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What To Wear When Fishing In Winter Weather

Choose the right clothes and you can stay warm in winter


I caught this bass at West Point on a cold, windy day.

I caught this bass on a cold, windy day in late February.

2008 Ronnie Garrison licensed to About.com
I bought my first snowmobile suit in 1975. That may not seem unusual until you realize I live in middle Georgia! We don't see snow two times a year and nobody has a snowmobile here!

Winter of 1974 was my first with a bass boat and I quickly realized I was going to have to buy something to keep me warm if I was going to fish all year. My hunting clothes that kept me warm for a few hours in a deer stand would not do the job out in a boat for 8 or more hours.

Bass Pro Shops was a fairly new catalog company and I looked there and found they sold snowmobile suits, something I have never heard of before. I ordered one and it was fantastic. I also ordered snowmobile boots, heavy, thick waterproof boots with a felt liner. The two combined solved most of my problems of being cold.

I ordered Linda a snowmobile suit from Bass Pro Shops soon after that and we still have both. Mine is still usable but one leg zipper does not work any more, so I use tape to keep it closed. I have worn it so much it is just worn out! Since Linda doesn't fish with me in cold weather anymore, I wear hers now.

To keep warm you need more than just boots and the suit, though. A knit cap is great for keeping your ears warm and I would not go out without one. I get one extra big and pull it down over my baseball cap so I still have the visor to shade my eyes. A jacket with a hood also makes a lot of difference. My Stratos Fishing Team jacket is nylon with a sweat shirt type liner and hood. That hood pulled over my cap and knit cap keep my head and neck warm. That combo is great for keeping head, ears and neck warm.

I do not wear a face mask while fishing and my nose does get cold. I have tried face masks of different kinds, and wear one while deer hunting, but do not like it while fishing. I do wear a bubble face shield when running to block the wind from my face and they are great!

Gloves are another problem and I have never found any I could wear while casting. I do wear gloves while driving the boat but take them off while casting. I just suffer with cold hands so I can cast and feel what I am doing.

Under all the outer wear I wear good insulated underwear. The top has a turtle neck and that helps, too. Wool socks over knit socks that will wick moisture away help keep my feet warm and dry.

Probably the most important thing I wear in the winter is a life vest. I often fish by myself and if I fall in with all the above on, I am not going to be able to swim! A live vest worn on top of everything else is hardly noticeable, and it could save my life. It would keep me on top of the water long enough to allow me to get back in the boat! And anytime my gas motor is running I attach my kill switch to the life jacket. You should never run your gas motor without a kill switch, not matter what time of year!

Dress right for the weather and you can enjoy fishing most days during the winter. If not, you can be miserable, or stay home and read about fishing rather then going!

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