Are you wanting to go fishing while camping? A lot of people know how to fish and know how to camp, but the prospect of combining the two is somehow daunting. We’re working with Take Me Fishing to share our tried-and-true tips for getting your pole in the water while you’re overnighting in the wilderness.

Key Takeaways:

  • Pack the right equipment for fishing while camping.
  • Research the best fishing spots in the area.
  • Take proper precautions to transport and store your fish.
  • Learn about the local fishing regulations and permits.
  • Ensure campsite cleanliness and safety.

What to Pack for Fishing while Camping

When it comes to fishing while camping, packing the right gear is essential. Depending on the season and location, you’ll need to consider the specific essentials for a successful fishing trip. Here are some tips to help you prepare:

Consider Seasonality

Whether you’re fishing on a summer stream or ice fishing in an Alaskan pond, your gear needs will vary based on the season. For sunny summer trips, don’t forget to pack sunscreen and bug repellent to protect yourself from the elements. If you’re venturing out on frozen waters, be sure to bring hand warmers and a beanie to keep yourself warm. As the fall season brings unpredictable weather, layering up with jackets and sweaters is a smart move to stay comfortable throughout the day.

Pack Gear Specific to Your Location

Researching the area where you’ll be fishing is crucial to ensure you have the right gear. Different fishing spots may require specific items for optimal results. For example, some areas call for no-see-um nets to keep pesky insects at bay, while others may be dusty and dirty, making face and hand wipes a must-have to keep clean. Additionally, always remember to bring a well-equipped first aid kit with essentials like antiseptic, gauze, wraps, and fever reducers to address any minor injuries or ailments.

Prepare for the Worst-Case Scenario

When packing for a fishing trip, it’s important to be prepared for unexpected situations. Think about what you would need if you were stranded in the wilderness without access to civilization. Having essential survival gear such as matches or a lighter, a multi-tool, a flashlight, extra batteries, and a portable water filtration system can provide peace of mind and help you in emergency situations.


Exploring the great outdoors and catching fish while camping can be an incredible adventure. By packing these fishing essentials, you’ll be well-prepared for a successful and enjoyable fishing experience. Remember to adapt your gear based on the season, research the area you’ll be fishing in, and be prepared for any situation that may arise. Happy fishing!

Where to Go for Fishing while Camping

When it comes to finding the best fishing spots for camping, local advice is invaluable. I always make it a point to reach out to friends and family who have knowledge of the area I’m planning to visit. If I don’t have any contacts in the area, I hire a guide or visit a local tackle store where the experienced staff can provide valuable insights on recent successful fishing locations.

An excellent resource for finding fishing spots is Their interactive map not only highlights the best places to fish but also provides forecasts of fish species and the best times to catch them. This information can greatly increase your chances of a successful catch while camping.

When planning your camping and fishing trip, consider whether you need to reserve campsites in advance through a government website or a KOA campground. Another option to explore are areas of BLM (Bureau of Land Management) land that offer open access. Additionally, researching camping regulations and recommendations specific to the area can be helpful. Websites like Yelp, Google Maps, camping forums, and outdoor enthusiasts’ blogs can provide valuable insights into local fishing and camping experiences. is also a reliable resource for specific state regulations to ensure you are in compliance during your fishing and camping adventures. These additional resources can help you plan the most enjoyable experience, especially if you are camping with kids.

When selecting a fishing spot, terrain considerations are essential. Be mindful of the accessibility of the area based on your mode of transportation. For example, avoid heading into rugged 4×4 wilderness areas with a standard sedan. Similarly, avoid taking a large RV into a crowded city campground without confirming adequate space availability. Understand the distance you may need to hike from your campsite to the shoreline. Knowing these details in advance will ensure a smoother and more enjoyable fishing and camping trip.

Expert Tip:

“Local advice and research can make a huge difference in finding the ideal fishing spots for camping. From friends and family to local guides and tackle stores, gathering insights from those with experience in the area can significantly increase your chances of success.”

With the right knowledge and preparation, you can discover the best fishing spots for camping and create unforgettable outdoor experiences. So don’t forget to tap into local expertise, leverage online resources, and plan your camping trip wisely.

Transporting Fish around Camp

When it comes to fishing while camping, one important aspect to consider is how to transport the fish you catch. There are a few techniques you can use depending on your preferences and the condition you want to keep the fish in.

If you want to keep the fish whole, bleeding and gutting is a common method. Simply remove their heads and drain the blood into the water to prevent the meat from spoiling. After that, you can pack them up and be on your way!

Another popular way to handle fish is by filleting them. This involves removing the head, bleeding the fish, and carefully carving out the fillets. By following the spine as a guide, you can efficiently remove the guts, skin (if desired), and debone the fish using tweezers or a knife. Fish prepared this way can last for a couple of days or be stored in the freezer for 2 to 3 months.

Regardless of the method you choose, it’s important to have proper storage for transporting the fish from your catch site back home. A reliable ice chest is essential to keep the fish fresh, especially if you don’t plan on cooking them immediately at the campsite. Freezer bags can also be used for convenient storage.

Cooking at the Campsite

When it comes to cooking at the campsite during your fishing trip, there are a few factors to consider. First, determine if you’ll be working with an open flame or a propane grill. If you plan to cook over a fire, it’s a good idea to have a grill apparatus or some tin foil on hand to protect the fish from direct flames. Tongs will also come in handy for safely retrieving the fish.

If you’re using a propane grill, think about the pots or pans you’ll be using and whether you’ll need oil to prevent the fish from sticking. Be sure to research whether open flame or charcoal cooking is allowed in the camping area to avoid any fire hazards. Always use common sense and follow any regulations or guidelines provided by park authorities.

Don’t forget about seasoning! Seasoning preferences may vary depending on your taste and the type of fish you’re catching. It’s a good idea to pack a variety of seasonings to experiment with different flavors and enhance the taste of your catch.

“Cooking over a campfire brings out a unique flavor in the fish that you won’t get from any other method. It adds a touch of smokiness and gives the fish a delicious charred taste.”

Whether you choose to cook over an open flame or a propane grill, the key is to enjoy the experience and savor every bite of your freshly cooked fish.

Cleaning up After Yourself

We always practice “leave no trace” when camping. It’s important to us that the campsites we visit have no remnants of our presence, ensuring that future generations can enjoy the wilderness just as we do. In fact, we go the extra mile and clean up any additional trash or debris left behind by previous campers, taking responsibility for the cleanliness of the area.

During one particular camping trip, we had a close encounter with bears, which made us realize the critical importance of proper fish storage when fishing while camping. Unfortunately, not all campsites provide suitable places for hanging food from trees to keep it away from bears. That’s why we highly recommend investing in a bear-proof cooler and take extra precautions when handling cooking utensils.

For a thorough sanitation, we rely on Clorox wipes to clean any utensils that have been in contact with fish. This ensures that no odors or remnants are left behind that could attract wildlife to our campsite. Additionally, we responsibly dispose of fish carcasses, making sure to place them as far away from campsites as possible.

Leave no trace camping is not only about cleanliness and hygiene but also about preserving the natural environment. By following these practices, we can protect the habitats we visit and contribute to the sustainable enjoyment of camping for ourselves and future generations.

Do Your Research Ahead of Time

When planning a fishing trip while camping, it’s essential to do your research ahead of time. By taking the time to gather information and understand the fishing permits and regulations in the area, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience.

One of the first things you should do is check whether fishing is allowed in the wilderness where you intend to camp. Some areas may have restrictions or special regulations, such as catch-and-release policies. It’s important to familiarize yourself with these rules to avoid any penalties or violations.

Additionally, researching the types of fish you can expect to catch in the area will give you insight into what equipment and techniques to use. Knowing the fish species will also help you plan your meals and cooking methods accordingly.

It’s also crucial to consider whether cooking your fish might present a fire hazard. Certain camping areas may have restrictions on open flames or charcoal usage due to fire hazards. It’s important to follow any guidelines or regulations provided by park authorities to ensure the safety of yourself and others.

Key Takeaways:

  • Research fishing permits and regulations in the area where you plan to camp.
  • Check if fishing is allowed in the wilderness and if there are any restrictions or special regulations.
  • Understand the types of fish you can expect to catch to plan your equipment and meals accordingly.
  • Consider fire hazards and follow any guidelines provided by park authorities.

Book a Campsite and Choose a Spot Based on What You Want to Catch

When planning a fishing trip while camping, one of the first considerations is to book a campsite that is conveniently located near the water. This way, you can easily access fishing spots without having to travel long distances.

Additionally, it’s important to consider the types of fish you want to catch and the body of water you’ll be near. Different locations offer various species of fish, and understanding what fish are present will influence your fishing strategy and equipment choices. Research the local fishing regulations and guidelines to ensure you’re following the rules and fishing responsibly.

While fishing can be a serene and enjoyable activity, it’s crucial to be aware of potential hazards. Surprisingly, drownings are one of the leading causes of death in national parks. Therefore, it’s essential to take appropriate precautions and prioritize safety while enjoying your fishing experience. Always wear a life jacket, especially if you’ll be fishing from a boat or in areas with strong currents. Keep an eye on changing weather conditions and be aware of any potential water hazards, such as submerged rocks or swift currents.

Fishing may seem like a sedate activity, but it’s important to remember that water bodies can present dangers. Always exercise caution, be prepared, and make informed decisions to ensure a safe and enjoyable fishing while camping experience.

Bring Backup Equipment and Have a Contingency Plan

When it comes to fishing while camping, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. That’s why it’s important to bring along plenty of backup equipment. You never know when something might break or malfunction while you’re out on the water, and being in the middle of nowhere can make it difficult to find replacements. So pack extra hooks, lines, sinkers, and anything else you might need to keep your fishing trip running smoothly.

But backup equipment isn’t just limited to fishing gear. It’s also essential to have a contingency plan for other supplies, especially if you’re planning to catch your dinner. Imagine reeling in a big catch only to realize you don’t have a knife or a cooler to properly prepare and store the fish. That’s why it’s always a good idea to bring additional camping essentials like extra food, cooking utensils, and storage containers.

Whether you hiked, biked, or paddled to your camping site, it’s important to have enough supplies to sustain you for the entire trip. You don’t want to find yourself hungry and without a way to replenish your provisions. By planning ahead and bringing backup equipment, you can have peace of mind knowing that you’re prepared for any situation that may arise.

Prepare Your Fish Before Packing Them Out

If you want to take your fish home with you or even just carry them on to your next day’s campsite, you’ll have to prepare them carefully for the journey. The easiest way to do this is by cutting off the fish’s head and draining the body of blood. This simple move will prevent the meat from spoiling for at least a day or two. For a longer shelf life, consider filleting your fish. Whichever method you choose, you’ll probably want to pack the fish out in an ice cooler, preferably one that seals well enough to lock in any lingering fish smells.

Take Appropriate Precautions to Stay Safe From Wild Animals

When camping in the great outdoors, it’s important to be aware of the potential presence of wild animals. Depending on the location, you may encounter various creatures that are attracted to the scent of fish. To ensure a safe and enjoyable camping experience, here are some tips:

  1. Research the Area: Before you go camping, take the time to research the local wildlife and understand what animals might be in the area. Check with rangers or other authorities for any specific precautions or recommendations they may have.
  2. Avoid Areas with Recent Animal Encounters: If there have been recent encounters with bears, mountain lions, or other predators in the camping area, it’s best to find an alternative spot to set up camp.
  3. Clean Up Thoroughly: After fishing or preparing your catch, be sure to clean up any leftover fish scraps or food residue. Properly dispose of them away from your campsite. This helps reduce the likelihood of attracting animals to your camping area.
  4. Set Up a Bear Hang or Use a Bear-Proof Box: To further deter animals from approaching your campsite, consider setting up a bear hang or bringing a bear-proof box to store your food and fish. These measures help prevent animals from accessing your provisions.

By taking appropriate precautions and respecting the wildlife, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable camping experience surrounded by nature’s beauty.


Fishing while camping allows you to experience the joys of both activities. By following these tips and doing proper research, you can have a great time reeling in the perfect catch while enjoying the great outdoors. Take Me Fishing and other resources can help answer any specific questions you may have and provide additional guidance to ensure a successful fishing trip. So grab your gear, find a prime fishing spot, and make your next camping adventure unforgettable!