Get the most out of your next jet ski fishing trip with our guide to the “must-have” accessories in 2021!
One of the newest trends in the marine community is the use of jet skis as fishing vessels. Jet skis can navigate narrow waterways, allowing access to secluded fishing spots that are otherwise inaccessible.
Creating a jet ski fishing rig is fairly easy, and provides a completely different experience. All it takes to completely transform your PWC are a few simple jet ski fishing accessories.
In today’s article, we recommend some of the most useful jet ski fishing equipment to make your next expedition the most fruitful one yet.
Best jet ski fishing accessories
The best jet ski fishing accessories are a fishing rack, cooler, rod holder, fishfinder/gps, canopy, boat conversion kit, rescue board, dry bag, solar charger, and a paddle.
No self-respecting jet ski fisherman will set off without a decent rack. Well, no organized fisherman will!
A fishing rack is basically a fishing rod holder (coming up next), but with a lot more options.
Rather than holding just one rod, a rack can hold multiple rods as well as a cooler.
Usually, the rack is mounted onto the rear deck of a PWC. Some of them have different mounting systems than others, but normally they’re pretty easy to take on and off. A fishing rod holder can also be used to hold a jet ski umbrella.
Some really good jet ski fishing racks can be found on Amazon for a decent price. This aluminum model from Platinum Products is as durable as it gets and even comes with an amazing 5-year warranty.
It can hold most 48-54 quart cooler models and will happily hold six rods.
Did someone mention coolers?
A solid cooler is needed to store food, bait, and most importantly the fish you catch!
To be honest, any cooler with the right dimensions would work, but Yeti coolers are top of the line.
Yeti products can be a little expensive, but they do an amazing job. All of their coolers are durable and can keep contents cold for up to days at a time, which is exactly why they’re so popular. The 45-quart Yeti fits perfectly in the fishing rack mentioned above.
Regardless of the cooler you go with, it’s important to make sure its dimensions match the dimensions of your fishing rig. If you decide to use a cooler that is much smaller than your rig, pool noodles can be used as extra padding that provides a better fit.
If you have a newer Sea Doo then you might be better served with one of their custom coolers that will fit snuggly in the modular design of the huge swim platform. It can even be swapped out for extra fuel for days when you aren’t fishing.
A good fishing rod holder could be the most essential jet ski fishing accessory there is.
Without a good rod holder, an entire jet ski fishing rig is useless. The rod holder is going to be the foundation of the entire rig.
A rod holder is essentially a stripped-down version of a rack, without the storage space.
A lot of rod holders need to be drilled into the fiberglass of your PWC which isn’t something you want to do unless absolutely necessary. We’ve chosen a rod holder that can be attached to the passenger rail or rear tow hook so that you don’t have to go putting holes in your baby.
A lot of people try to save money by making their own rod holder out of PVC pipe, but you’re better off buying one already made. Building your own might save a little money, but it will definitely take more time and it won’t be as sturdy as a pre-built one.
Clamp-on stainless steel rod holders are the bare minimum in terms of jet ski fishing accessories. They’re great for the less dedicated fisherman because they’re easier to take on and off than a full fishing rack.
Most people like them because they can leave them permanently mounted since they take up little space. The same can’t be said for a jet ski rack.
Fishing in the 21st century doesn’t rely on traditions or instinct, it’s an equipment game.
The ultimate edge these days is with using a fishfinder. A fishfinder uses sonar technology to give you a visual map of what lies in the water below you. That means you’ll never have to waste your time waiting for a bite when there aren’t any fish around again.
Some larger jet skis come with dashboard fishfinders these days but for those of us that aren’t so lucky, Garmin make an awesome portable device that can be easily attached. It’s called the Garmin Striker 4.
It gives a clear picture on the 3.5-inch of what’s lurking below. It works in water of depths of up to 1,600 feet of freshwater and 750 feet of saltwater and is easy to use and to install. What’s more, it’s pretty reasonably priced too.
A reliable GPS is an essential jet ski fishing accessory. Navigating waterways can be tricky even in ideal conditions, so it’s good to have a tool that makes things easier.
Since you’re going to be out in the water, it’s recommended that you invest in a waterproof GPS. The Garmin GPSMAP is one of the best waterproof GPS units available for an affordable price.
Because it’s a GPS and a Chartplotter, it’s great for marking and saving good fishing spots. It makes it easy to find your way to and from locations by setting custom waypoints. Not only is this GPS waterproof, but it even floats!
The Garmin GPSMAP is arguably the best jet ski gps, but we’ll leave that for you to decide.
A jet ski canopy is a great addition for fishing trips. It’ll keep the sun off you and make those afternoon fishing expeditions much more comfortable.
You won’t see many of these around as they’re not particularly popular but they sure are practical!
This one is for the Sea Doo Spark and can even be used at speeds of up to 56 km/h. It can easily be detached and used on the beach too.
Good jet ski bimini tops are pretty hard to find but they are out there. Depending on your model, getting a boat conversion might be a good option. We discuss these next.
#5 Boat Conversion Kit
A conversion kit will transform your jet ski into a fully-fledged boat. There are a limited number of companies that do this and the type of conversion is totally up to you.
That extra space sure makes fishing easier though, especially if there’s more than one of you.
Just be aware that your jet ski will never handle quite like it did before or reach those bone-shaking speeds! If that’s a trade-off you’re happy to make then a conversion is an awesome option for keen fisherman who own jet skis.
A watered-down solution that is great for jet ski fishing is to simply install stabilizer kits or collars as they are sometimes known. These are attached to the sides of the jet ski to increase stability and give a bit of extra room. They can be inflatable or even made of fiberglass. You can check out an inflatable version here.
These Kommander Fishing Pods (see the video below) are our personal favorites though. They’re made of lightweight fiberglass so don’t affect the handling or acceleration too much, and even have extra storage pods.
If you plan on hunting big fish then you’ll need more than a cooler to get them back to the shore.
This is where a rescue sled can come in really handy. Fish only need to be dragged onto the sled before being taken back ashore.
This one from Sayok is inflatable and easily attached and detached.
Not everything you need on the water is going to be waterproof. To ensure that you don’t lose any valuables in the water, you should always keep a dry bag with you.
Dry bags are simply waterproof bags used to store items that are better off not getting wet. They’re great for carrying important items such as cell phones, wallets, and other documentation.
Dry bags come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, but Earth Pak makes a really cool satchel-style design. It has just a single removable strap to allow for quick and easy access.
Many dry bags don’t come with straps, which makes it difficult to carry for long distances. With a removable shoulder strap, the Earth Pak dry bag can be comfortably worn all day.
To top things off, the Earth Pak dry bag comes with a universal waterproof cellphone case as well.
Depending on how much time you spend fishing, a solar charger might be a necessity. Keeping your phone and GPS charged can be tough if you spend full days on the water.
While solar chargers aren’t exactly essential fishing accessories, they can definitely come in handy. Anker makes a great solar charger for charging small devices such as phones, wireless speakers, or GPS units.
Unlike traditional solar chargers, the Anker solar charger has 3 flexible joints. The flexibility makes it easy to layout across the seat of a jet ski, or just about anything else, to absorb sunlight. After every use it can be simply be folded back up and stored.
It’s pretty common knowledge that any loud noises scare away fish, and that includes a jet ski engine.
A telescoping paddle is the perfect tool to ease your way into a fishing spot, rather than riding right up to it. Having a small paddle makes it easier to maneuver around without having to turn over the engine.
Aside from being one of the more useful fishing accessories, a telescoping paddle is just good to have in general. It takes up very little space on board, and will really come in handy in case of any break downs.
Jet Ski Fishing Setup
The dream jet ski fishing equipment is going to vary from one person to the next and also between different PWC. The key to the perfect jet ski fishing setup is having all the accessories that make your ride comfortable and successful.
Ultimate Jet Ski Fishing Accessory Checklist
In no particular order, these are the main fishing accessories that we are going to cover in this article:
There is no specific formula for creating a jet ski fishing rig. Each person is different, and people prefer different things.
Buy (or make) whatever jet ski fishing tools you feel will provide the best experience for you. At the end of the day, it’s all about getting out there and enjoying your time on the water.
If you’re a keen fisher and also in the market for a new jet ski then don’t miss out on the new models that are designed with fishing firmly in mind.
The Sea Doo Fish Pro is an awesome piece of kit that comes complete with many of our recommended jet ski fishing accessories. It has a fish finder and GPS on the dashboard, a stable hull, extra storage space at the back, cooler, 4-rod holders, optimized fishing seat, foot supports, and front storage. At the time of writing (April 2021) it starts at $14,999. You can see which jet skis are best for fishing in our guide.
Feel like we missed something important? Let us know what your essential tools are down in the comments section! We’d love to know what you think.