During the summer, action on the water heats up, but so does the temperature, and spending an entire day on your feet as the harsh sun beats down relentlessly can be unbearable. It doesn’t have to be, though. If you plan on spending a lot of time on the water this summer, then it’s definitely worth it to stock up on a few apparel items that will help you stay cool. There are several companies that offer warm-weather options for anglers and today I plan on highlighting a few that will go a long way towards ensuring your comfort this summer.
I think an appropriate place to start would be the first part of us the sun hits: our heads. It’s easy to forget how vulnerable our heads are to the sun’s rays, and if you have short hair, your scalp can burn quickly. One summer, while fishing in the Gulf for speckled trout, I forgot to bring a hat with me. During this time in my life, my hair was only about half an inch thick all over and after a long trip under that kind of sun, you can imagine how red my head was the next day. To make sure this doesn’t happen to you, I suggest picking up a light, cool, wide-brimmed hat to keep the sun off you. Columbia makes a few different styles that will do the trick—their Booney hats and Schooner hats work well—as does Glacier Glove, another established manufacturer. Of course, a light-colored baseball cap will work, too.
As far as your upper body is concerned, both Columbia and World Wide Sportsman make similar styles of angling shirts that are designed specifically to keep fishermen cool on even the hottest days. Columbia’s Bahama series shirts are well-ventilated, lightweight, and equipped with several pockets for easy access to small fishing tools. World Wide Sportsman offers its Inshore Extreme Line of shirts, which is also designed for warm weather. Both brands possess UV protection and lightweight material. Under Armour’s HeatGear line of shirts, as well as many t-shirts made by The North Face, work wonders in hot weather as well.
Last, but not least, moving around a boat all day and straining on your feet amidst waves and slick surfaces can cause your legs to heat up. Sidestep this landmine by investing in lightweight, breathable pants and shorts and you’ll barely notice the warmth at all. The North Face, Columbia, and XPS all make convertible pants and ventilated shorts to suit this purpose.
Besides dressing for warm weather fishing, you also want to be sure to wear sunscreen. Remember to apply it to your ears, neck, forearms, and face thoroughly, as these parts tend to burn the quickest. Also, be sure to bring plenty of water or energy drinks and keep them in a cooler. As we sweat, our bodies lose hydration, and drinking plenty of water helps keep us energized and alert for a full day of great fishing. Yes, the summer provides great angling opportunities, but it’s important to take note of risks such as sunburn, heat stroke, and dehydration, and take the necessary measures to prevent them. Not only will you stay healthy, but you’ll stay warm, and that can make a huge difference on the water.