What to Wear When Fishing on a Boat?

Wearing proper clothes and gear for offshore fishing trip.

Earlier this year, a friend of mine went boat fishing for the first time, and because he was too excited about the adventure, he forgot his fishing rod. Such an embarrassing moment should not happen to you on your fishing trip. Besides, if you are desirous of making the most of your boat fishing adventure, it will be best to shortlist all the essential things you should bring to your chartered boat when fishing.

Such a checklist must include all the necessary things you should have on your boat. Besides, it should delineate the clothes appropriate for the weather condition. Plus, it should include your essential fishing tackle and gear.

What Clothes Should You Wear?

The clothes you should bring must be apropos to the place you will be fishing. If the weather in the fishing location is hot or humid, you should wear clothes that can protect you from heat. Breathable clothing will do the trick for you. 

You should not forget your hats, pair of sunglasses, facemask, neck covers and shirts specialized for UV protection. Your shirts should also be fast drying. Besides, you should also not forget your beach shorts, long sleeves, and pants to protect you from UV light.

You should also bring your sandals if you fish on flat terrain. But if you will fish on rough and muddy terrain, it will be best to wear boots. Furthermore, it will be best to refrain from using wool or cotton socks. Instead, wear polyester socks that dry faster and not go heavy when wet.

However, if the weather is cold, you should sport a warm hat to warm your head. If there is enough sun, you can wear your sunglasses. 

The cold wind can dry your skin, so it will be best to protect your face using buff for winter. You also need to clothe yourself in layers. Your base layer should keep you warm while letting your sweat out. The ideal fabric would be fleece fabric for your base layer.

For your mid-layer, you can go for more insulation. You can wear sweatshirts with hoodies. Your outer layer should also keep you warm and should be waterproof to protect your inner layers. You can also complement it with a non-waterproof warm jacket with an outer shell that isn’t that thin but waterproof.

It will be best if you also are mindful of your footwear likewise. You can wear rubber boots to keep your feet dry. Nevertheless, rubber boots can’t insulate your feet better. So, it will help if you have better thermal socks to complement your rubber boots. 

If you know your feet will get wet, you should wear fishing waders. You got ample options for fishing waders, and you can pick warmer versions of fishing waders.  

Essential Things to Bring When Boat Fishing

Now that you’ve booked a fishing charter, it’s high time to sit back and list down the essential clothes and gear you should bring with you. Below is a detailed list of these crucial clothing and gear you need to bring on your fishing trip:

Base Layers

Depending on the weather, you should dress accordingly when fishing on a boat. If it is cold, you should clothe yourself in layers. The first layer is the base layer, consisting of T-shirts, long-sleeved shirts, or tank tops. If you’ll get exposed to UV light, it will be best to go for long-sleeved shirts. 

To avoid excessive bulk underneath your top layers, you should wear something with a tight match. With such a base layer made of polyester fabric instead of cotton, you can quickly adjust your top surfaces. Besides, this clothing type will let your sweat get washed out, leaving your skin dry. Moreover, you can opt for a few Spandex to let you wear your top nicely. 

Collared Shirts

Collared long-sleeve shirts can protect you from the sun, keeping you cool during your fishing. You can also wear button-down shirts for a casual look with no sunglasses or a hat. 

You can also wear colored shirts for a straightforward layout and quick adjustment to the varying temperatures. Besides, such shirts can protect your back from damaging UV light. 

Jacket or Hoodie

It will be best to add layers to protect yourself from the wind on a hot day. You can go for a wet-type jacket to protect you from water spray from turbulent waves. 

Hoodies can provide you with great cover against abrupt rainstorms. If the weather is cool, you can go for the polyester fabric to keep you warmer. It is also perfect for warm weather. 

Shorts, Trousers, and Towels

You can choose pants over shorts since pants provide ample protection from UV rays. Pants can also protect you from stray fishhooks. Yet, on some days, you might do well with shorts. Females, however, should refrain from wearing denim because they are not easy to dry. Besides, they might be uncomfortable. 

If you want something comfortable, you can bring polyester string pants if you intend to wear a swimsuit or shorts underneath. 

You should also not forget to bring towels. You can use such towels to dry off if you are sweaty or wet or you’ve taken a dip into the waters.


Another must-have item is sunscreen. If you would go fishing, you should ensure that you have already applied rub-on sunscreen. Please refrain from bringing aerosol spray, for it can create a slip hazard over the boat’s deck. So, it will be best to settle for the run-on lotion. Besides, it will also help to wear sunglasses to protect your eyes.

Hats and Shoes

You can wear any shoes you wish to wear when you go fishing. You can even go barefoot. Yet, to raise your level of safety, it will be best to wear fitting shoes with toes. 

You can also wear sandals that you can secure well. Shower shoes or flip-flops are not highly recommended when fishing for safety reasons.

Cooler (Food and Beverages)

You can also bring a personal cooler of about 48 quarts in size or less. You can put your food inside that cooler, including your favorite drinks. Nevertheless, your cooler must be clean. One cooler, of course, would be enough because of the limited space of most chartered boats. 

It is not advisable to bring hard liquor, for if you get drunk, you will quickly become a liability. Beers, of course, are acceptable when fishing.

Medical Kit and First-aid Kit

If you got motion sickness, you better be ready with your motion sickness medication. You can also bring the prescribed medicine and share it with your companions if they need one. You can also bring your first-aid kit if something untoward happens or you get wounded or bruised while fishing. Undoubtedly, both kits will come in handy in case of an emergency. 

Your first-aid kit should also include ointment, antibiotics, tweezers, aspirin, antiseptic wipes, gauze pads, non-latex gloves, cloth tape, and a blanket.

Fishing Equipment and Gear

When fishing on a boat, you should not forget the essential things that every beginner should bring, so you should not forget your fishing equipment. Although it is a given thing that anyone fishing on the boat should bring the necessary fishing gear, some people still forget some critical equipment and gear. 

If it is your first-time boat fishing, it will be best to bring a spinning rod as well as a reel combo for light-to-medium action and medium action for bigger fish. Besides, you should not forget your monofilament fishing line. Moreover, you should bring your hook assortment for various targeted fish. 

You should also not forget your bait or lures, bobbers, sinkers or split shots, and pliers for cutting the line. Besides, if you fish in unfamiliar territory, you should not forget to bring your GPS. A GPS will let you find your way back to where you started, back to your campsite or fishing lodge.

If you fish alone sans any captain or guide, it will be best to bring your fish finder. Such a tool can help you locate the school of fish or targeted fish underwater. 

It can also help you find structures underneath the murky waters. Besides, it will give you a clear view of the topography of the water you are fishing.

Phone and Camera

You should also not forget to bring your camera and phone. These gadgets can help you take pictures and document all your great catches. 

Likewise, don’t forget to bring a waterproof bag for storing your cell phone and cameras and anything you want to keep dry.


If you’re a beginner in fishing on the boat, you might check out the abovementioned list of items you should bring with you. Remember that it is better to be well-prepared and carry more items than lack something during your actual fishing activity. Knowing the essential things to bring will help you prepare well for your fishing adventure, whether you will be fishing in saltwater or freshwater lakes.

Of course, there are things and items that you should leave behind, such as a drunkard friend who can’t live without liquor. You should also leave behind a grumpy and pessimistic friend, overrated expectations, spray-on sunscreen, extra coolers, and many other pieces of baggage that will not help you enjoy your fishing trip.

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