When you’re heading out there on a jet ski fishing adventure, the last thing you’ll want is to wish you had something that you don’t have. Worst still – to see another rider out there with *that* thing that you really wish you had, yet are afraid to ask about.
Fortunately, we’ve done the hard work for you. We’ve compiled a list here of the most popular accessories that jet ski riders from around the world use when heading out on a fishing trip, so you can be the coolest person on the water this weekend.
From rod holders to coolers and bait buckets, you’ll find it all here.
Best Accessories for Jet Ski Fishing
If you’re just getting started with fishing from your PWC, then we recommend that you bookmark this page and share it with others. You know, some say that sharing this guide increases your chance of hooking a 100-pound monster by 27.6%. 😉
Anyway, here are 12 fishing items that you can get fitted to your jet ski:
Yep, the #1 most crucial thing that you’ll need out there is some rod and cooler holders. The type that is custom-made to your jet ski model.
You’ll find these on Amazon but most commonly you’ll find local boilermakers or hobbyists making these. Check the local riding Facebook groups to see who’s able to make one up for you.
Generally speaking, you can expect 3 to 4 rocket launchers plus a large opening to store your cooler of choice. It’s best to know which cooler you’ll want to use first as the frames are really built around the cooler itself.
In addition to having a rear-mounted fishing tower, you can get one fitted on the front too. These are custom-made in most cases and less popular since they can void your warranty and might cause insurance dramas.
Why get one? There are times when having too many rods at the rear might get frustrating as you’re crossing over lines. I like to have one rod slotted into the port side and another on the starboard side, with 2 lines running off the rear. That means that I’m pretty well covered.
The only pain comes when trying to clean my jet ski at the end of the day but it’s something I’m willing to live with.
Chances are that you’re going to want to go the distance and that’s where taking some additional fuel is necessary. When you’re trolling all day then you’ll be surprised by how much fuel you’ll actually consume.
Later on this list is an idea for an electric trolling motor, but if you don’t intend to get this then you’ll benefit with some additional fuel cans. This is assuming you’ve got a performance-oritentated jet ski like a GTR230. Something like the GTI130 won’t really need auxillary fuel tanks since it’s very economical.
4. Coolers for Storing Fish
Obviously you’re heading out there because you’re going to want to catch a prize! Most of us fish to eat so you’ll want somewhere to store your catch….and certainly one that’s big enough.
I’ve seen too many jet ski fisherman buy a cooler that’s simply too small for the job. Go for the largest you can and buy the cooler first before you get the mount made up.
There are two types of coolers. Those that are cheap and those that are expensive. The expensive type is designed to keep your fish (or whatever else you store in it) cold with ice for days when out camping. Given that you’ll be back at the ramp before sunset in most cases, the cheaper varieties will suit you just fine.
Yep, you’re going to want to get a fish finder and GPS combo. This is not just to help you find where they’re biting, but also to help you get home safely afterwards.
My weapon of choice is the Garmin Striker Plus 4 with Transducer. It’s quite affordable compared to some of the mainstream marine GPS units that I’ve come across over the years, and it’s quite reliable too with strong ratings/reviews online.
The tricky part is finding a spot to mount it. When riding, I keep it strapped to my wrist then strap it to the rear rod holders once the lines are in the water. Works for me.
6. Jet Ski to Boat Converter
Have you seen those crazy contraptions that have come out these last few years? I initially laughed when I started seeing them pop up at the boat ramp but now I’m impressed. The wonders of technology…
These converts can either be inflatable or fiberglass. Both have their pros and cons but overall they do massively increase the otherwise limited real estate on the rear of any modern-day jet ski, even if it’s a 3-seater.
Now I don’t use one myself but my advice is to talk to those to use them already. They’ll let you know if they’re worth it or a decision to retreat. Often you’ll see these come up for sale on Craigslist/Gumtree for half their retail price if you’re seeking a bargain.
I like to mount a couple of soft (yet waterproof) storage bags to the front sides of my jet ski when fishing. While yes I do have the front storage lockers, I don’t want my smelly fish hands reeking out the front lockers, so that’s where these storage bags come in handy.
They’re easy to wash and keep clean, and I store bait in them as well as lures too, or even some burley. It’s just super easy to reach forward and slide my hand inside.
Some of us get severely burnt out there on a clear blue day and so installing a bimini over our jet ski makes all the difference. These don’t want allow you to either ride fast or stand up entirely, but they sure as heck make the difference between a good day and a great day.
Sadly, they’re not so popular so you’ll have to hunt to find a manufacturer. A lot of guys I know actually buy a bimini for a tinny/aluminum boat and then have it custom-fit to their jet ski. Yes, this will require some drilling and yes, you’ll probably void the warranty but that sure as heck is much better than developing skin cancer! This is something I’m looking into at the moment actually.
Can you go big game fishing with your jet ski? You sure as heck can! It’s always been an awkward situation when you catch a large fish more than 2 feet long and can’t quite fit it in the cooler and there’s no where else to store it. Solution? Rescue board.
I’ve seen these guys do this successfully on YouTube. Finding a rescue board is relatively easy and you’ll find them used on Craigslist/Gumtree where they have previously been used in surfing competitions or local surf life saving clubs.
They are a bit expensive so you may be able to make one at home with some old life jackets. Likewise the one shown above is actually inflatable so you can keep it in the front locker or under the rear cooler and inflate only if you really need it.
10. Glove Clips
A weird one to add to this list, but worth while. I like to have a glove clip or two located on my ski. Ideally it’s best to have one at the front and one at the rear. I’ll explain…
You’ll probably be riding between multiple fishing areas in a day and you’ll switch between riding mode and fishing mode. It’s a different type of gloves for both so you’ll want to clip your gloves somewhere. This then makes this accessory one of the most underrated out there!
One thing that I’ve seen very few guys do is fit an electric trolling motor to their jet ski. By using your main engine, not only do you burn more gas than you’ll like, but you’re causing a noise disturbance which stops the fish from biting.
Now – don’t expect much in the way of speed. If anything, it’ll stop the tidal/current push and you’ll be able to hang in one area for prolonged periods of time. Mounting the battery in the shade under the cooler would be the best option, but you’ll also want to ensure it’s electrically safe too.
12. PWC Anchor
Most guys forget this, but having a jet ski anchor in the front locker is super helpful. I actually take 2 anchors with me; one for the front and one for the fear. This stops me swinging around constantly and the risk fo tangling lines.
Given the relatively affordable price of these, I’d definitely buy two of ’em . The rope doubles as a tow rope if you or someone else gets stuck out there!
There we have it! Some of the most highly regarded accessories worth fitting to your jet ski today. Creating this list wasn’t easy and I had to drawn upon my experience and feedback from some buddies I know.
Did I miss anything? Let me know! Otherwise I’ll catch you out there.