Winter fishing is not entirely about eskimos making holes on frozen lakes. There’s more to it than just that. If you’re interested in angling during the cold season, you need to know the right fishing gear along with tips on how to fish properly, particularly in the cold. The list below shows what you will need to wear before going out to fish along with a few tips here and there.
What to Wear to Winter Fishing
Proper fishing attire is put at a premium in winter for obvious reasons. On normal days, you only need to protect yourself from the sun and mosquitoes. Winter fishing, however, requires a lot more clothes.
Start off with what lies beneath. Your base layer should be made of a comfortable fabric that keeps you warm in the cold. It should also let your body breathe, weighs light, and keeps the sweat away. The HEROBIKER Men’s Thermal Underwear Set includes a long sleeved top and long john that are made of 90% polyester and 10% spandex. They’re also great for other cold weather activities such as skiing, hiking, and mountain climbing. Wear it even while doing yoga, running, cycling, or other physical exercises.
Getting cold feet is not just about ditching your bride or groom at the altar. It’s easy to get cold feet during the winter season quite obviously. This is especially true when you’re on a winter fishing adventure.
As wideonspaces pointed out, your feet don’t move much when you’re fishing so they’re bound to get cold real fast. It’s a no-brainer then to wear insulated socks when you’re out. The DG Hill Arctic Extreme Men’s Insulated Socks are perfect for the occasion. It comes with extra warm fleece, thick and tightly knit cushion and thick thermal yarn that wicks moisture away from your feet. The top is also ribbed to keep the cuff from slipping.
The mid layer is what you’d normally wear during bearable cold days. It can be something as simple as a hooded sweatshirt over a pair of pants. Just make sure your sweatshirt is predominantly made of polyester so you wouldn’t stay wet in case you get splashed on.
The Men’s Armour Fleece Twist Pull Over Hoodie from Under Armour is a great sweatshirt for everyday use and is a good choice for your mid layer when you go on your winter fishing trip. Some sweatshirts have more cotton than polyester but this one is completely made of the latter.
The soft inner lay of the Under Armour hoodie traps heat to keep your body warm. It comes with ribbed cuffs and hem, hood and open snorkel neckline further keeps you from getting cold.
The mid and inner layers keep the warmth inside while the outer layer keeps the cold out. Top everything off with waterproof and windproof jacket and fishing bib.
The Striker Ice Men’s Fishing Waterproof Cold Weather Climate Jacket is one of the best ice fishing jackets according to The Coastal Side. It is made of 320D Nylon Tussor Shell. The ice suit boasts of pockets with waterproof zippers where you can keep your tackles, pliers and other small angling gear.
The Striker also comes with its very own Surefloat technology, which is pretty useful if you’re on a boat or in case the frozen lake breaks from under you.
As for the fishing bib, a good choice would be the Compass 360 Deadfall Breathable STFT Chest Wader. This fishing bib features attached 4-ply Nylon gravel guards, fully adjustable elastic suspenders with quick release buckles, and adjustable web wading belt that also comes with a quick release buckle.
There’s also the easy to reach 2-N-1 Nylon B.A.P. chest pocket storage along with a fleece lined chest hand warmer pocket. The 4mm fool fit stretch neoprene booties are double taped which will be fully appreciated by wader anglers.
Other Winter Fishing Must-Haves
Another item you have to wear during your winter fishing trip are gloves. You’ll need at least three pairs to keep your hands dry as much as possible. The thick gloves will be used for long boat ruins while a couple of thin ones can be alternated.
The Berkley Fishing Gloves is great for heavy duty fishing tasks. They’re coated for a better more textured grip and safer handling of fishing gear as well as the fish itself.
You need a good pair of fishing boots to keep you from slipping and sliding and, worse, falling into the cold water. The boots will also provide a layer between your feet and the cold ground so it helps keep you warm, as well.
The XTRATUF Performance Series 6″ Men’s Full Rubber Ankle Deck Boots is a slip-on boot with full closure. It sports rubber grips and non-marking outsole. Plus, it’s 100% waterproof.
Even if it’s cold, the glare of the sun can still hurt your eyes, especially when you’re staring at the water. Wear a pair of polarized sunglasses not only to protect your eyes but also to make it easier to catch fish. You’ll have a hard time if you keep squinting, right?
It doesn’t hurt if your fishing sunglasses are stylish, as well. That’s how Fix describes the Costa Del Mar Fantail Sunglasses. The polycarbonate and trivex sunglasses are light, durable and scratch resistant thanks to the molecular bond of the C-wall. It’s also protects your eyes from UV rays and kills reflected glare.
If it’s really, really cold, you may want to wear something to keep your head warm such as the Quaanti Winter Men and Women Warm Fishing Hat. This winter hat can be worn any time the weather gets a bit too cold for comfort, especially when you’re having some outdoor fun. Inside is the ExpressCool antimicrobial liner which helps keep your feet dry by wicking off moisture.
If you’re wearing a hat, your face will still be exposed to the cold. Unless you get a head warmer that covers your face, you may want to use a face mask instead. Now not all anglers like to wear a face mask but if you’re considering it, there are a lot of good choices.
Another option is to wear a fishing mask like the Mossy Oak Elements Fishing Mask. It’ made of 88% polyester while the remaining 12% is elastane blended polyester and breathable mesh courtesy of the Coolcare technology. The fishing mask also features UPF protection.
No matter how careful you are, you’ll almost always get wet. This is particularly true if you’re fishing off a boat and fall into the freezing waters. Don’t forget to pack some spare clothes to change into when you’re done winter fishing. If you stay in your wet clothes, you’ll get cold and be in danger of hypothermia.
Some Winter Fishing Tips
Know Where the Fish Are
Winter fishing or not, you need to know where to go. If you’re a veteran angler, you should know where the best fishing spots are. Still, you can always do a little research just to be sure.
Visit the websites of the Wildlife and Fisheries and Natural Resources departments in your state or wherever you’re planning to go winter fishing, suggests Fix. Read up on local lakes to find out what kinds of fish are present particularly during the cold season. While you’re there, look up the creel limit or the maximum number of any fish (or frogs) that you can take in a day.
Go At the Right Time
Knowing where to go is not enough, you should also know when. Keep a close watch on the weather by checking updates regularly. This will at least give you an idea when is a good time to go winter fishing.
Pack the Right Winter Fishing Gear
Make sure you have everything you; will need, especially if you’re catching fish from a boat. It’ll be extremely difficult and annoying to go back to shore just because you forgot something important. Also, there’s always the danger of being on freezing water. Don’t forget to pack some survival gear that’ll be useful when things go wrong. Things such as life vests, flashlight, body warmers, whistle, and flares are important. Bring food and water, as well.
Aside from your fishing outfit, there are a number of other gear you need for your winter fishing escapade to be successful or, at least, safe. Follow Gentleman Pirate Club to know about fishing gear and valuable tips about winter fishing and fishing, in general.