Keep Warm When Winter Fishing NJ
by Matt Sorrentino, (@swagmattic)
There’s no doubt, it takes a special breed to be eager for fishing in the cold. However, for those that are dedicated to fishing the rewards are often bountiful. Striped bass, Blackfish, Jumbo Sea Bass, Cod and plenty of other species are waiting for courageous anglers in the winter.
Keeping warm is easy… Layer up folks!
Your parents were right! Although your dad still looks goofy in those old white long johns, the old adage remains true… Layer Up! Be sure to lean heavily on that wisdom in the colder months.
Start with a moisture wicking base layers. Ditch the old cotton waffle thermals for performance fabric underwear like the Grundies Long Sleeve Shirt and Grundies Pants. These are a best seller go to choice! Another great option is Guy Cotten’s Denali Pant and Denali Crew Shirt.
Then a mid layer is key to warmth via insulation. The Guy Cotten Polar Pants and the Arctic Hoodie are impossible to beat!
These two layers are worthless without an outer shell that is waterproof and windproof because staying dry is the real challenge. Frigid winds and sea spray can easily turn an epic day of fishing into a horrid nightmare. Your shell is something that you do not want to cheap out on.
More than once, I found myself fishing in wind, rain and snow! It was cold, but because I prepared and dressed appropriately I was warm enough to stay at the rail and keep on fishing.
Here’s what I use to keep dry and warm winter fishing in New Jersey.
We’ll start from the feet and work our way up.
My feet are warm and dry thanks to my Xtratuf Tall Insulated Boots. Designed for commercial fishing in Alaska, they’re flexible, warm and comfortable for an all day, everyday wear.
Grundens… Seriously… You do not own a pair of Grundens Bibs? Eat fish, Wear Grundens. It’s an actual rule. There are plenty of bibs options and anyone will make your day much better. Bib pants (sometimes called waterproof overalls or slicker plants) block the wind, they are waterproof so stay dry. When you take them off at the end of the day, you are clean and don’t smell. The Grundens Hercules Bib Pants are a classic choice but I wear the Grundens Neptune Bib Pant. They are durable, lightweight, have a little bit of stretch for comfort and they are only $69.99. The cargo pocket and interior chest pocket are also very helpful.
I finish my top layer with a Stormr Strykr Series Jacket. They are heavy but nothing offers the warmth of a Stormr neoprene jacket. It’s a fantastic choice that you’ll appreciate in the early spring and late fall/winter. The company might not be the best at spelling, but they’re experts in keeping you warm and dry! Knowing some are allergic to neoprene another great choice is the Grundens Balder Jacket or the fleece lined Grundens Neptune Thermo Pullover.
When it comes to gloves, it’s more of a different strokes for different folks kind of thing. There are plenty of gloves that will keep you warm. Some like ultimate warmth and the easy on and easy off of waterproof Atlas Freezer Gloves. These are great when you need to keep your hands dry but they are difficult to fish with. When fishing, I can’t lose “touch” with the line. Maintaining that “feel” is key for me. So I go with a flip-mitt glove like the Glacier Glove Cold River Flip Mitts. I also like the Glacier Stripper/Fighting Glove fingerless glove but a whole you’ll need a lot of hand warmers in your pockets.
Don’t forget the sunscreen either folks.. that sun can still do some damage in December! I hope this helps you stay warm! Good luck fishing.