It’s the worst kind of tan: burnt arms, legs, and back of the neck. It looks ridiculous, and it’s definitely not healthy—no largemouth bass is worth risking skin cancer. So do yourself a big favor and start the season knowing the most effective ways to avoid sunburn while fishing.
Rethink Your Hours
Time can go quickly while you’re waiting on a bite. You might not notice your shadow getting shorter as the sun gets hotter overhead, but that’s a danger sign. You’re safer outside the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Fishing first thing in the morning or around dinnertime means the sun will be at more of an angle to you. The UV rays have to travel through more of the earth’s atmosphere to get to you, blocking some of the harm. Luckily, experts say that fish will probably be more active at those times, too.
Wear the Right Stuff
You don’t have to spend a ton of money on the latest fad gear, but investing in a few basic staples is an investment in your health. Consider investing in the following:
- A sun-protective shirt can have up to 50 SPF, as well as wicking and cooling fiber blends that are more comfortable than cotton.
- Polarized sunglasses are essential for fishing, but make sure you buy a pair with 100 percent UVA and UVB protection.
- Fishing hats have gotten more high-tech and comfortable with their sun-blocking capabilities, too. If you’ve been using a baseball cap, consider something with a brim to cover the back of your neck.
- Your hands are getting hit hard by the sun, too. Pick up a pair of fishing gloves to prevent as much sun damage as you can. You’ll also love the way they can grip a fish.
Apply and Reapply
There’s nothing like the smug pride of remembering to put on sunblock before you head out for the day. But hey—not so fast! While you feel like you’ve protected yourself with one of the most effective ways to avoid sunburn while fishing, you’re forgetting that you have to reapply during the day. Even if you’ve chosen a water-resistant SPF of two billion, when you’re in the sun, you’re likely sweating it off and getting splashed by the water. Make sure to reapply your sunscreen every few hours.