Go Ahead, Make My Shade

At work, I often can be found roasting in an Oklahoma field wearing just a short-sleeved t-shirt with a bandana tied around my head. At play (generally fishing), frequently in shorts and sandals, I may be even less covered against the sun that is intensified by the reflective water. Though always wearing sunscreen, I have a tendency to lose track of time and end up staying out on the water longer than intended.

One of the things I look for when fishing on a hot sunny day, is shade. And not just for my heat relief. It is no coincidence that the shady side of docks and under piers, lily pads, and logs are great hangouts and ambush points for bass during hot, bright days.

Bassmaster Elite Brent Chapman, 2012 Bassmaster Angler of the Year, wisely wears sun protection too. Besides a yearly check with a dermatologist, his sunglasses, sunscreen, sun hat, gloves, face cover, and long-sleeved shirts are all part of his arsenal against sun exposure in his profession.

“I prefer to wear comfortable shirts when I am out on the water,” he shared. “The high-tech, moisture-wicking sun shirts from the fly-fishing industry are so comfortable, they have really spoiled me to a point where it’s hard to wear anything cotton. As a kid I used to go out on the lake shirtless a lot, but now that my job has me on the water 200 plus days a year I need to stay protected from the sun’s harmful rays.”

There have been some great advancements in sun-protecting clothing and even long-sleeved sun shirts can be surprisingly cool and light. As dapper and sage as he may be, with the innovations in sun shielding, I guess I’ll have to come up with a different excuse to dress like Clint Eastwood.

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Andy Whitcomb

Andy Whitcomb

Andy is an outdoor writer (http://www.justkeepreeling.com/) and stressed-out Dad has contributed over 380 blogs to takemefishing.org 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.