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Got Kids? No Time to Fish? Check out these 3 Tips to help you get out on the water.


As a father of four young kids, yes, I said four, it can be a struggle to find the time to get on the water between homework, baseball, birthday parties and whatever other nonsense comes up. Here are three helpful tips to get you on the water in 2021.

  1. Make a “Go Bag”

  2. Simplify your gear

  3. Think about an Inflatable SUP or Kayak

  4. Bonus Tip (read all the way to the end)

Tip #1 – Make a Go Bag


Do you ever see on those spy movies where the secret agents or CIA operatives gets called into action? They always have a “Go Bag”, in a closet or in a hidden compartment in the floor that they can grab and run out the door at a moment’s notice. To be clear, I am not telling you to start making trapdoors in your house full of fake passports, but what I am saying is be ready and organized so when you have the opportunity to go fishing, you are ready. What I have found is the longer it takes to get out the door the greater chance you will find a reason not to go or be pulled into your kid’s science project or math assignment that was due yesterday.


As you can see in the picture below, I like to use a milk crate with some rod holders mounted to the side. This is where I keep all my essentials like tackle, fishing license, extra line, spare reel, multi tool, sun glasses, bottled water, snacks or whatever. I keep this right next to my rods mounted in the garage so I can grab it and throw everything in the back of my truck and be down the road in minutes.

Not only can this get you out the door, but it reduces the chance of messing up a perfectly good trip by forgetting something because the fish are always biting that lure you forgot.

Also, it is critical that when you get home take 5 minutes and re-pack your kit with whatever you used that day and make sure your rod and reel are in good working order before putting them away. There is nothing more frustrating than arriving at the water and having to do something like re-spool the line on your reel.


Sometimes, to save time, I will rig my rod with my favorite lure for my next trip.

Tip #2 – Simplify your gear.


Ask yourself the question “What do I really need to go fishing right now, today?” Living on the gulf coast of Texas, I have a full set up for saltwater and freshwater. I do not need all these in my “Go Bag” - what I use for redfish is different than largemouth bass. In the past I had a bunch of tackle and lures in my kit that I have never used, but I dragged it to the lake every time.


Go through your gear - separate and prioritize your most popular tackle (topwater, jigs, spinners …) for your target fish. This will not only help you get out the door quicker but will allow you spend more time fishing and less time searching your tackle box.


Don’t tell my wife I said this, but like most fisherman, I have too much gear. Keeping my kit organized saves me time and frustration. With four kids, I have no time and enough frustration.

Tip #3 - Think about an Inflatable SUP or Kayak


The inflatable technology for both Kayaks and SUPs has greatly improved over the past few years, but for fishing, I have to give the edge to the SUPs in this category.


The inflatable SUPs performance is on par with rigid boards as well as outfitted with the latest fishing options and tie downs. Either of these will make for a great fishing platform and will greatly simplify transportation where it can be thrown into the back of your truck or car without messing with roof rack or tie downs - saving time and space.


My personal favorite is hiking into remote locations that are not easily accessible by other paddle craft with my inflatable SUP.


I hope this helps you get in some more fishing. Check out our website for some more helpful tips and the Stand-Up Fishing System. www.shamrockpaddling.com

Bonus Tip: One of the best ways to get in some more fishing is to make it a family event. The fishing may suffer but the memories will last forever.

Happy Paddling and Fishing (TM)


Matt Murphy

Shamro