How to be SunSmart this summer when fishing by Fishing Mad. Fishing generally means many hours under the sun-exposed to harmful UV exposure. Isolated cases have you prone to sunburn and dehydration but the long-term effects over time can be significant such as melanoma or skin cancer. This article will walk you through some easy ways to ensure you can enjoy fishing in the outdoors whilst being SunSmart.
I have pale white skin and burn very easily. I spent countless hours on my kayak and boat fishing and have some key tips to share with you to stay SunSmart this summer. Most which are easy to achieve and very low cost to buy. Some of these suggestions will be obvious and have been drilled into us for years whilst others may take you by surprise.
Fishing UV Face and Neck shields
These have easily become my number one sun smart product. I never leave to go fishing without one. But there are some key things you need to know when buying one.
The cheap entry-level ones which you find at online store like eBay work, but they use thicker restrictive material which makes them quite uncomfortable. It’s not as easy to breathe, if you wear glasses, they fog up continually and they don’t allow wind to pass through the shield to keep you comfortable so you will sweat heavily with them. Spend a few extra dollars and buy a proper breathable one.
I have tested just about every face shield there is the marked. The good ones are made from a high quality UPF50+ breathable material to keep you comfortable and protected, properly shaped to keep your neck and eyes protected, allow you to wear glasses or sunglasses and have breathable holes so for those who wear glasses you don’t fog up as much.
The best ones I have used include.
- Daiwa UV Fishing Face and Neck shield
- Sims sun gator and bugstopper
- Hurricane Skull skins
- Gillz face mask
- Savage Gear Multi Scarf
UV shirts for fishing are essential
Long sleeve UV Fishing shirts are also an absolute must. They keep you comfortable with 100% polyester this breathable UPV50+ material also keeps you safe from sun exposure. The cheaper ones on the market should be avoided as they are not as breathable or comfortable. The good news is there is plenty of good options on the market that also make you look like one hell of an angler on the water. You can see us in action using these shirts in many of our fishing videos.
Recommended high-quality UV shirts that protect you and look great
- Savage Gear sublimated Polo
- Daiwa long sleeve sublimated polo SPF 50+
UV Fishing gloves
It’s amazing how many times anglers go out fishing with a hat and sunscreen but forget to protect their hands and feet. The UV rays reflect off the water and those in boats and kayaks are prone to getting nasty sunburn on their hands and feet. Rest assured there are some very simple solutions here starting with UV Fishing Gloves. These gloves are generally made from breathable UPV50+ quick-drying material. The fingertips are left exposed so you can easily cast and change lures and bait without any problems. They also are great when handling fish as the gloves protect your skin from direct contact with the fish to prevent any skin irritation.
Good ones include.
- Seak Kayak Gloves
- Fluid Gel fingerless gloves
- Solution eclipse gloves
- Daiwa UPF sun gloves
- Radicool sport skins
- AFN sun gloves
- Sea to summit paddling gloves
Keep your feet and legs covered when fishing
I have countless photos of kayak anglers who have spent the day on the water, who wore UV shirts, hats and sunscreen but wore shorts and no shoes and ended up with very badly sunburnt legs and feet. I can recall my first time out on the kayak 6 hours at Queenscliff followed by a week of work because I couldn’t wear shoes or pants because the sunburn was so severe. I have heard this story countless times by other anglers who too have learned the hard way.
The best thing you can do here is keeping your feet and legs covered with lightweight breathable material. Or even wet suit type of material or waterproof material which may also be very useful in the colder months.
Some good low-cost options here include
- BCF aqua boots
- Sea to Summit flex booties
- Lovig Kayak Dry Pants with booties
Best Sunscreen when fishing
Yes, sunscreen is a very important and very obvious choice. It has been drilled into us through television marketing since the 80s about the importance of sunscreen to protect us from harmful sun rays. Sunscreen is a billion-dollar marketing giant; however, many normal household sunscreens have nasty chemicals such as oxybenzone, Homosalate, Octocrylene, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane which can irritate your skin and make your eyes burn. The thinnest skin layer on your body is your eyelids and odours from generic sunscreens can irritate your eyelids making them water heavily and start burning. You can buy sunscreens with more minerals and fewer chemicals which is better for your skin and eyes but is a little more expensive.
When picking a sunscreen try and pick one that is water-resistant for at least 4 hours, and has a rating of SPF50+. And ones that do not make you sweat and uncomfortable. We would also recommend using tasteless and odourless sunscreens which can be important when handling baits and lures. As sunscreen may repel fish. There are several on the market that has been built specifically for this purpose.
Recommended options here include
- Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen, Face version Mineral-Based Sunscreen
- DRI SPF50+ odourless sunscreen
- Dermalogica Protection SPF 50 Sport
- Elta MD Facial sunscreen
- Neutrogena Sport Face SPF70+
Best Fishing Sunglasses
Sunglasses are the best double-edged sword as they look great, keep you protected from the sun, stop sun glare, and polarised sunnies are a tremendous tool when fishing allowing anglers to see through the top layer of water when fishing. This is great for sight casting fish and identifying structure. If you have prospected glasses than ask your optometrist to ensure the lenses are polarised. There are many good brands out there some that we recommend include.
- Spotters polarised sunglasses
- Tonic polarised sunglasses
- Mako polarised sunglasses
- Oakley polarised sunglasses
- Stingray polarised sunglasses
- Ugly Fish polarised sunglasses
Wear a Fishing Hat
Yep, this one is as obvious as the sunscreen and helps you to Be SunSmart when fishing. It’s a must when out on the sun to keep your scalp, face and eyes protected. The good thing here is that it just looks so good to be wearing a high-class fishing cap. Here you can wear your favourite fishing brand sand express yourself with different styles and colours.
Stay hydrated when fishing and boating
There are many simple things that you can do to ensure that you remain hydrated. I once passed out for a few seconds on my kayak during a 44-degree day. It was a rude awakening that I didn’t have enough water with me and to make better choices and not venture out in days of dangerous temperatures. Some simple and low-cost options include.
- Putting several water bottles in the freezer before going out and storing them in an esky with ice. I bought a 5-litre cooler from KMart for 10 dollars which holds 4 bottles of water with ice. Cheap and easy solution.
- A canopy for your boat and kayak,
- Fish in shaded spots especially if your land base fishing.
- Read the UV levels on apps such as willy weather. You will notice a pattern that between 11 am and 4.00 pm is considered the highest UV levels during the day.
- Avoid alcohol and use chilled water as your primary hydration resource.
- You can also buy drinks with electrolytes that help give you a quick sugar boost and keep you rehydrated.
Be responsible with your friends and kids
Most importantly become an advocate for others. Look after your mates and always ensure young children are protected from the sun’s harmful rays. I always keep a few extra hats and containers of sunscreen in my boat and kayak. I also always bring a few spare bottles of water.
And remember to
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