Rain, wind and cold

Fishing is an outdoor sport. Sometimes the weather is perfect. More often, however, it’s tough in one way or another. After everything’s said and done we’re at the mercy of Mother Nature. Savvy anglers know that and learn to deal with it.

Three nasty conditions are common. Here’s how I deal with them.


Over the years I’ve worn every rain suit ever made, at least I think I have. My honest opinion is that Under Armour makes the best one available. That’s not to criticize any of the others or to denigrate them. There’s some good stuff out there. Still, I stand by what I said.


In the interest of full disclosure I am sponsored by Under Armour. That’s not why I recommend their products. It’s why I accepted their sponsorship. Whichever suit you purchase it should be made with Gore-Tex. It’s the most waterproof material I know about.

Your head is of special importance in the rain. If your head gets wet, you’ll be miserable all day. I suggest a Gore-Tex hood or hat. A hood is better. It’ll keep the rain from running down your neck and onto your back. If that’s not possible, I recommend you carry 5 or 6 hats and swap them out as they get wet.

The same thing is true of your feet. There are a number of shoes that are Gore-Tex lined. Buy them and wear them. And always have a dry, spare with you.

I’ve saved my thoughts about gloves until the end because it’s complicated. I don’t know that any pair of gloves is perfect. That’s especially true if you’re looking for waterproof ones. The best ones I’ve found are the running gloves made by Under Armour. They work as well as anything I’ve ever used.

Regardless of all that, make sure you keep your hands dry, and always carry two or three pairs of gloves. The water from your reel will soak almost any pair on the market.

Another word of caution: Don’t get wet when the air temperature is in the 40s and 50s. If you do, come back to the dock immediately. That’s a perfect scenario for hypothermia.


My honest opinion is that the only way to learn to handle a boat in the wind or to make accurate casts in it without backlashing is to spend time fishing. You can’t learn it by reading columns and you can’t out think it.

Even when you get frustrated by the wind, though, keep something in mind: The wind is your friend. It almost always makes the bass bite.

A word of caution: High winds can be extremely dangerous. Some lakes are more prone to wind problems than others. I strongly suggest that you learn about any lake you’re going to fish. Find out when it gets difficult — wind direction and speed — and then pay attention to the weather.


It’s all about layers. Start with long underwear of some sort. My preference is Under Armour Base 3.0. It fits tight, stays dry and keeps you warm as toast. An outer shell that breaks the wind is also critical. Nothing will keep you warm if the wind is penetrating the clothes you’re wearing.

I have a circulatory issue called Raynaud’s Syndrome so I’m especially careful with my hands and feet. I use lots of hand warmers and, at times, adhesive medical heat patches. (Put them on the backs of your hands and the tops of your feet.)

Cold weather gloves are just like rain gloves. Pick the pair that keeps you warm but at the same time allows you to fish. That’s not going to be easy. I wear insulated ski mittens when I drive the boat. That way I can leave my fishing gloves on my hands. That combination totally cuts the wind. I also keep hand warmers in the mittens so they are like a toaster when you put your hands in them.

And don’t forget about your head. There must be a hundred good hats on the market. The key is to keep your head and neck covered since a lot of your heat is lost through those areas. I often wear a ball cap or beanie with my hood over it. That covers you and keeps the heat in.

Tip: Before you leave the house in the morning change into a pair of fresh underwear and a fresh tee shirt. Underclothing picks up body moisture during the night while you’re sleeping. It’ll freeze you to death if it’s really cold outside, especially if they’re made from cotton. If you think that sounds silly, try it a few times this winter.

Don’t let the elements get the better of you. Prepare properly before you leave the dock.

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