For anglers, a day of fishing is like the best parts of a vacation compressed into a single experience. It’s relaxing, it’s exciting, and it’s an invigorating interaction with nature. A great day on the water serves as a shedding of stress and a recharge to prepare to reenter the busy working world. Some professionals are even fortunate enough to compete and fish as a job.
That said, fishing with friends or family is unbeatable comradery and bonding time, while fishing alone is blissful isolation. All of that is why having one of those experiences ruined is such a tragedy, and one to be guarded against diligently. Here are three ways a great fishing day can be ruined by nature—and how to prevent them.
You End Up in the Water
There is one certainty when it comes to fishing—close proximity to the water whether you’re on the bank, beach, or boat. Being cautious, smart, sober, alert, and aware of your situation and surroundings should, for the most part, prevent inadvertent trips into the drink. Still, boats rock and hit chop, rocks shift, and feet slip.
Particularly if it’s cold, going into the water is generally going to result in a miserable (and even dangerous) day for as long as you remain in soaked clothes. The best way to deal with a dip and get back to fishing is to keep a backup pair of good fishing clothes sealed in something watertight and close at hand. That could be a dry bag in your boat or car, or extra clothes just sealed up inside some heavy-duty garbage bags in your backpack.
The Sun Comes Out: Burns and Overheating
Nothing’s quite like a pleasantly warm day for fishing. That cozy warmth, however, can quickly turn into a blazing sun and a bad day. That’s a particular risk when boat fishing on the ocean or a large lake. The water can reflect the sun’s rays, intensifying them and increasing the chance of bad sunburns or heatstroke.
First off, always bring lots of water and lots of sunscreen. While shorts and a T-shirt may seem like the intuitive apparel response to sunshine, you’re better off covered up. Opt for high-quality, high-performance, long sleeved polyester fishing shirts and light, breathable polyester fishing pants. You could also take it up a notch with a fishing shirt that offers built-in sun protection or even patented technology designed to keep you cool. Cover up up top with a breathable, high-performance fishing hat and a pair of polarized sunglasses to avoid a sunburn to the eyes, which is as unpleasant as it sounds.
The Sun Goes Away: Cold and Miserable
Alternately, if the sun disappears, the wind picks up, or a storm moves in, you can find your pleasant fishing day suddenly uncomfortably chilly. Depending on the severity of the weather and isolation of your favorite fishing spot, hypothermia can prove a real threat. Make provisions for cold weather as you do for an unexpected fall in the water by storing warm clothing close at hand in something waterproof. Bringing plenty of high-performance clothing you can layer and take off as the day calls for it will keep you prepared during chilly mornings, warm afternoons, cold evening, and everything in-between.
To keep your energy up on the water, bring trail mix, granola bars, energy bars, beef jerky, or similarly portable food and potable water. With a little preparation and foresight, every fishing day can prove as perfect as it should be.
When he gets the opportunity to fish, Kent Hickman takes it. As a youngster growing up in his native Florida, Kent would routinely walk miles a day to reach the Sunshine State’s world-renowned fisheries. That childhood love of angling, and love of the water in general, never faded. Kent would even go on to compete in professional tournaments. In addition to fish, as its nickname suggests, Florida has no lack of sunshine. But Kent could never find fishing clothes that provided coverage and protection from the elements and insects while remaining cool, comfortable, and lightweight. In response, Kent founded Gillz™ in 2009 to provide anglers access to high-quality, high-performance fishing apparel. That apparel includes fishing shirts, their famous GillzMask fishing masks, and a wide selection of additional professional-level gear and accessories.
Fish from dawn to dusk, stay cool and keep comfortable with every cast by wearing Gillz™ gear, at www.gillz-gear.com