Fishing Safety Tips: Selecting Clothes

By Andy Whitcomb

Oct 05, 2015

Fall is a great time to go fishing and boating.

Fall is a great time to go fishing and boating. The fish are biting, temperatures are cooler, and the fall foliage show, well underway in many parts of the country, makes a spectacular backdrop.

Here are some reasons why you need to select the right clothes for fishing safety during this transitional season:

  1. Sun. Though maybe not quite as intense, the sun still deserves a healthy dose of respect. A full day on or near the water is exposure worthy of protection by wearing long-sleeved sun shirts and wide brimmed hats. After an alarming visit with a dermatologist, Elite Bassmaster Tournament Angler, Brent Chapman even wears sun masks which cover his neck, ears, and most of his face.

  2. Not Sun. Fall can mean some rapid weather changes. It can swing from, “I’m glad I can still wear these shorts” to “Where the heck did I leave my hooded sweatshirt” in just a few minutes. It is a good idea to dress in layers and have something rainproof to ensure fishing safety.

  3. Insects. Don’t let your guard down yet. Even here in Pennsylvania, mosquitoes are still out and those late season pests seem to be a little sneakier. Loose fitting clothing that flaps a little in the breeze, does a good job of discouraging flying, biting insects.

  4. Stealth. There are times when camouflage applies to fishing too. Saltwater fly fishermen may go with a sky-matching, light blue long-sleeved shirt when poling a skiff along the flats to get within casting distance to bonefish or stripers. Elite Bassmaster Alton Jones is careful to change out of his bright sponsor laden uniform to a drab olive shirt when targeting spawning bass in the spring. Low, clear water conditions are another good time to have a shirt that blends with the background. Just because you may be stalking smallmouth bass or carp instead of trout and those fish haven’t moved, don’t think they don’t see you and it isn’t affecting their mood.


My fishing clothes generally are just older clothes on their last stages. Fish don’t seem to mind a little rip or mustard stain. There are some great new moisture wicking, insect and sun protecting fabrics out there but as Brent Chapman shared one of his fishing safety tips, “anything is better than nothing.” So stay prepared this fall with your clothing and these essential fishing safety tips.

Andy Whitcomb
Andy Whitcomb
Andy is an outdoor writer ( and stressed-out Dad has contributed over 380 blogs to since 2011. Born in Florida, but raised on banks of Oklahoma farm ponds, he now chases pike, smallmouth bass, and steelhead in Pennsylvania. After earning a B.S. in Zoology from OSU, he worked in fish hatcheries and as a fisheries research technician at OSU, Iowa State, and Michigan State.