Deep Sea Fishing Safety: Why You Need a Trench Bag and What to Pack

Deep Sea Fishing Safety: Why You Need a Trench Bag and What to Pack

Offshore saltwater fishing is a well-known type of fishing off the coast of the United States and it’s easy to see how attractive it is. Access to secluded fishing grounds, a test of the skill and thrill of catching large, powerful wild fish. But with the reward comes a risk.

Responsible boaters know that safety is always a top priority when deep sea fishing, especially when offshore. Ship masters are responsible for equipping their ship with a range of safety equipment and procedures for offshore fishing. An important item that all boaters should include in their deep sea fishing safety checklist is a trench pocket.

A trench bag is a compact, buoyant bag that is loaded with critical deep sea fishing safety equipment that you may need in an emergency. If you had to get off the ship, you could call for help with the items in your trench pocket and survive on a life raft. It should be kept in a safe, accessible location on your ship so that it can be quickly accessed in an emergency. Here are some key points to keep in mind when packing your trench bag.


● EPIRB or distress alert beacon
● PLB or Personal Locator Beacon
● VHF handheld radio
● Handheld GPS
● Satellite phone
● Mobile phone in a waterproof case
● Solar charger
● Emergency or flash light
● Hand and laser torches
● Dye markers
● gloves
● Signal mirror
● Flashlight
● Air horn
● Whistling
● Extra batteries


● Flotation device
● Jackknife
● Knife sharpener
● Cutting board
● Tarpaulin
● Paracord
● Ceilings
● compass
● Waterproof cards
● glow sticks
● binoculars
● Flotation device
● Life jacket upgrade kit
● Raft repair kit
● Compact fishing set
● Sunscreen and hats
● sunglasses
● Mug
● Tape
● Fire starter
● scissors


● Food rations for emergencies
● Drinking water packages
● Protein bars
● peanut butter
● Trail mix


● Comprehensive first aid kit
● Recipes
● Treatment of motion sickness
● Vitamin C tablets
● Chapstick
● Disinfectant wipes


● Copy of your passport or identity card
● Currency
● Replacement credit card
● Boat documentation
● Copy of health insurance
● Emergency medical forms
● Replacement car key
● Reading glasses
● Games

You can find a wide variety of trench bags online or at most boat or outdoor retail stores. You can find more safety tips on our deep-sea fishing safety page. Also read our boat safety checklist.