There’s way more to getting ready for a day of fishing than the obvious: Rods, reels, tackle, bait, etc. When out on the water, Mother Nature can throw some real curveballs at ya. Being prepared for these curveballs can be the difference between success and utter failure. There are also tools of the trade that need to be not overlooked when preparing for a day of inshore fishing. Some may be more obvious than others, but regardless, we’re going to go over them anyway, just in case.
When planning a day out on the water, the very first thing you should consider when preparing for your trip is weather. Whether it’s sunny, windy, raining, or overcast you need to be prepared. I ALWAYS wear long-sleeved performance shirts, pants, neck gaiter, gloves and hat to protect me from the sun’s harmful UV rays. These fabrics are typically made from polyester which makes them lightweight and allows them to dry quickly. There is nowhere to hide from the sun on a sunny day. You can also use sunscreen, but as a fisherman, I find that I dislike the greasiness I get from rubbing sunscreen on myself all day. I wear this clothing on all trips; rain, overcast or sunny. It also does well in keeping you from getting wind burnt and also helps keep those nasty bugs at bay. Of course, keeping a rain jacket handy is always a good idea. You never know when a shower will pop up, especially in Florida in the middle of summer.
Now that we have your clothing figured out lets talk about footwear. Footwear may not seem important, but it is. Not only does proper boat shoes help keep the tops of your feet from getting sun burned, but they also provide protection in the chance that you get out of the boat. Inshore fishing for redfish and trout take place in shallow water that are littered with oyster bars. It is not uncommon that you may get out to walk a bar or to push yourself off a shallow sand bar.
A good pair of sunglasses may be the single most important part of your fishing wardrobe. Polarized sunglasses are a must when stalking redfish and trout in the shallows. The polarization in the glasses takes the glare away from the water allowing you to see clearly to the bottom; fish included. It also helps in blocking harmful UV rays to your eyes, making your fishing pastime last into old age. Try to find amber-colored lenses, these are best for shallow water sight fishing.
Regardless of your fishing attire, one important safety measure that goes well with ANY outfit is to make sure you stay hydrated. A cooler with ice is a must have when fishing the vast saltwater flats. Water is your friend, so drink plenty of it. Gatorade or water with electrolytes added is also a good idea. Stay thirsty my friend.
These are all important tips to consider before a day out on the water. If you’re considering going out with a fishing guide, check with them to see what additional items you may need to bring. They will also have a sense of the weather and conditions that you guys can expect while out fishing. As the saying goes: it’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. Tight lines!