While beaches may empty out toward the winter in the colder regions, farther south, in the Southeast and Gulf Coast region for instance, winter means just the opposite—beaches packed with locals and tourists. For surf anglers up north, the winter beach can be a paradise of solo casting to hungry fish. For those on beaches further south, winter fishing offers a unique opportunity to hook exotic species migrating to warmer waters, though tourists may be crowding the beaches and the water.
So, when the mercury drops, dig out one of your warm men fishing shirts and hit the beach, or scout out a secluded fishing spot away from the tourism rush. Here are a few tips on how to keep the beach life alive even in a chillier season.
Keep Your Top Half Protected
Layering is the foundation of dressing warm. Whether up north or down south, staying dry is essential to warmth, and is best accomplished by wearing waterproof gear over fast-drying performance fabrics. A high-quality, long sleeve fishing shirt for men or women that’s breathable and moisture-wicking is a perfect layer anytime of year. Additionally, a waterproof outer shell is always a good winter precaution, especially down south where the weather can be as ornery as the fish, and you’ll need layers to customize how much warmth you get. Beneath that, a cotton shirt is great if you don’t plan to be standing in the surf—opt for high-quality performance polyester if that’s a risk or you’re prone to working up a sweat.
Dress for the Activity & Weather
Up north, a winter wetsuit can be a great under-layer for surf fishing, though even climbing into a dry suit can sometimes be called for. If it’s more of a bonfire, beer, and cooking your catch situation than it is a standing-in-the-surf day, consider bringing wood to burn as the wood on or near the beach may be wet. A trusty warm hoodie is also never a bad item to pack to stay comfortable beachside.
Have the Right Accessories
Of course, it’s important to protect your eyes with high-performance polarized sunglasses anytime of year. An adjustable and fitted hat is likewise a great accessory for any day on the beach or on the water.
Food, Shelter, and Taking a Seat
Since the beach, specifically the sand part, gets cold in the winter, it’s best to keep your body out of contact with it. To avoid losing body heat to the sand, take a seat with you. Even an inexpensive camp chair is greatly preferable to nothing at all.
The best beach food to bring depends pretty heavily on the preferences and plans of the beach-goer. For a warm evening bonfire party down south, pack a cooler with finger-foods you can easily cook over the fire. For fishing in the cold surf, consider protein and energy bars, trail mix in well-sealed baggies, and anything else that will provide your body with the nutrition it needs to keep you warm and energized.
Last, setting up a tent provides an unbeatable windbreak and a place to dip into if the chill or wind outside becomes a bit much. But most importantly: Stay safe and have fun!
About Reel Life™
Were you #RaisedOnTheWater? For the folks at Reel Life™, being raised on the water is a state of mind shared by everyone who feels the pull of the world’s oceans, beaches, rivers, and lakes. The essence of living the Reel Life™ means seeking and appreciating adventures both on and near the water. Whether your adventures are fishing, whitewater rafting, boating, kayaking, or kicking back on the beach with friends and a cold drink, Reel Life™ has the clothes and accessories to keep you cool and comfortable. Originally raised on the water in Florida, the Reel Life™ team is committed to ensuring you look great and stay protected from the elements with a terrific selection of gear including fishing shirts for men and women.
Keep it “reel” with Reel Life™, at www.reellifegear.com