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Heading out on a fishing trip is almost guaranteed to be a good time, but wearing the wrong clothing can ruin your day. There are so many things to consider when hitting the water that it can be overwhelming and result in key things getting left behind or packing way too heavy. To help you be prepared and comfortable on your next fishing trip, we have broken down the most common conditions you will find on the water.

What to Wear on a Fishing Trip

Watch the Weather & Plan Accordingly

Along with clothing, the weather and overall climate of the area will play a big role in how you prepare for a trip. The weather in the Florida Keys is always warm, but winter in North Carolina can get very cold. In places like Hawaii, heading out on the water has a good chance of finding some rain on any given day.

This just goes to show that despite the season, the weather you experience can vary, and every location has its weather patterns. Keeping a close eye on the weather forecast leading up to and after your trip is the best way to make sure you are dressed for the right conditions.

Warm Weather

As both the hottest time of year to go fishing and the most popular, summer can be tricky to dress for. A swimsuit is a good choice as a base for summer fishing because it’s not going to make you hot and also makes getting in the water to cool off easy. Swimsuits work well for dealing with the heat, but when the boat is moving the wind can make you cold.

Warm Weather

It’s a good idea to wear some clothes over your swimsuit like a T-shirt or coverup and shorts. This lets you stay warm during the boat ride, jump in to cool off, and makes getting wet from ocean spray no big deal. For protection from the sun pack lots of sunscreen, wear a hat, and consider wearing long sleeves. Lightweight long sleeve hoodies are becoming more and more popular for their protection from the sun and ability to keep you comfortable in the heat and wind.

Cold Weather

Winter fishing can be hard because you need to stay warm but also be prepared for getting wet occasionally. As with all cold weather activities dressing in layers is important. This will let you regulate temperature but also gives you the option to shed a layer if you get wet.

Cold Weather

Three layers consisting of a shirt, flannel or sweatshirt, and a jacket will be good enough for most areas. A jacket that is water repellant or waterproof is an ideal outer layer but it’s not necessary. Most pants will be sufficient as long as they are full length and will keep you warm. Hats are great for keeping you warm but make sure you bring sunscreen for your face if you go with a beanie.


Wind can be harsh, making you cold on hot days or leaving your skin burning after being exposed to a gale all day. The best protection from the wind is wearing long sleeves for your arms and a gator to protect your face and neck. Depending on the weather wearing a windbreaker jacket and or pants can be very helpful. As a bonus the same gear that protects you from the wind will also protect you from the sun.


Rain is difficult to plan for but in some areas it’s inevitable. Waterproof fabric like GORE-TX is the best option when it comes to handling getting wet. Whether it’s rain or ocean spray having waterproof outer layers will keep you focused on catching fish rather than staying warm and dry. If you don’t see rain in the forecast it still might be a good idea to bring rain gear if you have space.

Rain Gear

What Should I Wear On My Feet?

Your feet are the most likely part of your body to get wet on a fishing trip with fish, waves, weather, and hoses all bring water onboard. Some people can get away with tennis shoes on bigger boats but nobody likes soggy feet. For cold weather, shoes that offer some ability to shed water will be a safe bet like deck boots or bean boots. Warm weather is much easier with any shoe that doesn't hold water being a good option. The best warm weather shoes are crocs, secure sandals, or nothing at all. Going barefoot on deck can depend on the boat but in some places it’s required in order to keep the boat clean. Ultimately the most important thing is to be comfortable so pick the shoes that will keep you focused on the fish.

Suiting up For a Fishing Trip

Being prepared and having the right clothes will keep you comfortable which let’s you get more out of your trip. Keeping an eye on the weather is crucial for planning what you’re going to wear because it can be dramatically different from one spot to the next. Make sure you always bring something warm even in the summer when getting wet and dealing with wind can make you cold. Always remember to protect yourself from the sun with long sleeves and sunscreen. Regardless of the temperature you can still get sunburn and that can easily ruin anybody's day. If you stick to these simple guidelines you will be prepared for any fishing trip wherever you go.

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