What to Wear Fishing

a fisherman wearing a rain jacket on the water

Whether you’re fishing from a boat or shore, wearing (and packing) the right fishing clothing can make or break your experience. There are a lot of factors to consider when figuring out what to wear fishing including temperature, wind, and precipitation. Our Fishing Experts walk you through the basic layers and accessories to bring on your next fishing trip—no matter the conditions. 

Fishing in Sunny, Hot Weather

In the height of summer, you need to dress for hot, humid weather, meaning you need to wear clothing that provides sun protection, wicks away sweat, and dries quickly.

1. Fishing Shirt

a man fishing off the boat

âś” Material: Choose a shirt made from polyester or polyester/spandex blend as these materials are lightweight, breathable, and wick away sweat to keep you feeling dry.

✔ UPF Technology: Look for UPF fabric technology called out as this helps offer even more protection from the sun’s harmful rays.

âś” Color & Fit: Choose a light-colored, loose fit shirt to reflect the sun’s rays and enhance breathability. 

✔ Shirt Type: When spending hours on the boat, many anglers turn to a long-sleeved shirt in order to offer better sun protection. You may think you’ll get too hot, but keep in mind the material and color will help you stay cool.

2. Fishing Pants or Shorts

a person putting fishing tools in the pocket

When choosing between pants or shorts, it really depends on your personal preferences. Pants offer greater coverage for more protection from the sun, but shorts will keep you cooler. Just like with a shirt, pay attention to the material and sun protection technology to keep you comfortable in addition to the following features:

âś” Pockets: Many fishing bottoms feature convenient zippered pockets and cargo pockets to stash all the small fishing gear you need close at hand. 

✔ Stretch: You’ll be moving and bending down throughout the day, so it’s always a good idea to look for bottoms that offer some stretch and a comfortable waistband.

✔ Convertible Option: If you can’t decide between shorts or pants, wear convertible fishing pants so you can make the choice when on the boat.

3. Hat or Buff

two anglers fishing in sunny weather

Many anglers choose to wear a hat when on the boat. A traditional ball cap style is a great choice to protect the top of your head and shade your eyes. Others prefer a wide brim option with an adjustable drawcord for even more sun protection and a secure fit. 

A fishing buff is made from lightweight, breathable materials featuring UPF technology for added protection. Plus, many are made from fabrics designed to keep you cool.

4. Polarized Sunglasses

When it’s sunny, you’ll spend your day squinting so reduce eye strain by wearing a pair of polarized sunglasses. You’ll enjoy reduced glare off the surface of the water so you can see clearly as well as keep your eyes protected from harmful UV rays.

5. Shoes or Sandals

No matter if you’re fishing from shore or on a boat, you’ll want to wear close-toed shoes or sandals that feature a non-slip outsole for reliable grip on wet surfaces.

6. Sunscreen

Be sure to wear sunscreen when out—it’s often overlooked, but will keep your skin protected, and you’ll be happy you don’t come off the water looking like a lobster. Keep your sunscreen in your tackle box so you don’t forget it!

Fishing in Rainy, Cooler Weather

When out on the boat during spring and fall, the weather will be a bit cooler than in the summer. If you’re going on a fishing trip during these seasons, you’ll want to add a few extra layers and bring rain gear along so you’ll stay comfortable. 

1. Long-Sleeve Shirt or Baselayer

Start your layering system with a long-sleeve shirt for cooler temperatures, or for really cold temperatures, add a base layer under your long-sleeve shirt. This layer is designed to trap and retain body heat to maximize warmth.

2. Hoodie or Sweatshirt

a man wearing a fishing hoodie on the boat

The next layer will be your mid-layer for warmth. Often a hooded or crewneck sweatshirt is a great choice.

3. Fishing Rain Jacket

a man putting on a fishing rain jacket

If there’s a chance of rain in the forecast, be sure to bring along a fishing rain jacket. Designed to provide waterproof protection, a rain jacket will keep you warm and dry so you’re able to stay out on the water for longer. Plus, with a fishing-specific rain jacket, you’ll enjoy convenient pockets to keep all your fishing essentials close at hand. Rainy, cold weather often brings wind too, so many rain jackets offer wind-resistant or windproof protection too.

4. Fishing Pants & Rain Bibs

a guy wearing fishing bibs

For colder temperatures, you’ll want to skip the shorts and wear water-resistant pants. If the temperatures are really chilly, it may not be a bad idea to wear a base layer under your pants. When the rain begins, be sure to have a pair of rain bibs or rain pants that you can pull on to provide waterproof protection. Similar to rain jackets, fishing rain bibs provide windproof protection and plenty of storage pockets too. 

5. Fishing Beanie or Bomber

It’s not a bad idea to have a beanie or bomber hat on hand because even a little bit of wind on a cold day can feel very unpleasant on the open water. Another option many anglers choose is to wear a traditional baseball cap with their hood up.

6. Fishing Gloves

Tuck a pair of fishing gloves in your pocket just in case the temperature drops and wind picks up. Be sure to look for a pair that provides waterproof protection to keep your hands dry and warm for longer.

7. Shoes or Boots

Aside from looking for a durable, slip-resistant outsole, you’ll want to think about warmth and waterproof protection. Be sure to wear a pair of comfortable socks too!

Fishing in the Winter

a man drilling a hole with an ice auger

Ice fishing requires a lot of layers to keep you warm and protected in bitterly cold temperatures. Our Ice Fishing Experts share all the layers you’ll need for an enjoyable experience this ice fishing season.