For many first-time boat owners, and those taking up the sport of fishing, the question often comes up: What should be worn for a day out on the water? While many factors exist, such as temperature, the chance of rain, and what type of fishing you’re doing. In general, picking out good close to wear is simple and can be repeatedly used trip after trip—no need to stock up on fishing clothes. 


Depending on the season, the climate can change significantly. Here in the South, we certainly enjoy hot, muggy summer weather, but the winters can be cold with strong winds. 

  • In summer months, a polyester shirt allows for breathability and excellent sun protection.
  • Select a wide brim hat and polarized sunglasses with a strap to avoid losing them in the water.
  • Lightweight quick-drying pants or shorts will do. 
  • Faceshield to reduce sun exposure.
  • In all cases, sunscreen!


Can You Wear Flip Flops On A Boat

When it comes to footwear, many wonder can you wear flip flops? While the answer is yes, understand the risks. 

  • Flip flops typically do not provide the best traction, so you are more likely to slip and fall on wet decks.
  • Your feet are exposed and subject to being stuck with flying hooks or fish spines.
  • Face it, flip flops break often. You may end up shoeless by the end of the day.

adult beach enjoyment fat
Photo by VisionPic .net on

How To Stay Cool On A Boat

It is easy to succumb to the summer’s heat when roasting under the sun on a boat. Here are some ways to keep cool.

  • Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water throughout the day.
  • Stow ice packs and wrap them a towel to place on the back of your neck.
  • Try to remain under any shade possible.


What To Wear On A Boat When Its Cold

In the winter, you may face bitter temperatures and will need to bundle up.

  • Layered cotton shirts, undershirt, warm sweater, and a jacket to break the wind. 
  • Winter hat and gloves. Try to keep the gloves dry by removing them when handling fish.
  • A face cover to help avoid windburn
  • Heavy thick pants such as jeans.
  • Warm socks and sneakers to keep your feet warm

What To Wear On The Boat In The Rain

For the diehard fisherman, rain doesn’t keep you back at the house. Remaining dry while targeting your favorite species is undoubtedly possible. A fun day can quickly turn miserable, sitting in wet attire for the day.

  • Bring along foul weather gear. Foul weather gear is available as both a jacket and pants to keep the clothes underneath completely dry. Remember to put them on before the rain starts. Sitting in soaked clothes all day is less than ideal.
  • Pack a change of clothes in the event you inadvertently get wet.
  • Use dry storage boxes for safekeeping of your cell devices, wallet, and other valuable belongings.
  • If possible, but first, check with local laws anchor the vessel under a bridge and fish the structure it’s made of

What To Wear Fishing Inshore vs Offshore

We all know inshore versus offshore fishing in the southern states is significantly different. The attire worn 80 miles offshore can differ from bass fishing a lake in your backyard. 

  • Offshore waters leave you exposed to high seas with constant sea spray. Weather Bibs are an excellent solution to remaining mostly dry. Bibs are pants that extend halfway up your chest with straps wrapping around the tops of your shoulders and buckling in the front.
  • In the unlikely event of a man overboard situation, brightly colored clothing, particularly for offshore anglers, will help rescue efforts when conditions are less than ideal. 
  • While lake boaters can choose bright-colored clothing, for the most part, the waters will be calm and even allow the possibility of swimming to shore. 
  • If you’re an offshore troller, catching pelagic fish can become extremely bloody. Sling a 30-pound Mahi-Mahi on the deck, and you will quickly be showered in blood. This is another good reason to wear bibs as the blood and guts can promptly be rinsed away without staining nice clothing. 

The essential elements to selecting what to wear for your day of fishing should be based on the weather. If its cold, dress warm; if it’s sunny and hot, cover your skin with breathable fabric; if it is rainy, stay dry. Remember, its not a fashion statement but rather to be comfortable while you’re loading up your boat with tonight’s dinner!