Avid fishermen just can’t get enough. Believe me, it takes one to know one!
It doesn’t matter if the weather is nice or if it’s absolutely freezing cold. We still need to get out on the water and try to land the big ones. However, whether you’re just hitting the stream in the cold or you’re heading on an ice fishing expedition it’s imperative that you take the proper precautions so that you don’t run into trouble with the low temperatures of the elements.
Hypothermia is a serious thing, and it’s not something you even want to risk when you’re fishing in the cold. If you ever got hurt you could quickly go from comfortable to freezing, and in bad situations that could result in the loss of a limb or worse – the loss of a life. We all sacrifice a lot for fishing, but we don’t want to do anything that would bring our ability to fish another day into jeopardy.
It goes without saying that proper preparation is key if you’re going to be fishing in the cold weather. Of course, if you’re ice fishing in a hut you may be a little better off, as there are plenty of ways to keep your shed warm cheaply.
However, assuming you don’t have a shed to count on, try to wear plenty of layers as this will keep you from feeling bulky with a heavy coat. As fishermen we have to be fairly mobile and nimble. You’re best off going with more layers of thinner clothing for increased mobility. On the plus side, if you end up overheating you can always remove a layer or two so you can feel just right.
Waterproofing is essential to fishing in the cold weather as well. As soon as your clothes get wet, you’re toast. Think ahead and bring waders, waterproof boots, and a poncho to cover your torso. It may seem like overkill, but when you’re nice and dry when the world around you gets wet, you’ll be happy you came prepared.
Don’t be a dummy and go without a hat or a nice set of gloves either. Keeping your extremities warm is just as important as the rest of your body. Even though we need to work with our hands when fishing, it’s important to keep our fingers covered or they’ll be the first to freeze in the chilling wind.
Aside from dressing for the occasion, it’s a good idea to pack for the occasion with plenty of things to keep your comfort level high. Keep a pack of hand warmers in your bag, they have a long expiration date and they can be life savers in a pinch. Bring along a thermos with your favorite warm beverage for when the chill starts to set in to your bones. I can’t advocate drinking alcohol while fishing in potentially dangerous situations (encourage you to be smart when you’re in such situations), but legend has it that a flask of whisky helps make the body feel warm from the inside.