Friday, January 14, 2011

Braving the Elements

I've seen this scenario play out many times while fishing. Someone pays ten dollars to fish on a pier and everything is going great. Then it starts to sprinkle. The angler decides to tough it out thinking maybe the rain will pass over. Then it really starts to rain. Five minutes into the soaking , the unprepared angler grabs his gear and heads home , drenched and miserable with no desire to fish any more that day and ten dollars poorer. Twenty minutes later , I'm stowing my rain gear  getting ready to fish again. Today I'd like to recommend some things that will keep you fishing in all but the worst weather conditions.



First , a word of caution : NEVER try to stay out during a thunderstorm. Seek shelter in a building or vehicle. That said , it's important for anyone wanting to fish in the surf or on a pier to realize that in most coastal areas rain showers can , and often do , develop every day. Fortunately most are short lived and with a little preparation you can continue to fish while others go home to dry off.

The first thing I'd like to recommend is a good rain suit. Not just any rain suit will do because in my experience the cheap poncho type rain suits don't last and don't keep you dry. Lightweight rain suits made of tough breathable material are by far the best option and most come with a small bag to store them in. If they are a little too pricey for your budget , nylon lined pvc rain suits are a more affordable option. My advice is to get the best you can because this is an important piece of gear that most serious fishermen will use often.

In warm weather , I like to wear closed toe sandals when I fish. The closed toe protects your feet from flopping fish and flying hooks , while the sandal design allows them to dry quickly after a good soaking. Socks and tennis shoes are a recipe for misery after a rain shower and it also ruins the shoes. On colder days I recommend a good pair of water proof boots if your going to be on a pier , or cleated waders if you plan to fish the surf. An even better option for the surf would be to invest in a pair of high quality convertible waders . Either way , having dry feet will certainly prolong your fishing trip!

Other things to consider are your personal items. Car keys , cell phones , wallets and cameras are all vulnerable to damage from water. For your keyless entry car keys , cell phones and wallets I recommend a simple zippered plastic bag . This will also work for cameras , but if you plan to spend a great deal of time on the water you may want to look into buying a waterproof digital camera. Another option would be to keep a single use disposable waterproof camera in your tackle box.

Regardless of what you do to stay dry , always shake off any excess water and let your gear dry thoroughly before storing it  to prevent mold. Following the manufacturer's recommended cleaning and storage procedures should allow you to get years of use out of your gear.

The rain doesn't bother the fish , be prepared so it doesn't bother you!

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