7 Clothes Beginner Anglers Need to Wear Fishing

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Written By Donny Karr

Donny Karr is a Tournament Angler with more than 20 years of fishing experience and a writer whose work has been featured in magazines for over a decade. He is a member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America. He enjoys bass and crappie fishing in the lakes around the south-eastern United States. He also fishes for trout in the streams and rivers of the Appalachian mountains. Donny has written for Georgia Outdoor News, Paddling Space, Man Can Outdoors, Alabama Outdoor News, and Bassmaster.

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The essential clothing for fishing includes polarized sunglasses, a wide-brimmed hat, a gaiter, a long-sleeved shirt, boat shoes, and gloves or a waterproof jacket depending on the weather.

When it comes to fishing, what you wear can be just as important as the various lures, gear, and other tackle items you bring along on the trip. The sun can be especially brutal when you’re out on the water all day with no shade. Thankfully, many of the fishing industry’s top brands have adapted in recent years and offer anglers a wide range of clothing and accessories that will keep you cool on the water. 

There are a variety of different style hats, shirts, shorts, and everything in between that anglers should pay attention to when it comes to selecting what to wear fishing in your particular area. These items can vary greatly depending on whether you’re fishing on the open ocean in the middle of the summer heat, or huddled into an ice shelter in a Minnesota winter.

Either way, having the right gear and clothing for your trip will make everything go more smoothly and keep you much more comfortable. 

In this article, we’ll cover some of the most important clothing and accessory items that you should be wearing while fishing in the hot sun. Some of these items will not only help you remain cool, but can actually increase your chances of catching fish. 

1. Polarized Sunglasses 

One of the most important items that one can wear while fishing is a pair of polarized sunglasses. Unlike your typical pair of traditional sunglasses, polarized lenses block out vertical light rays produced by the sun. These light rays will be amplified when they reflect off the water’s surface and the effects can prove to be quite damaging on one’s eyesight over time. 

In addition to keeping your eyes protected from bright sunlight, polarized lenses actually work to allow anglers to see more clearly into the water below. This is because the polarization blocks out the vertical light rays that would otherwise obstruct your view into the depths. Many anglers use polarized lenses to help spot certain types of underwater cover, as well as located fish when sight fishing is fairly productive. 

fishing sunglasses

2. Wide-Brimmed Hat 

Many anglers tend to wear a simple ball cap while fishing on lakes, oceans, and any other waterway. The smarter choice in headwear is actually wearing a wide-brimmed hat that will help shade your face, neck, and chest area much more than a cap. Many of the top brands in the fishing industry that are producing some of the best activewear for anglers have released their own lineup of wide-brimmed hats. 

These hats are not only stylish, but they work to keep you cool when the days on the water can be quite hot. Staying cool means you’ll be much more comfortable and your brain will function more efficiently, which means you can focus on the fish instead of the sweltering sunlight. 

man wearing a fishing hats

3. Neck Gaiter 

Wearing a neck gaiter is in line with the same idea of keeping the sun’s harmful rays from damaging your skin and making you sweat more. Overexposure to the sun on a prolonged basis will almost always lead to skin cancer in most cases, so it’s highly important that anglers take extra precaution to protect as much of their skin as possible. 

A neck gaiter will allow you to keep your neck and face shaded from the sun’s rays while you’re wearing it. It can also help to protect your face from anything that might pelt you as you speed along the water in a boat. As skilled anglers are well-aware, it can be quite uncomfortable to get hit in the face with rain or flying insects while they’re racing down the lake or coastal water to their favorite fishing spot

4. Fishing Shirt 

In just over the last decade, fishing shirts have become all the rage with anglers, as well as those who spend a considerable amount of time outdoors. These types of shirts are not only stylish, but have specialized slits in the back to help your back air out and stay dry and cool. These shirts help your body work in the way it is naturally supposed to when it sweats by allowing any slight breeze to help dry your sweat and cool your skin in doing so. 

Fishing shirts come in a huge variety from short or long-sleeved models and many of the top apparel companies in the fishing industry make these shirts for people of all ages. 

5. Boat Shoes 

If you’ve spent much time on the water, both fresh or salty, you’re well aware that your shoes play more of a role than most people might initially think. It’s very important that you wear lightweight, comfortable footwear that will allow you to move around the boat or shoreline with relative ease. Having a pair of heavy boots on can actually pose a drowning risk to unsuspecting anglers as these will be very hard to kick off your feet in the event you need to swim. 

Danger can arise out of nowhere on any given waterway, so it’s crucial to wear a pair of shoes that allow you to maneuver or even lose them if you find yourself having to swim or stay afloat. Many new styles of boat shoes will feature new technology that helps an angler’s feet stay as cool and dry as possible. It’s also important to realize that if you’re using bloody, messy bait, you’re likely going to get your shoes dirty. 

Fishing Shoes

6. Jackets and Rain Suits

You never know what Mother Nature might have in store for your fishing trip and getting caught in a rainstorm without some form of protection can be enough to ruin any fishing trip. It’s a smart idea to stay prepared and pack some type of jacket, rain suit, or waders that will keep you dry if it does happen to rain on your trip.

It’s also very important that you have some extra clothing like a light jacket or something else to stay warm just in case your boat breaks down and you find yourself stranded in the cold, dark night. 

7. Accessories

You will also want to get yourself a good pair of fishing gloves, both to keep your hands warm and protect them from fish spines and teeth.

When it comes to deciding what you’ll wear fishing, it’s always a good idea to think ahead and plan for any event in order to stay dry and comfortable no matter what happens. 

It also depends on what kind of fishing you will be doing. Offshore saltwater big game fishing requires a lot different gear than just throwing in a bait at your local pond. Even diving for lobster requires specialized equipment like gloves.

Make sure you map out exactly what you will be doing and what apparel you will need.