Winter has definitely arrived in the Midwest. The Midwest provides lots of fishing opportunities throughout the winter months for both open water and ice anglers. Many anglers like to go ice-fishing, many others enjoy fishing in the open water in rivers below dams. Regardless of where you go fishing, you need to stay warm. If you’re not warm, you’re not going to enjoy your fishing like you should. With the advancements in clothing, there’s no reason not to stay warm when you’re on the ice or in a boat in the late fall, winter, and early spring. Following are some ideas for staying warm in the winter.
Most outdoors-people have heard about layering their clothing. Layering refers to wearing several layers of lighter clothing instead of one big heavy jacket, and layering really does work. By wearing several layers of clothing, you can add or subtract a layer to match the conditions.
Layering starts with the layer of clothing next to your skin. This could be the most important layer. You want to wear underwear that will wick moisture away from your skin. If moisture is trapped next to your skin, you’ll be cold before too long. Cabela’s makes several types of underwear that will match your needs very well. I’ve had very good results with their MTP Polartec underwear. This stuff is available in several weights so you can select a weight that best matches the conditions you think you’ll be faced with.
Next comes a flannel shirt or hooded sweatshirt. Many folks like the hood, as it can be pulled overhead to prevent wind from blowing down your neck.
A vest is the next layer. Again, you have choices here. Some outdoors-people like fleece, some prefer a nylon shell. The fleece feels really good.
By now you’re getting close to the outer layer. Cabela’s Guidewear is very popular as an outside layer, as is their Outfitter’s fleece parkas. Guidewear will double as a rainsuit throughout the year.
The Snosuit from Frabill was designed with lots of features built-in. Stress points are reinforced for years of durability. An angler can kneel in a puddle of water on the ice while landing a fish and come away with dry knees. For perhaps the ultimate cold weather suit, you need to check out the Snosuit.
Oftentimes an open water angler will need to dress warmer than an ice fisherman. Ice anglers are moving from hole to hole a lot, and they’re frequently popping new holes: Ice fishermen can be pretty active at times, and pretty sedentary at other times. If you’re drilling holes, take a layer of clothing off. When you sit down to fish, put that layer back on.
In years past, being outside in the winter was often a test of endurance. Nowadays there is no reason to be cold when you’re outside. Keep these ideas in mind and you’ll enjoy your time outdoors in the winter even more.
For more fishing information visit fishingthemidwest.com and watch all the 2009 episodes of Fishing the Midwest television on WalleyeCentral.com in the video section and on MyOutdoorTv.com.