Wetsuits Aren’t Just for Surfing, Ya Know
A Wetsuit for Fishing
To the average man we are kooks. To us we are surfcasters, or, wetsuiters, committed to catching preferably large stripers after sunset and wearing a wetsuit for fishing. The objective here is to get out to the edge of the reef to where the water flows deep and the big striped bass swim close under the cover of darkness. We usually throw some sort of artificial fish attracter known as a lure or a “plug.” Sometimes we throw live eels as it is a favorite food of the stripers.
One of the most famous places to wetsuit is “The Surfcasting Capital of the World,” Montauk Point out on the tip of Long Island. It is here that thousands of fish come each fall while bass migrate south. For some reason the fish congregate here when they cross the tip and it makes for some outstanding fishing! It was here where I really first got my first introduction to using a wetsuit for fishing, also known as wetsuiting.
In the old days I would wade out into the boulder field with my waders on and would sometimes wear a dry top, but that was it. I spent the entire time worrying about going down in the water. Because once you go down with your waders on, you are in trouble. Water pours into the waders creating a big and uncomfortable problem – getting up. When you get up, you’re soaked and you get cold fast.
There was another time when I was waist deep in the water on a rock and I wanted to move so I slid off the rock and when I did, I got three huge slits in my brand new $150 waders from the sharp barnacles. My day was done! So after watching a couple wetsuiters get out to the rocks after falling a couple of times and getting back up, I knew that that was something I had to look into.
Since some of my fishing is done in the warmer months I like to wear a 3mm full suit for that time of the year. I like wearing the full suit for protection from sharp things under the water and for bug control. Under my suit I wear a rashguard top and some form of wetsuit short. This works as a lubricant and prevents chaffing. Even in warm weather, the nights can get chilly when the wind blows, so to supplement my core, I carry a 2.5mm wetsuit vest with a zipper. In the early spring and late fall I bump up to a 4 or 5mm suit and if wind is a factor I will have my vest but may also supplement that with a wetsuit jacket or a heater top.
Stay tuned for more on using a wetsuit for fishing!