Here, America's most ardent chef-anglers reveal their best fishing equipment, cooking ideas and fishing tips. F&W's Christine Quinlan reports.

By Food & Wine
April 01, 2011

Bryan Caswell's Top Fishing Equipment

The talented chef at Houston's Reef went to Catholic school but calls fishing his religion.

Key Website "To track marine conditions, I check NOAA buoys every day. Surfers use that site, too, but we're looking for opposite things."

Best Catch "Two 40-pound cobias in one day." Caswell caught the cobias in a single outing, then grilled them. Freank's RedHot SauceCourtesy of Frank's

Sea Snacks Caswell always brings oysters to eat with Frank's RedHot sauce and saltines. When he catches a fish, he'll sometimes make a fast ceviche.Columbia Sportswear Fishing ShirtColumbia Sportswear

Favorite Shirt Breathable shirts like Columbia's Airgill are slime-proof and UV-blocking. $80; Fishing CoolerCourtesy of Yeti

Top Cooler "You can keep a Yeti in the sun for 10 days, but it will stay cold. It's amazing." From $160; Gear Fishing ShortsCourtesy of Pelagic Gear

Go-To Shorts Pelagic's Soccoro line has quick-dry fabric and tear-resistant pockets. $59;
Furuno Fishing GPSCourtesy of Furuno

Dave Pasternack of New York City's Esca on High-Tech Essentials

"The only thing more expensive than a wife is fishing: You need electronics, like a fish finder and GPS. That's how I caught a 300-pound tuna—a beast. It was fantastic raw: sliced thin, drizzled with Becchina Olio Verde [unfiltered olive oil] and topped with chopped chives." Furuno FCV620 fish finder, $995;

Tony Maws's Top Fishing Equipment

Chef Tony MawsCourtesy of Tony Maws

The chef at Craigie on Main in Cambridge, MA, is a T-shirt-and-swimsuit fisherman who still uses his childhood rod.Hopkins Fishing LureCourtesy of Hopkins Fishing Lures

Best Bait For surf casting, Maws uses a hammered lure with a treble hook. From $5; Snack ToteCourtesy of Igloo Products Corp

Snack Totes Beer and snacks go in a soft-sided cooler. Maws, an optimist, brings a separate one for his catch. $19;

Sea Hangout "Anywhere between Menemsha on Martha's Vineyard and the Elizabeth Islands."

Jason Wilson's Top Fishing Equipment

The chef-owner of Crush in Seattle loves to fly-fish. One of his favorite spots is the Yakima River Canyon in central Washington.

Best Catch "One day I caught a two-and-a-half-pound rainbow trout on a size-18 midge [a hook that is only about one-third of an inch]; another day I caught my wife's bikini top. So it's a tie between those two things."

Outdoor Cooking Wilson builds a stone bed on top of his campfire, lays a whole fish on it away from the direct flames and covers the fish with Douglas fir branches so it steams. "That protects its unique flavor and preserves the taste of where it's from." Orvis Fishing BootsCourtesy of Orvis

Best Boots River Guard Ultralight boots have special screw-in studs to provide extra traction. $179; Fishing JacketSimms Fishing Products

Warm Jacket Simms's G4 Pro has three layers and microfleece-lined pockets to keep fishermen warm in icy rivers. $480;

Kelly Liken's Top Fishing Equipment

Chef Kelly Liken© Rick Colomitz

Kelly Liken of the eponymous Vail, CO, restaurant vacations where she can fish, like a tiny island off Mexico's Yucatán.Korin Fishing KnifeCourtesy of Korin

Sharp Slicer Checking a bag is a must, since Liken always packs her knives, like this Misono Slicer. From $95; at Ascot Folding BagCourtesy of Picnic at Ascot

Collapsible Cooler Liken travels with her own picnic basket, which folds to fit inside her luggage. $47;
Emotion Fishing KayakCourtesy of Emotion Kayaks

Sue Torres of NYC's Sueños on Kayak Fishing

"Every year, I go camping and fishing in the Adirondacks with high-school friends. We all have our own kayaks—I prefer to fish by myself. I bring banana leaves to steam fish over the campfire." $399;

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