Angler vs. The Elements

By Steve Graf

A question that I have been asked often is “Would I rather fish in cold or hot weather?” For me, it’s a no brainer…I’d rather fish when it’s 35 degrees than 95 degrees any day! Why? Because I can put on enough clothes to stay warm but I can’t take enough off to get cool. Nothing is worse for me than fishing in the hot sun with sweat dripping off my nose. Also, another fact of summer time fishing is that there’s usually an early bite, so after 9:00 AM you’re babysitting your catch the rest of the day trying to keep them alive for the weigh-in. Another simple fact is that at my age (59) I just don’t handle the heat like I used to. The heat literally drains the life out of me and will have me asking myself, “Why am I out here?”

Today, there’s been such advancement in clothing technology when it comes to keeping you warm or cool. Thermal underwear today is light weight, thin and just plain awesome. It’s amazing how something so thin will keep you so warm. Thirty years ago, when you fished in cold weather, you looked like the Michelin tire man and every move you made from getting into your boat to getting up on the front deck, was a major challenge. Oh, you hope and prayed you did not have to go to the bathroom as it took 15 minutes just to navigate your clothing looking for Mr. Tinkle in order relieve yourself. I still contend that makers of “Depends” under garments were invented by bass anglers!

With outerwear today, things are a lot different, as you only need a couple of layers of clothing and a really good rain suit in order to stay warm and dry. The last word there is very important “dry.” One thing I learned very early in my fishing career, was do not pinch pennies when it comes to a good rain suit. SPEND THE MONEY! Bass Pro Shops 100 MPH suit is a very good choice and if you want the best and don’t mind spending $1000, take a look at the suit from Simms. All really good rain suits are made using Gore-Tex fabric which sheds water and breaths really well. A good rain suit is worth its weight in gold when it comes to staying warm and dry. This is such a mental thing for an angler as you just don’t fish very well mentally if you’re wet and cold. It’s the worse combination for all outdoorsmen but especially for bass fishermen. Prepare to spend $500 or more for a good rain suit, but again, it’ll be the best money you’ll ever spend and it will last you up to ten years if you take care of it.

Thermal underwear has also come a long way since the days of the white waffle cone pattern that restricted your every movement due to their fit and thickness. Thermals today are paper thin with the advancements in fabric technology that keeps you super warm and they fit so much better. They pull moisture away from the body keeping you dry as well. These advancements now allow anglers to layer themselves so much better without hindering your ability to move.

Once again, tournament fishing is just like any other sport…it’s a mental game. Anglers need every advantage they can get. You have to try and control every phase of fishing you possibly can and that includes preparation. Having the right apparel and rain gear is just as important as making sure all your tackle is in great shape as well. Till next time, don’t forget to set the hook! For more great angling tips, tune in every Monday at 12:00 noon to Tackle Talk Live on Facebook or catch us on our You Tube channel.