What’s needed for a fisherman’s picnic

Photo by: National Boating College

Food which is heavy to carry and gets in the way of fishing gear won’t be popular. Easy to eat food is essential as they’ll be concentrating on reeling in, casting out and baiting hooks.

Think about food which can be easily eaten in one hand and which is substantial such as a beef or pork pie and salad. Fill a plastic container with potato salad and wrap up the pie separately. Add a bread roll or two. Extra food for fishermen might be a container of bite-sized things like small squares of hard cheese, cocktail sausages, cherry tomatoes, nuts, and dried fruit. Morsels to enjoy while waiting for the fish to bite. More fisherman’s  food ideas could include; crumbed lamb cutlets, cold sausages in a long roll with BBQ sauce, roast chicken legs or slices of a vegetable or meat loaf. As it’s still winter it can be very cold especially, early dawn until the sun comes up, so a hot flask of soup is a good idea.

Remember to pop in a knife, fork , spoon, paper towels and a rubbish bag, as well as bottled water and a flask of tea or coffee. Pack the picnic inside a suitable sized Esky, so the food won’t be crushed. The Esky can also double as a fisherman’s foot rest or even as an extra piece of safety equipment.

On March 8, 2011 newspapers reported four men who were rescued after their boat sank. They had been fishing off Cleveland Bay at 7.30 am when the boat started taking on water. After losing radio contact they set off their EPIRB and then abandoned the boat. They were sighted by the Emergency Management Queensland rescue helicopter desperately clinging to their eskies.

Snacks are a necessity to keep energy levels up and if the fish aren’t biting they will need a little something sweet to console them!

Try out our Fisherman’s Chocolate Slab Cake recipe and then let us know how you rate it.ChocSlab


½ cup (50g) cocoa powder
½ cup (125ml) boiling water
160g unsalted butter, softened
3 eggs
1½ cups (330g) castor sugar
1½ cups (200g) self-raising flour
⅓ cup (50g) plain flour
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
¾ cup (180ml) buttermilk

Chocolate icing (Optional)
100g dark cooking chocolate, chopped coarsely
25g butter
1 cup (160g) icing sugar, sifted
1½ tablespoons hot water


Pre-heat oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced. Grease 19cm x 30cm lamington pan; line with baking paper.Blend cocoa with water in a small bowl and set aside to cool.
Beat butter and sugar in a small bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Transfer mixture to a large bowl, stir in sifted flours and soda, and buttermilk; stir in cocoa mixture. Spread mixture into pan. Bake about 30 minutes. Cool cake in pan for 20 minutes before turning, top-side up, onto wire rack to cool.
Make chocolate icing. (Optional) Spread cold cake with icing and throw in some whole strawberries to eat with the cake. Cut cake into squares.

Chocolate Icing
Melt chocolate and butter in a small saucepan, stirring, over low heat. Remove from heat; stir in sifted icing sugar and water until smooth.

Prep & cook time 55 minutes + cooling. Makes 20.

This cake can be made the day before the fishing trip. The iced cake can be frozen for several weeks. Thaw the cake in the fridge the night before. This cake is also good just with a dusting of sifted icing sugar applied once the cake is cooled.

Before heading out on your fishing trip

  • Check that your boat is seaworthy.
  • Check that you have all the required safety equipment aboard.
  • Report your trip. Let someone know where you are going, how many will be aboard and when you plan to return.
  • Make sure you and your crew know how to handle the boat.
  • Check the weather forecast.
  • Make sure you have sufficient fuel and water aboard for the duration of the trip.
  • Go easy on alcohol.
  • Keep in touch – use your marine radio to log in and log out with the local volunteer marine rescue.


The National Maritime College (NMC) is a Registered Training Organisation providing competency-based boat training and education. The College offers boat licence and jet ski (PWC) licence courses and tests designed to improve boating skills and awareness. You can expect friendly and professional training from from us. It is the "personal touch" and dedication to improving safety on the water whilst instilling - confidence, knowledge and good boat handling skills that sets us apart.