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What To Wear On A Fishing Boat? Hot & Cold weather

Fishing on a boat is no stranger to fishing; and a big advantage of fishing from a boat is the distance that you can cover in a short amount of time. Trying out multiple locations throughout the day with a fishing boat is a very important tip that many anglers may not be aware of. Boating offers more fishing chances and helps get closer to different species of fish. Also, once the boat is in the water, the physical work is greatly reduced due to the fact that boat anglers no longer have to carry their belongings and can instead sit, relax and maneuver around to their desired destination.

Accordingly, it is certain that wearing the right clothes is very important to have a good boat fishing time. What to wear while fishing on the boat should ensure the elements of comfort, protection and quick-drying during your stay on the boat for a quality fishing session.


The answer to the question "What to wear on a fishing boat?" is not simple because summertime is the ideal season for fishing while many people like to fish in winter. Fishing is a sport; and like any other sport, wearing the right clothes when you're on a fishing boat will enhance your performance as well as your experience.

a man on a fishing boat


As an angler, you will spend a lot of time on your fishing gear; and it will certainly help you instead of limiting your abilities. 


First of all, what you wear should be comfortable and allow you to move around easily. Fishing operations require standing still for many hours and the ability to retrieve catch without hindrance is also crucial. Fishing isn't about standing still: when you catch a big one and start taking it out, you don't want your clothes to get in the way. Another reason is camouflage. Fish can detect movement and see unnatural patterns outside of the water; so blending in with their surroundings is also key to success in this sport. Besides, the right clothing will protect you from extreme weather conditions. We believe that there is nothing worse than spending a day in cold, wet clothes or suffering a severe sunburn.


To make sure your trip starts off smoothly, we are happy to advise you on the essentials for a fishing trip on the boat. Then it's up to you to decide your preferences and go shopping.


Polarized Sunglasses

Sitting on a boat to catch fish means you will expose your eyes to the sun for a long time. Prolonged exposure to the sun can cause damage to the eyes if exposed enough under unprotected conditions. A quality pair of sunglasses will fix the problem and allow you to see through glare and action. Sunglasses are an essential accessory on any boat fishing trip no matter the temperature.


A good pair of polarized sunglasses can be one of the most useful accessories for a fishing trip as the polarization process reduces the impact of glare caused by the sun's rays hitting the surface. When it comes to water, this means that polarized sunglasses can help you see through the water, as it reduces reflectivity.


Polarized lenses do the best job, but whatever sunglasses you choose need to be comfortable enough to wear all day. When you tilt your head forward, they must not fall or move. Also, the shape needs to match. They should fit the shape of your face, cover your eyes completely, and be static while you move.

a woman is on a fishing boat

Performance long sleeve fishing shirts

The lightweight and quick-drying fabric will likely be your go-to when it comes to warm-weather fishing shirts. Light and breathable is best, but make sure it's also a long-sleeve. We always recommend buying a long-sleeve shirt because it offers better coverage. Moisture-wicking long-sleeve shirts can be ideal for boat fishing in the heat; as the sleeves can help give more protection to your skin from harmful UV rays and help you stay cool, too.


In particular, today's high-performance fishing shirts have UPF protection built right into the fabric. These shirts are specially designed for fishing. Your arms and upper body are protected from the sun, but you won't feel stuffy or hot. These shirts are made to dry quickly and some are stain-resistant, which is a welcome advantage for boat fishing.


You can also pick some funny fishing shirts for an exciting journey. Our advice is to choose the color of your long sleeve fishing shirt depending on the surroundings of your fishing spot. For example, if you are fishing in shallow water, anything that includes green, brown, gray and blue is a good choice to blend in with the environment around your boat.

Hat with brims

It is an obvious fact that a warm sun at sunrise quickly becomes dazzling in hot weather. Therefore, you should bring a hat to cover your eyes and protect your head when you're on a boat. A hat helps protect your face from the sun because it can provide sun protection as well as help you see better in bright sunlight.


Hats with brims will help block the sun and reduce the risk of sunstroke. Make sure it's light and quick-drying to avoid perspiration during the heat-hungry moments but also not from the semi-transparent material. If so, it won't protect you from UV rays. Alternatively, you can also choose a model with a wide brim around the neck for maximum protection for the face and around the neck. In addition to a wide-brimmed hat, choose something breathable; with a chin strap to keep it in place in the breeze because a boat often has no windscreen.

hat to wear on fishing boat


In some cases, you may have to walk long distances to your fishing boat for hours. Therefore, hiking shoes, flip-flops, or rain boots are usually good choices, as they often have a suitable and water-resistant sole. Breathable, waterproof, good-grip shoes are a nice choice to help you stay cool and comfortable. If wearing socks, use thin polyester socks because cotton is not breathable and excessive perspiration will make your socks heavy and soggy. And be aware that when you are on a fishing boat, you will be tilted a bit. So wearing shoes with a good grip is really important. 


Water sandals can be a good footwear choice; as they are specifically designed for use in the water so they have non-slip soles that can help you grip on wet surfaces (can be the boat's floor). They can also help keep your feet cooler than the shoes that come with them. Non-slip, open sandals are a good idea on hot summer days when you don't mind getting your feet wet.


We think that wearing gloves while handling fishing tackle or wearing them while fishing on a boat in the summer may not make much sense. But to protect your hands from sunburn, wearing fishing gloves is a must. You should choose a pair that allows you a full range of motion in both your hands and fingers; so that you can still handle your hooks and strings on the boat.


Some specialized fishing gloves have slots so you can slide your fingertips out without taking them off. So you can buy a fingerless type if you want to hold your hook and bait without losing feeling or you can also buy lightweight gloves with UPF protection.

gloves to wear on fishing boat


When the weather heats up, shorts can be ideal for fishing on a boat, especially if you choose a pair of shorts with lots of pockets. Light, quick-drying shorts can be more practical than regular summer shorts, especially if you're going to be wading in the water. Besides, nylon is also a good material choice because it offers freedom of movement, is light and dries quickly. Additionally, nylon usually doesn't stain or tear easily, and most of these pants are waterproof.


Another good option might be to wear lightweight pants that can convert into shorts, as this can give you more flexibility and may be ideal if the weather is cooler. Having a good pair of fishing pants for hot weather is vital on many levels - they keep you warm and dry as well as protect you from the sun, insects and other pests.

Buff/Face Mask

Masks, sometimes called "pads," are useful at all times of the year. They are popular with sports anglers for their sun protection and are lightweight (polyester) and you quickly forget you're wearing them. In summer, use it to cover your face/neck to protect it from the sun while in winter it will protect you from wind and cold. When it's too hot, you can wet it and wear it to stay cool.


They also protect from bugs and mosquitoes. Masks are cheap, made by many manufacturers, and have similar characteristics. There are some models with built-in UV protection and these cost a little more; and to be honest, masks come in a lot of great designs.

face mask to wear on a fishing boat

Quick-drying underwear

On the boat, you can get wet at any time for any reason (even because it's raining). For example, the boat will sometimes wobble or tilt and the water can easily splash on you. And it's annoying if the underwear inside gets wet, you will definitely not be comfortable with this. 


These days, many companies produce special underwear to ensure comfort when you go fishing. Again, choose quick-drying underwear with water-wicking, anti-odor, and moisture-wicking technology. You will often get salt water splashed on the side of the boat and even have fish splattered on the deck, and it can rain. Getting wet is part of boat fishing; but you don't want to stay wet all day so let's choose quick-drying underwear to ensure quality time spent on your trip more focused on fishing than discomfort.


Rain Gear

Bringing a raincoat on a boat fishing trip in winter is a good idea. Even if the weather forecast says otherwise, unexpected showers are common, especially during the colder months. If using a small boat, then you will not have too much space to shelter from the rain on the boat. Now it's time for raincoat help. 


Today's lightweight, high-tech raincoats take up very little space because it folds up so compactly. The best option is to buy a fishing rain suit. Matching pants and raincoats from the same manufacturer ensure they have the same properties and complement each other. PVC material is cheap and easy to use; but if you move a lot, it will get wet from the inside, due to sweat. High-tech materials, except breathable, are more durable.

rain gear to wear on a fishing boat

Non-skid footwear

We believe that fishing shoes that are waterproof and with a sturdy, non-slip rubber sole are one of the best choices when fishing on a boat in cold weather. Rubber soles work best because they provide good traction and don't slip easily. You can also find thermal fishing boots that can help keep your feet warm. Avoid boots with felt soles as they can attract harmful microorganisms from different watersheds and can wreak havoc on the ecosystem. Because of this, they are even banned in some states.


In winter, wool socks are the best choice. Thick, long socks will help insulate under your boots. There is a fact that fishing socks often have extra cushioning support at the bottom and above the heel. If you feel too cold, you can use summer socks as a base and this will also help to prevent blisters. Fishing shoes in cold weather are really essential notice for what to wear on a fishing boat. 

Wind Breaker

Standing on the boat in cold season, you'll get a lot of wind rushing around and you may catch a cold after the fishing trip. The choice for the first windbreaker is PVC material. It's relatively small when packed so you can take it with you just in case. However, if you move a lot, you will sweat and moisture will collect inside; causing the inner layers of clothing to wet. It will keep the rain out; but there's no point in being protected from the outside if you get wet inside. PVC is a good choice for shorter time use. In addition, PVC has the advantage of being light, flexible and easy to clean.

windbreaker to wear on fishing boat

High-tech, waterproof and breathable materials are also favored. Materials like gore-tex are warmer, more durable, and they will allow moisture from within to evaporate. If you wonder what to wear on a fishing boat under heavy rain/winter, you should consider this option. Both materials are completely waterproof as well as windproof.

Fishing Gloves

Gloves are important for colder seasons. It helps keep your hands warm in cold weather. They can be made of different materials, such as neoprene. Good gloves often have finger enhancements to protect the glove from wear during casting. Gloves are a piece of “heavy” equipment that most anglers avoid if possible. But once you get used to them, it won't matter if you wear them all day. 


Waterproof gloves can be in two layers. The inner layer is for warmth, like fleece or wool; and the outer layer is water/wind resistant, made of gore-tex or similar materials. They must be able to squeeze around your wrist to keep the water out.

Keeping-warm hat

Most of the body's heat will lost through the head. There is also much wind blowing through your ears when you're on the boat. So, in cold weather, a fleece or beanie hat will help keep your head, ears and neck warm in cold weather. Wearing a keeping-warm hat in some cases can be more practical than a scarf when on boat fishing; because it will likely be less bulky and more comfortable to move around.


An ear cap can also help prevent your ears from cold winds and make you a bit more comfortable in cold weather conditions. Alternatively, you can put a waterproof hood that is usually part of the jacket.

warm hat on a fishing boat

Waterproof Pants

Fishing waterproof pants are with the purpose of keeping anglers dry. When water splashes over the boat, the feet will be the first part to get wet in many cases; so fishing pants that are waterproof are necessary. When it comes to your bottoms, you want them to be comfortable, warm and waterproof. And we can't stress the waterproof part enough. You'll be outside for long periods of time for boat fishing, get splashed with water; and it could rain (different from the weather forecast) so you don't want your legs or feet to get any wet. That's why there's reliable waterproof protection to cover your feet as well as your legs from cold and moisture. 


Besides, when fishing on the boat in erratic weather, you can also choose for yourself a pair of fishing waterproof pants to wear with the ability to easily convert your trousers into shorts with the zip-off design. This will bring flexibility and great benefits to you when fishing on the boat.

waterproof pants to wear on a fishing boat trip

Long/Warm underwear

Besides the fishing waterproof pants above, another must-have item for fishermen who fish in the cold weather is a pair of long underwear with good heat retention. Insulation is key because when on a boat fishing trip you'll be out all day, with nothing but clothes to keep you warm. For materials, we believe fleece and wool are the best for this purpose. If you don't like wearing long underwear, tight pants can also work. When the temperature drops and you're wondering what to wear on a fishing boat, take light long underwear. Pair them with wool socks and you'll stay warm and dry without feeling constricted.


Sunscreen: Make sure you get a product that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. You need to use a sunscreen that applies to all exposed parts of your skin and then reapplied about every two hours. Wearing sunscreen is very important when you are out fishing because even if you are wearing protective clothing, the sun can still penetrate your skin. Waterproof sunscreen will keep you away from melasma and keep your skin feeling more comfortable.


Swimsuit: When on a boat and driving to beautiful water places, you may want to go swimming as well. Fishing can slow down and then you may want to take a dip or snorkel. If the fish stops biting, you may want to take a dip in the water to cool off and be aware of safety concerns before doing so.


Dry pouch/Dry bag: It's always a nice idea to store your electronics, wallet, and other important items in a dry bag. It's a good idea to bring a small waterproof ziplock bag for your important personal documents and electronics. When you're not using your phone or camera, be sure to keep it in a waterproof bag - along with your wallet, purse, and car keys.


Fish Bag & Cooler with Ice: It can take a long time to return to your vehicle if you are carrying a heavy load of fish. Insulated fish cooler bags make them easy to carry while keeping your fish cold and fresh. Keeping your catch on ice will prevent premature spoilage from the heat.


Food and Drink: You can also bring some snacks and drinks because sitting for a long time on a boat can make you a bit hungry and thirsty. Just as important as what to wear is what to bring, drinks and snacks will keep you energized and alert during your fishing trip.


Life jacket & First aid kit: In case you have a problem on the boat, for example, a health problem or an injury caused by the sharp teeth of the fish you caught, a first aid kit is really helpful. 


These wearings, no doubt, are really a long list. Because of that fact, to help things much easier to memorize, we have created an infographic including some most indispensable items you will need to wear when going for a boat fishing trip.

checklist fishing boat trip

Boat fishing clothing is designed to differ from everyday wear for a reason, and improper clothing can ruin your boat fishing experience. In short, what to wear on a fishing boat should meet the criteria of comfort, protection, lightness and quick drying. Whether you're a beginner in need of advice or a seasoned angler looking to upgrade your wardrobe, what to wear on a fishing boat is a topic worth your time and research.


However, don't intimidate by the sheer amount of information we've shared. You don't have to buy an entire wardrobe right away, it's something you'll build up over time to have great boat fishing sessions. Start slow with the basics we've outlined in the list and work your way up. What to wear on a fishing boat is not too difficult a question, and you can always come back to this article to double-check our recommendations. Protection Status