BEAT THE WEATHER

Fol­low our sim­ple guide through your first steps in shore fish­ing. we’ll help you to over­come any ob­sta­cles you might en­counter along the way. this month we switch the fo­cus to win­ter cloth­ing…

Sea Angler (UK) - - SEA SCHOOL -

WIN­TER

Wear­ing the cor­rect cloth­ing dur­ing a fish­ing ses­sion is vi­tally im­por­tant. Be­fore ac­tu­ally choos­ing what you wear, though, and throw­ing your­self into lay­ers of clob­ber, there are some fun­da­men­tal as­pects that need tak­ing into con­sid­er­a­tion.

Win­ter months are prob­a­bly the most dif­fi­cult to pro­tect against. It’s very easy to wrap your­self with mul­ti­ple lay­ers of warm cloth­ing, but have you ac­tu­ally thought about what you’re do­ing?

If you in­tend to fish a mark that in­volves a long and tir­ing hike, the last thing you need to be do­ing is wear­ing all your ther­mal pro­tec­tion, be­cause af­ter just a few min­utes of trudg­ing across en­ergy-sap­ping shin­gle or sand, it won’t be long be­fore you’re hot, sweaty and damp. Then, when you ac­tu­ally start fish­ing, in just a short while those warm and damp gar­ments you’re wear­ing will be­gin to turn cold.

As the tem­per­a­ture drops, you’ll soon be­come mis­er­able, shiv­er­ing and ul­ti­mately faced with the prospect of pack­ing up and head­ing home.

It’s far bet­ter and ben­e­fi­cial to pack dry gear in an­other bag and change into this when you reach your mark.

The same can be said for chest waders. Long walks in neo­prene ver­sions are a real night­mare. Again, strap these to your tackle box, or pack them in a bag and carry them.

It’s eas­ier to walk long dis­tances in light cloth­ing and a comfy pair of walk­ing boots.

Don’t be fooled by breath­able chest waders ei­ther, be­cause trav­el­ling long dis­tances in these can still drain you.

Don’t get caught out dur­ing sum­mer trips. A long, hot day on the shore can sud­denly turn chilly when dusk ar­rives. Al­ways have a light­weight hoody or jacket with you, to pre­vent be­com­ing cold. ■ TOP TIP: Don’t wear chest waders or all your warm cloth­ing on long hikes to a venue. Pack them sep­a­rately and change into them when you ar­rive.

IN­NER BASE LAY­ERS

Ther­mal leg­gings and vest or top are bril­liant for re­tain­ing body warmth when it’s cold. These are much bet­ter al­ter­na­tives and are in­cred­i­bly light­weight.

Many an­glers choose to wear jeans, but these can quickly be­come cold, and are even worse when wet. A much bet­ter op­tion is to wear a de­cent pair of jog­gers in­stead. These re­tain heat in­cred­i­bly well and are so comfy too.

MID-OUTER LAY­ERS

When win­ter ar­rives, icy winds, lash­ing rain, snow and hail will un­doubt­edly bat­ter you. That’s when you need to cover up con­sid­er­ably, and outer lay­ers are prob­a­bly your most im­por­tant items of cloth­ing.

First, make sure your outer lay­ers are to­tally wa­ter­proof. Items that are sim­ply show­er­proof aren’t go­ing to cut it.

These can come in var­i­ous forms but are gen­er­ally ei­ther one or two-piece out­fits. Smocks, jack­ets and sa­lopettes are cer­tainly the most pop­u­lar, along with flota­tion suits.

These out­fits can vary in price and, in­vari­ably, the best items will be more ex­pen­sive. A lot of an­glers pre­fer to go for any range of Gore-Tex cloth­ing.

■ TOP TIP: It’s im­por­tant to en­sure that your outer lay­ers are to­tally water and wind­proof.

FOOTWEAR

Many an­glers make the mis­take of wear­ing mul­ti­ple pairs of socks in an at­tempt to keep their feet warm. In­stead, wear a thin pair un­der­neath a thick ther­mal set, just enough so your feet can move freely and al­low the blood to flow.

A good pair of hik­ing boots with an in­su­lated in­ner are bril­liant, es­pe­cially when stand­ing on freez­ing-cold con­crete or shin­gle. Many of these boots also have fan­tas­tic soles, with a firm grip, which is es­sen­tial when it’s icy. Train­ers are a non-starter, I’m afraid, as they are sim­ply not ad­e­quate to keep your feet warm and pro­tected.

Mod­ern welling­ton boots are now equipped with su­per-ther­mal in­te­ri­ors, which in some cases can even be re­moved.

PRE­VENT­ING HEAT ES­CAP­ING

Heat will es­cape through your head, so it’s al­ways a good idea to wear a ther­mal hat or cap. A woollen bob­ble or ther­mal beanie type is the best and will eas­ily ac­com­mo­date a head­light too.

On oc­ca­sions, a good pair of ther­mal gloves may be needed to keep your hands warm. Some an­glers pre­fer to wear fin­ger­less gloves so they don’t need to be con­tin­u­ously re­moved when bait­ing hooks.

■ TOP TIP: Plac­ing a pocket-warmer into each pocket of your jacket or sa­lopettes is a fan­tas­tic al­ter­na­tive to keep­ing your hands warm. They’re cheap, light­weight and ex­tremely easy to use.

sea an­gler is­sue 566

Win­ter weather can be very test­ing for shore an­glers

Wear the cor­rect win­ter cloth­ing and fish in com­fort

A good hat and gloves help to re­tain the heat

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