Cold Weather Fishing: What to wear?

I am 63 years old. I fish year around in my kayak. I have a wet suit, neoprene booties, and a weatherproof kayaking jacket. I wear thinsolate underwear and a warm hat.

The water temperature would be in the high thirties or low forty degree range.

My concern is hyopothermia if I would capsize.

Do any fellow water enthuasiasts have any recommendations that would be superior to what I am now using.

Dry suit
You’ve hit the basics, but nothing is a guarantee in cold water. You asked for something superior to a wet suit. A dry suit is superior to a wetsuit. In a wet suit, you still get wet. In a dry suit, you might get a trickle of water in a leak or ill-fitting area, but you stay dry even when submersed. That’ll give you a better chance at surviving cold water submersion. Remember to keep your head warm as well.

I usually wear breathable waders with a tight waist belt and my PFD adjusted tight as a chest strap. Then I wear a rain jacket overtop. If I ever go under, the rain jacket won’t do squat, but the waders will keep my trunk and legs dry. Before y’all go off on theories about what I’ve just said, I’ve tested it. Can’t say that it’ll work on someone else, as they’ll have different gear and a different body, but it works for me.

I recommend testing your gear in a safe environment. Maybe at an indoor rolling class in a pool. That way you’ll find out how wet you’ll get. Once you get wet in the winter, it’s only a matter of time until you get cold, so you’re in a race to get dry and warm before hypothermia sets in. Wet suits, with their good insulation, give you a fighting chance. Dry suits keep you dry.

  • Big D

Passing on what I have read from
another earlier post - A grave danger is a heart attack or going into shock from the initial impact of the cold water upon the body from a cold water submersion. A dry suit is best for the body, and the head needs some protection as well. The rush of cold water into the ears is another danger, so a waterproof cap covering the ears is a plus.

Search and read earlier posts for some good advice. There are some excellent posts from experts on this subject. Happy paddling!

Here’s the info on cold water risks -
it’s a link to an earlier post, and good reading and heeding for anybody paddling in cold water.