your hands.  

Bring Handy Wipes or Wet Wipes

Having a couple young kids at home means I always have those handy wipes ready to go.  Go to the store and look for a travel container of wet wipes.

Purell and Lysol both make a travel size tub designed to fit in your cup holder.  These are great for wiping fish slime off your hands. Who wants to eat a PB&J for lunch when they’ve got shad guts all over their hands.

How to Pack a Fishing Lunch

You don’t want to go hungry so make sure you pack a decent sized lunch.  Bring along a couple sandwiches, some fruit(apples and bananas) and something to snack on throughout the day.  

I think I can safely assume that you already know how to make a sandwich.  If not you need to seriously reconsider your life choices. Over the years I’ve came up with a few common-sense tips that kept my sandwiches fresh throughout the day.  Nobody wants to eat a soggy sandwich come lunch time.

  • Bring Multiple Small Sandwiches: Who doesn’t like a big footlong sub sandwich? I love a good sub sandwich, but I normally don’t eat it in one sitting. I’m much better off bringing a couple smaller sandwiches to eat throughout the day. That way I don’t have to mess around with rewrapping it and ending up with that inevitable mess in my cooler.
  • Cut Your Sandwich Into Smaller Pieces: If you do want to bring along one large sandwich cut it up into smaller pieces. Wrap each piece up in cling wrap and then put everything inside a gallon bag. Do yourself a favor and Buy Glad Press and Seal. The stuff is seriously Cling Wrap on steroids. I don’t know why it’s so different from other brands, but it’s so much easier to use.
  • Choose Dry Sandwiches: Remember that the sandwich you bring along on your fishing trip isn’t going to be the same thing you order at a fancy restaurant. After a couple hours in your cooler lettuce, tomato and mayo are just going to make your bread soggy. While soggy bread may be good for fishing it makes a horrible sandwich.
  • Separate Wet and Dry Ingredients: I’m probably over complicating things, but I always separate my tomato and lettuce. All my wet ingredients go in a little tupperware container so my bread doesn’t get soggy. If I’m packing light for a day of fly fishing I use less tomato and wedge it between my cheese and meat.

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