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…
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.
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.
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