I have fished in the late fall the past several seasons on Lake St. Clair. This lake, and the bitter cold associated with it, takes its toll on you. But if you prepare yourself correctly, your time out on the water can be much more enjoyable and you can focus on the muskies instead of being cold and miserable.
Here are some tips I’ve learned over the last 10 years that help me stick it out and have productive days on the water in not-so-ideal weather:
Dressing warm is a no-brainer but there are some tricks to follow. First, dress in layers. A good extreme weather base layer works great under a heavy sweatshirt or hoodie. Second, spend the money and get a waterproof and windproof set of bibs and jacket. There are several companies that make such suits, and most market them as “ice fishing suits.” They work great, keep you warm and have plenty of pockets to hold things like extra gloves and handwarmers. Third, pack extra hoodies or even an extra jacket — just in case. You might ended up needing it and you should always have more than you need!
It’s important that you keep your hands and feet warm. Hands are usually the first to get cold. Make sure to have a good pair of waterproof gloves. I have learned over the years that even though they may claim to be “waterproof” or GoreTex, it is almost inevitable your hands will get wet, especially the one with which you reel. I carry four or five extra pairs so I am able to