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What to Wear on a Deep Sea Fishing Trip

The coastal waters of Destin, Florida are known for their beauty and the abundance of saltwater game fish that provide for a luxurious seafood cuisine. There is no doubt that Destin is a dreamland for vacationers. Planning a deep sea fishing trip is a must, for those who seek to make memories that will last a lifetime. Now that you have your deep sea fishing adventure scheduled, let’s talk safety, comfort, and functionality while your packing your saltwater ensemble.

When planning your wardrobe for deep sea fishing, consideration should be given to the elements of your environment, your safety, and the time of year in which you have scheduled your adventure.

You wouldn’t run the 5K in a pair of thick Wrangler jeans and slick cowboy boots, just like you wouldn’t swim across the bay in a jogging suit and sneakers. Deep sea fishing is a sport, and like any other sport, dressing appropriately will enhance your performance, as well as your experience.

Scenery photos taken aboard the Finest Kind September 2015.

 What to Consider Before Choosing Your Deeps Sea Fishing Attire

 The Sunshine State!

Florida’a nickname is “The Sunshine State” for good reason. Destin is a miraculous location with white, sandy beaches, emerald water, and year-round sunshine. With these beautiful geographical features, there is no wonder why Destin often tops the charts as one of the best vacation spots in America. The beautiful scenery will have you wanting to spend most of your vacation outdoors, so be prepared to protect your skin from sunburn. The sun is much stronger in Florida than in northern states, and the ultraviolet (UV) rays can pierce straight through the clouds. The sun also reflects off of white sand and water, which poses a higher risk of sunburn for those who are not properly prepared. In addition to sunscreen, a good rule of thumb is to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays with hats, sunglasses, and UV shielding attire. Those who prepare for the sun’s intensity before deep sea fishing tend to enjoy the experience more, and eliminate the chances of discomfort from sunburn during or after their day in the Gulf of Mexico.

Is Water Wet?

During your deep sea fishing excursion, your environment will be atop a body of water known as the Gulf of Mexico. With Destin’s frequent rain showers, splashes of saltwater propelled aboard your vessel by the breeze, and wild game fish splashing about the deck, the chances of getting wet are great. Though charter boats are generally outfitted with a cabin, rain showers should never have you running indoors to keep from getting wet. Likewise, a splash of water from the side of the boat is not a reason to change clothes. Dress appropriately for this experience, and embrace the saltwater as you explore the sea with Destin’s finest. Worrying about how to keep dry may even dampen your mood. The best way to avoid focusing on the discomfort imposed from a wet pair of jeans is to choose quick-dry materials that are made to flow with the demands of the fisherman’s atmosphere.

The wet atmosphere of the harbor, dock, and gulf should also be considered as you are deciding which shoes to wear. Even if the deck is coated with non-slip grip, the moisture, fish slime, and bait could cause a fall of epic proportions if you are not prepared with anti-slip technology on your soles. When reeling in your catch, the last thing that you want to be worried about is whether or not your shoes will cause you to lose your rod and reel overboard from a slipping accident. As long as you have a good rubber sole, you should be great. However, keep in mind that slip on sandals can easily be slipped off, so avoid anything that is not secure around your feet. In addition to maintaining your footing, your feet should be offered the same consideration, if not more, in remaining dry.

Whether the Weather! 

For warmer months, a swimsuit and t-shirt should be fine, if you don’t mind remaining wet throughout your trip. However, quick-dry materials offer anglers an opportunity to experience saltwater fishing without the discomfort that water imposes on garments sticking to the skin while you are actively moving around the boat to reel in your big catch.

During colder months, remember that the temperature drops a few degrees away from the shore. Layers of quick-dry material will enhance your fishing experience by offering the comfort deserved for such an occasion. In addition to your layers of quick-dry material, plan for a drizzle, or two. They never last long, but pop-up rain showers are common in the Destin area. Bring a poncho or rain jacket to prepare for the possibility of encountering an outdoor shower while deep sea fishing.

Fish Hug’n, Scale Love’n, Good Times!

That’s right folks! You are very likely to hug some fish when you go deep sea fishing during your Destin, Florida vacation. How else can you get those traditional “Hero Shot” photos? Leave the Gucci and Prada packed up, because getting a little messy is part of the fun in deep sea fishing! Though the mates will help with most of the dirty work, you’ll get the itching to bait your own hook, grab a fish, or pose  in an up-close and personal style with your catch! Aside from their exquisite appearances and delicious flavors  saltwater fish can be slimy, scaly, all together messy at times. Prepare for the mess by wearing clothes and shoes that are either stain resistant, or pieces that you may consider “play clothes.” Grown-ups have them, too!

Sixteen Top Picks for What to Wear Deep Sea Fishing

1. A wide-brimmed hat is suggested to battle the sun’s reflection on the water top. In addition to a wide-brim, go for something that is breathable, has a chin strap to keep it in place amidst the breeze, and is made of a quick-dry material to avoid sweat drenching during heated moments of reeling in the big one. Try something like this Columbia Bora Bora Booney II Hat.

2. Polarized sunglasses are great for protecting your eyes from UV rays, as well as the sun’s reflection on the water. If you are new to deep sea fishing, save your Costas for the dock, and pick up some cheap polarized sunglasses. Try these Duduma Polarized Sports Sunglasses.

3. Whether it is mid-summer or mid-winter, you’re going to want to choose a shirt with a quick-dry material. Check out this Sailfish Water Wicking Shirt from Shore Thing.

4. How about this classic favorite, PFG BAHAMA™ II LONG SLEEVE SHIRT by Columbia?

Both shirts are designed with UV protection!

5. Yes, they even make special undergarments to ensure comfort is achieved while on your deep-sea fishing trip. Go for a pair that are, again, quick to dry with water wicking technology. Try these odor-resistant, quick-drying, and moisture eliminating ExOfficio® Men’s Give–N–Go™ Boxer Briefs from Orvis.

6. For ladies, try the Women’s ExOfficio Give-N-Go Bikini Briefs from Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI).

7. How about this Under Armour Women’s HeatGear Armour Sports Bra from Gander Mountain

8. When choosing the right shoes for your charter fishing trip, you must consider the elements of protection that your feet will need. Look at these PFG Men’s Boatdrainer II Shoes by ColumbiaThese innovative deck shoes are equipped with Omni-Shield Blood ‘n Guts Advanced water and stain repellent, a cushioning midsole, and an Omni-Grip Advanced Traction feature adds to the ability for these shoes to drain themselves of excess water and dry quickly, offering functionality and comfort that should be sought after for the best deep-sea fishing shoes.

9. Likewise, socks should be chosen for their ability to dry quickly during your adventures at sea to ensure the quality time spent on your charter is focused on fishing, rather than discomfort. Even this factor has been planned for by designers who develop professional fishing gear, with Quadtex moisture wicking yarn, Omni-Wick EVAP, Real Dry Sole quick water evaporation channel technology that draws moisture away from your feet, mesh ventilation, and even inside silicone patches to prevent slippage. Yes! I think I’ll take three pairs! Check out these PFG Real Dry Sole – Striped Liner Socks by Columbia.

10. Sports-fishing pants and shorts created with the intention of keeping the saltwater angler dry.Taking the need for UV protection and quick-dry material to the next level, Columbia’s best seller, the Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible Pants has the best qualities for deep-sea fishing in Florida weather with the ability to easily convert your pants to shorts with the zip-off design.

12. The best way to prepare for a shower in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico is to be prepared with a rain jacket and water-proof pants. Fishing is still great during pop-up showers, but preparation for the showers can help you to focus more on fishing and less
on discomfort. Take a look at this waterproof jacket and pants combo designed for working men like commercial fishermen and charter mates: Grundens Jackets: Men’s Black WWJ BLK Waterproof Hooded Rain Jacket and

13. Grundens Pants: Men’s Waterproof WWTB Black Nylon Weather Watch Pants.

14. Another great option for go-to rain gear with less commitment can be found in Frogg Toggs Ultra Lite2 Rain Suit with Gander Mountain. 

15. It is a good idea to have your photo ID, prescriptions, and other important information with you at all times. As a great solution to keeping your important personal items dry, you may want to use an affordable product like Coghlan’s 9″ x 12″ Dry Pouch.

16. Though your mate will help with most of the work that goes into charter fishing, gloves are still a great idea for an extra element of protection. For a pair of gloves made particularly for deep-sea fishing, try the affordable Lindy Fish Handling Gloves from Melton International Tackle.