The Best Snacks to Eat While you Fish

A long day on the water can leave an angler tired and “hangry.” But fear no more. I have for you the best snacks to take with you next time you are gone fishing!

What you eat and drink will make all the difference in your day.  Bumps, bruises, sore legs, achy backs and injured arms and from rockin’ and rollin’ in the waves and making repetitive casts? Yep, those are common place if you’re on the water often. But what’s overlooked is what you’re doing to yourself by not eating well while fishing all day. Unhealthy foods rob your body of energy, and sharp spikes in blood sugar can lead to health issues later on.

Yeah, I know, you’re a serious angler and you’re there to fish and not to sit back, relax and dine on three full-course meals throughout the day. But if you want the stamina to not only stand and make casts all day long, but be able to focus clearly on every cast, what you pack in that cooler of yours and how often you take a break to snack on it will make all the difference in the world.

Although easier to buy it prepackaged meats, you’re better off taking slices of beef, chicken or pork you’ve already cooked up than processed meat sticks.

Although easier to buy it prepackaged meats, you’re better off taking slices of beef, chicken or pork you’ve already cooked up than processed meat sticks.

The no-processed process

There’s no doubt anglers prefer foods that are convenient and easy to eat – finger foods, if you will. But just because a box of crackers has the words “made from whole wheat” stamped on the front in big, bold letters doesn’t mean it’s the best choice.

“This isn’t rocket science,” says Scott Kupferman, president of Clinically FIT. “Processed foods are highly inflammatory to the body; they erode your energy and your concentration. If you consume foods and drinks that contain empty calories verses dense calories, your body’s going to crash early; you’ll miss fish and just plain ol’ feel bad.

“Eat and drink so that you can perform well and stay mentally connected… It’s as simple as that”

Creator of the Angler’s Elbow Performance Therapy System, Kupferman has a career in health and wellness spanning over 30 years, including an 18-year clinical exercise practice in private homes in New York City for people with wide ranging health and performance issues. He’s now being summoned by fishing professionals from around the United States to aid in exercise for performance, as well reduce the risk of wrist and elbow troubles. 

Kupferman’s thought on what to eat? Real food. That’s food ready to eat because you’ve prepared it beforehand, not someone on a production line in a factory.

Bite-size veggies and fresh or frozen fruit will give you way more long-lasting energy than potato ships or processed granola- or protein-type bars.
Obviously, fresh veggies and fruit cut up into bite-size offerings are going to be better for you than a handful of potato chips, or even granola or protein bars. (Kupferman’s not a fan of the latter two as, over the years, more and more additives to sweeten the taste and preserve shelf life are being added.)

Nuts, too, are great as they are pure source for energy; loaded with protein and fat, cashews, walnuts and almonds are what you want. Although peanuts and real peanut butter are okay, the sugars in them can send insulin spikes throughout your system as these are more the bean and pea family over nuts that grow on trees.

As for meats, forgo the pre-made meat sticks and bring along chunks of chicken, pork and beef you’ve already cooked up.

“It’s as simple as grilling up a couple hamburgers earlier in the week and bringing those along,” adds Kupferman. “There’s nothing wrong with eating cold meat. And if you insist on putting something like that on a bun, make the wise choice and couple it with a fresh whole-grain bun rather than a white-bread bun full of processed flour and preservatives.

“And while you’re at it, toss a couple sweet potatoes or zucchini and the like on the grill, and then slice those up for when you’re fishing later in the week. Your options are endless.”

As for how often? Every couple of hours, stop and grab a handful of chow. Chew well, follow it with a sip or two of water and continue casting.

Whether bottled or in a jug from home, water’s your best choice when fishing. If you insist on drinking sports drinks, dilute them in half with H2O.

Hydration nation

Caffeine? A diuretic. Soda pop? Yep, that, too. Sports drinks? Believe it or not, those dehydrate you, as well. Alcohol? Don’t even go there… Yeah, when you’re on the water all day, all that surrounds you is what you need flowing through your body.

In short: Water, water, and then more water.

“Once you feel thirsty it’s too late; you’re already dehydrated,” comments Kupferman. “You really need to drink a lot of water the evening before a long day of fishing.”
Getting up to pee in the middle of the night is actually a good thing if you plan on spending all day in outdoors the next day. And the first thing when you wake up? Yep, more water. Drink a glass full first thing to rev up your metabolism and energy naturally. And if you want to go crazy, add some fresh-squeezed lemon. Go ahead and make a pot of coffee, but waiting about an hour after waking up before your morning cup will make the caffeine in it more effective.

“And if you hold true to your sports drinks, do yourself a favor and dilute those 50 percent with water. There’s just so much sugar in those as well chemicals added to diet versions. You’ll still get your drink satisfaction but will be cutting the negative effects in half,” Kupferman adds.

Got an hour or two?

Is fishing just going to be a relaxing, couple hours after work? Don’t think twice. Go ahead and crack a cold one (if that’s legal in your state or providence), and have a snack that may not be the perfect food.

Kupferman states that if you just fish once or twice a month, go ahead and make that fun experience; your “cheat” days, if you will. Just don’t go overboard.

“Nobody’s perfect, and I know one of the best things is enjoying tastes you like, whether healthy or not. If it affects your energy while fishing all day, however, drink lots of water and fill your cooler with the foods mentioned above for a few weeks and notice the difference,” Kupferman states. “Eat and enjoy “the bad stuff” but don’t make it your lifestyle, just a treat.”

After all, fishing is fun. Smile. Enjoy it.

Necessity overrules

Food and water are water are inconvenient necessities when you’re fishing all day. But instead of a candy bar, chew on something that’ll make you feel good and be able to concentrate on catching fish.

Pack “real food” in that cooler of yours, and take a few minutes every couple of hours to take a bite or two and drink copious amounts of water. The worst thing that can happen won’t be on you, but all those fish with sore lips.

All credit for this awesome article goes to Bass Angler Magazine.

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