Winter is here and the war with the cold is well underway. What’s the biggest battle for most fisherman? Cold feet!
1. Stay dry. Obviously, waterproof footwear is critical if you are going to be exposed to rain, snow, or the water itself. The aspect we often ignore is sweat. Your socks can get wet and cold from the inside. Choose the right socks for the situation. A heavy hunting sock is perfect for remaining stationary in a boat. Where as, if you have to hike a stream or shoreline, your feet will soon be soaked in sweat. A light hiking sock could be a better choice.
Sweaty feet can strike before you ever reach the water. A long ride in a heated vehicle in heavy winter footwear can do you in before the day even gets started. I like to slip on a pair of crocs to walk to the car. Then I drive to the water in my socks alone. I only put on my boots when I reach my destination.
2. Movement. This may not be a problem if you are wading or shoreline fishing. If you are in a boat, it’s critical. Before you ever feel the cold, flex your feet inside your shoes – kind of like making fists with your toes. Five or ten reps every few minutes will keep the circulation pumping through your feet and fight off the cold.
3. My favorite – a roomy toe box. What the hell is that? I’m talking about a boot that doesn’t squeeze your toes together. That’s not just on the boots. Choosing the right combination of shoes and socks is critical. As an example; I used to always get cold feet in my waders. In the winter I would put on my thickest socks, then squeeze my feet inside my wading boots. The thick socks were counter productive. I switched to lighter weight socks. Now my feet stay toasty warm thanks to better blood circulation.
Keep these tips in mind and you will have a more enjoyable winter fishing season.