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What To Wear When Going Fishing

Mark Armstrong
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When you’re planning a fishing trip, knowing what to wear can be more important than you might think and can mean the difference between an average fishing trip and a great one. But it can be difficult to know what to wear fishing if you’ve never been before.

Or even if you have, you may want to know how to dress more suitably for the conditions so you can spend more time fishing and less time feeling uncomfortable. 

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So with that in mind, we’ve put together a quick guide to help you out no matter what the weather’s like – but just remember to check the weather before you head out.

How To Dress In Hot Weather

Polarized Sunglasses

A good pair of polarized sunglasses can be one of the most useful accessories for a fishing trip. The polarization process reduces the effects of glare caused by the sun’s rays bouncing off a surface. When it comes to water, this means that polarized sunglasses can help you see through the water, as the reflection is reduced.

As well as letting you see more clearly, sunglasses can help to protect your eyes and the area around your eyes from the damaging UV rays emitted by the sun. It’s a good idea to make sure your sunglasses state that they offer UV protection.

A rating of UV400 means the sunglasses should block 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays.


No matter what clothes you’re wearing, you will likely still need added protection from sunscreen.

This should be applied to all exposed parts of your skin and then reapplied roughly every two hours.

> Read our full guide to sun protection


A hat that helps to protect your face from the sun can be useful, as it can offer sun protection as well as help you see more clearly in bright sunshine.

One that shields your neck, such as a wide brimmed sun hat or baseball cap with a neck cover, can give you added protection against sunburn.

The best fishing hats


Probably one of the most important features on your fishing shoes will be the sole, as you will want a sturdy sole that has good grip on wet, slippery surfaces.

Water sandals could be a good choice of footwear, as they are specifically designed for use in the water so they have non-slip soles that can give you traction on wet surfaces. They can also help to keep your feet cool compared to enclosed shoes.

However, enclosed shoes could offer you better foot protection. Breathable, waterproof shoes with good grip should be a good choice to help keep you cool and comfortable.

> Water shoes guide


When the weather heats up, shorts can be ideal for fishing, especially if you opt for a pair that has lots of pockets. Lightweight, quick-drying shorts might be more practical than regular summer shorts, especially if you plan to wade into the water.

Another good option might be to wear lightweight pants that can convert to shorts, as this can give you more versatility and can be ideal if the weather cools down.


Lightweight fabric that’s quick to dry will likely be your go-to when it comes to warm weather fishing shirts. Long sleeve moisture-wicking shirts can be ideal for fishing in the hot sun, as the sleeves can help to protect more of your skin from harmful UV rays and can help to keep you cool.

How To Dress In Cool Or Cold Weather

Fishing Gloves

Fishing gloves can be helpful in keeping your hands warm in cold weather. But they can also be ideal for handling fish. It can be a good idea to opt for a pair that can allow you full movement of your hands and fingers so that you can still operate your reel and handle your hooks and line.

Fingerless gloves can be a good choice if you’re worried about tying hooks and whatnot, as you should have the same freedom of movement of your fingers compared to not wearing gloves.

Sunglasses (again)

Even though the temperature might not be warm, if the sun is shining, it can still be pretty bright. And polarized sunglasses can be ideal in helping you to see under the water without being blinded by the sun’s reflection.


Moisture-wicking layers can be just as useful in cold weather as they are in hot weather. A base layer can help to keep moisture away from your skin and can help to prevent heat loss from your body.

Video: Guide To Layering For Cold Weather Fishing

A fleece or wool layer over your base layer can help to insulate. Remember you may also want to layer your socks in the same way if the weather is particularly cold.

A neoprene wetsuit might be useful under your clothes if you plan on wading or if you are kayak fishing or canoeing.

> Difference between a wet and drysuit

If the weather is not too cold and the conditions are in your favor, you can also fish wearing just the wetsuit, without requiring other layers, which might be beneficial if you want to swim to otherwise inaccessible spots.


A warm hooded jacket that’s windproof and waterproof can be a good choice, along with insulated waterproof pants or coveralls. Snowsuits can be ideal if you can’t find suitable winter fishing outerwear. You may want to wear long underwear or leggings underneath the pants for added warmth.

If it’s not icy cold, you may find you don’t need as much insulation as a snowsuit. An insulated windbreaker jacket that’s water resistant can be ideal, and if it has plenty of pockets for lines and lures then it can be even more useful.

> Fishing backpacks guide

Hat (again)

A warm hat, along with a scarf or fishing buff can help to keep your head, ears and neck warm in cold weather. A buff might be more practical than a scarf because it’ll likely be less bulky and more comfortable for moving around.

Hats that cover your ears might also help to protect your ears from the cold wind and keep you feeling a little more comfortable in wintry conditions. But if your hat is not waterproof, the hood on your jacket can act as a waterproof barrier.

> Best PFDs on the market


Fishing boots that are waterproof and have a sturdy, non-slip rubber sole can be one of the best choices when it comes to cold weather fishing. You might also find thermal fishing boots that can help keep your feet warm.

But bootfoot fishing waders may also be a good choice, as this can combine your boots and your waterproof pants in one, helping to keep you warm and dry, even while standing in the water.

However, remember to consider that you might be wearing additional socks or thicker socks and so you may require a larger sized boot than your standard shoe size.

As well as being able to keep your feet dry, it can be just as important that your footwear is comfortable to wear and walk in. Remember that you may have to hike to your fishing hole and you’ll probably be wearing them for hours at a time.

Help! My Boyfriend Wants Me To Go Fishing! What Should I Wear?!

So you’ve agreed to go fishing and you have no clue what to wear. Relax. You probably don’t have to go out and buy a whole new fishing wardrobe (unless you really want to). But there are a couple of things you might want to think about.

Waterproof Clothing

Whether it’s warm or cold, waterproof clothing can be beneficial for any fishing trip, particularly when it comes to outerwear and footwear.

Remember you’ll likely be outside in the elements for a significant length of time and you may not be anywhere near a shelter, so a waterproof jacket with a hood is a good idea if there’s a chance it might rain or if it’s cold.


Just as your boyfriend will probably be doing, layer up underneath your jacket, with clothes that can easily be removed or added if the weather changes. It can also be a good idea to pack a dry change of clothes just in case you need them during your trip. The number of layers you’ll need will probably depend on the weather.

Whether you wear shorts or pants is up to you and the weather but keep your clothing muted in color. Safari colors can be cute and ideal, as bright colors can be offensive to fish (and your boyfriend if your bright shirt scares his fish away).

Comfortable Footwear

As well as opting for waterproof footwear, it’s probably a good idea that your shoes are comfortable and that you’re able to walk in them over wild terrain.

Hiking shoes, duck boots or rain boots can often be good options, as they will usually have a suitable sole and are often waterproof or water resistant.


Accessories can be important for any outfit and, in that respect, fishing outfits are no different. Sunglasses can be a good idea in bright weather. And if you want to reduce glare from the water and help your partner spot fish under the water (or spot them for yourself to catch) then polarized sunglasses might be better.

Whether it’s cold or warm, a hat can be ideal when you’re spending time outdoors: a warm hat for the winter and a wide brimmed hat or baseball cap to keep the sun off in the summer.

Wrapping Up

Fishing can be exciting in any season and all weathers but it can be more fun if you feel comfortable while you’re out there. Remember to dress for the weather and look for quick-drying fabrics and waterproof outerwear and footwear, no matter what the season.

Is there an item of clothing that you just can’t live without while you’re fishing or something you wish you’d had with you on your last fishing trip? Let us know about it. And before you head off to organize your fishing wardrobe, share this with your followers to help them out on their next fishing adventure.

6 thoughts on “What To Wear When Going Fishing”

  1. It was helpful when you talked about how polarized sunglasses can make it easier to spot fish by reducing glare. My husband wants to take me on a fishing trip next month because we both agree we want to spend more time outdoors together. Thanks for teaching me how to dress and accessorize to enhance the experience for us!

  2. Thanks for the tip to choose footwear that’s waterproof or water-resistant to help us stay comfortable. My brother wants to go on a night fishing charter with my husband and me for his birthday this summer. The tips you shared here should help the trip be as enjoyable as possible for all of us!

  3. I like your suggestion to bring a hooded, waterproof jacket to make sure we can stay comfortable and warm in any weather conditions. My husband and I both agree that we need to spend more time outdoors, and we think it’d be fun to go on a fishing charter trip together within the next month or so. I’m glad I read your article so I can use your tips to make the trip as enjoyable as possible for us!

  4. That makes sense that you would need enclosed shoes when fishing. That way no water gets in. I’ll have to make sure I get rain boots for fly fishing.


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