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Low_Budget_Hooker

Cold weather fishing- be prepared

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Just a thread for folks to share tips and tricks to regarding cold weather fishing and safety.

*First and formost,....NEVER FISH ALONE (at least in cold water states)

*PFD's ON or nearby at a minimum

* Go with a meal in your belly. Empty bellies=cold bodies. Food=energy, energy=heat

*Gore-Tex is your friend

*Dress in layers

*bring extra gloves on boat because your first set WILL GET WET

* Bring a full change of clothes to keep in the car JUST IN CASE you go in. A warm, dry set of clothes to change into can make the difference between getting treated for hypothermia or not.

*Bring cell phone. Hopefully, you followed suggestion #1, in this case, leave 1 cell in car and bring one on boat. If you go in, there will still be dry communication in the car.

*NEVER wear 2 or more pairs of cotton socks. 2 pairs of ANY socks for that matter. When using the proper materials, 1 set is all that is neccessary, any more and you are just holding the sweat around your foot.

This one you can take or leave. Some will want to argue this one. Personally, Spending 8 yrs skiing pro, I watched many learn the hard way.

1 pair of socks made from a material that wicks moisture. Surround them with a gore-tex boot and that's as good as it gets.

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*Winter, spring, summer, or fall always tell someone where you are going, & when to expect you back.

*To retain body heat, keep your kidney area & head warm

*Alcohol will not keep you warm

*Playing Mr. Macho with cold water can get you killed!

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Excellent.

*In 50 degree water, you have 50 minutes before unconscious. Unfortunately, you only have about 3-7 minutes before your muscles sieze up. This gets exponentially worse as you lower the temp. water temps are in the low 40's in RI. No joke.

*Even if it is not raining, your bibs keep above mentioned kidney area warmer.  Eliminates "back draft"

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Militarily speaking, the most important parts to keep warm are your head, hands, and feet.  If any or all of those get cold, you're gonna feel like you're freezing.

On the really cold days, I wear long underwear, jeans, thermal socks and insulated work shoes.  I have a wool sweater the British call a "wooly pully" that is worn by their troops.  I also have an Austrian army sweater that is somewhat lighter than the Brits version, but just as warm.  Under one of those goes insulated underwear, over top goes a fleece-lined sweatshirt.  Over everything goes a Cabelas Guidewear Rainsuit.  It's not goretex, but it doesn't need to be, and it's great for keeping wind off of you.  If I don't feel like wearing all that, I have a blaze orange snomobile suit that works just fine.

For running to/from, I have a FishHedz face mask.  I also have a set of leather gloves with wool inserts so my fingers will still work when I get where I'm going.  Toss in a couple of those disposable handwarmers and I'm good to go.

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jdw- The Cabela's guidewear is a full gore-tex suit.  A well made one for the $ too, otherwise you'd be a cold ball of sweat!

For those that don't use a waterproof/breathable outer layer, be sure to stay aware of your perspiration level.  Sweat can ruin a day fast.

The biggest key to keeping your extremeties warm is to keep the core warm.  Two main Heating points are the kidneys and neck.  Places where the largest veins are closest to the surface.

It's also a well known fact that alot of heat is lost through the top of your head.  A hat is a good thermostat for sweat control also.

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jdw- The Cabela's guidewear is a full gore-tex suit. A well made one for the $ too, otherwise you'd be a cold ball of sweat!

For those that don't use a waterproof/breathable outer layer, be sure to stay aware of your perspiration level. Sweat can ruin a day fast.

The biggest key to keeping your extremeties warm is to keep the core warm. Two main Heating points are the kidneys and neck. Places where the largest veins are closest to the surface.

It's also a well known fact that alot of heat is lost through the top of your head. A hat is a good thermostat for sweat control also.

my mistake....it's not GuideWear, it's their DryWear.  Nontheless, it's still breathable and works great.

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A review of hypothermia (body temparture) symptoms follows:

Temperature above 95°F. Conscious and alert. Vigorous uncontrollable shivering, pain or numbness in extremities, loss of manual dexterity, slurring of speech.

90° to 95°F. Conscious. Mildly impaired mental facilities. Diminished shivering is replaced by muscle rigidity.

86° to 90°F. Semi- or fully unconscious. Severely impaired mental abilities; may appear intoxicated. Rigid muscles, cardiac arrhythmias.

80° to 86°F. Unresponsive, unconscious. Rigid muscles, dilated pupils barely responsive to light, diminishing or nonexistent pulse and respiration, blue-gray skin color.

80°F. Ventricular fibrillation, cardiac arrest. Pupils fixed and dilated. Death.

Water draws heat from the body 25 times faster than air

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Have a way to get back into the boat and a way to warm back up if you fall in. There are ladders on the market now that roll out and roll back up to attach to the boat. I carry dry clothes as well as a couple of lighters, fire log or cans of cooking fuel in my boat during winter to start a fire and warm up if I need to.

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Great thread. I have fished a lot over the years in cold weather, and had to learn much of this stuff the hard way. :-? I will only add only thing to what LBH said about PFD's. Many drownings in cold water happen so quickly that even having a partner with you is not a guarantee of safety. If a person falls head first into very cold water, a "gasp reflex" sometimes will cause them to fill their lungs with water on contact. If some isn't right there to pull them from the water, they will sink and be gone. Cold water is a very dangerous thing, and a PFD is a priority IMHO.

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Smoking doesnt help any either. It narrows your blood vessels thus hindering circulation. Ever wonder why smokers always say thier hands or feet are cold? Caffeine is a diuretic which can dehydrate you. Drink water. You can dehydrate even in the cold,when you arent thirsty. Good way to warm up your hands is to put them in your crotch area or under your arm pits. Those are the warmest places on your body.Polypropylene is a good wicking material for perspiration. The key is to dress loose and in layers and stay dry.  

   If camping out in the cold,the best way to stay warm is when you go to sleep,strip down to nothing inside your sleeping bag. Place your clothing inside the bag with you so your body heat can warm your clothing. If you wear your clothing inside tour sleeping bag you will sweat and that will make you cold. Never sleep with your head inside your sleeping bag. You will wake up with a Carbon Dioxide Headache from not breathing enough fresh air. I was in the Army stationed in Alaska for 3 years and have a cold weather training manual that I will post tips from if I can find it.

Theres an acronym that we used to use,its called COLD

C= Cleanliness,personal hygiene is a must

O= Overheating,must be avoided at all cost

L= Loose and in layers

D= Dry,must stay dry

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Seems obvious but I gotta mention

Common sense.

This is no time of year for horseplay in the boat or being the cool guy who's not afraid to walk out on the ice first.  

DON'T BE THAT GUY!

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LBH,I know you did say something about not doubling up on socks. The Arctic Light Individual Training manual shows that 2 pairs of socks are a good thing as long as you wear the right kind.I remeber wearing 2 pairs but wanted to refer to the manual to make sure I got my facts right. The manual states to wear a thin nylon sock as a liner covered by a wool sock as an insulating layer . The nylon will wick away the moisture.

Another thing to remeber is dont touch metal objects with bare hands,contact frostbite can occur.

Aso remember how the body can lose heat(5 ways) and the percentage lost

1. Radiation(60%):The normal loss of body temprature to the surrounding environment. Not much you can do about this.

2.Convection(Variable):Loss of heat to the air as colder air is heated by warmer skin.

3.Conduction(Variable):The transfer of heat from direct contact of a warmer object with a colder object

4. Respiration(6%-10%):Loss of body heat (and water loss,remeber what I said about dehydration above) through breathing

5.Perspiration(12%-15%): Perspiration on the skin converting from a liquid to a gas

Theres alot,I mean alot more stuff to be posted about cold weather safety so instead of me writing it all down I will give you all a link. Its a PDF and alot of it is in military terms. Look around and maybe you will find something.The format is basically from a teaching standpoint and how each item should be taught. Forgive me if its hard to understand.

http://www.wainwright.army.mil/nwtc/Classes/ALIT%20MANUAL.pdf

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Don't go out in a boat that is easy to tip over or has tipped in the past. For example a canoe, or a narrow jonboat. Don't over load your boat with people or equipment. Keep the deck clean and free from things that can trip you. Check the weather and the wind before leave.

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I would like to add that if it's REEAALLLYYY FREAKIN cold outside that you should get a good book about fishing, fly tying, rodbuilding, etc. and sit inside as close to a fire or heating appliance as possible and read it. If you must go outside, follow all of the instructions posted above.  ;)

All joking aside, for those of us who belong to the "Broken Fin" club, that is, anyone with disabilities, it might be best to wait for a warmer season. I have Rheumatiod Arthritis and I cope with it pretty well. I take my drugs and excersise and on a nice warm day I can pull the boat out of the water and swim across the lake without a PFD. But when it's very cold and I am all bundled up, it's just plain dangerous for me to be out on the water. A man's got to know his limitations. As my disease has progressed over the years, I have taken up rod building, tying flies and I recently bought a Fordam woodcarving machine and want to take a crack at making plugs. I am thankfull to have lots of fishing related hobbies to get me through the cold months. It's just smarter for me to play it safe untill it warms up. JMHO

Ronnie

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Real good thread guys and a lot of good info and great tips thumbsup.gif

One day after duck hunting in Brigantine, New Jersey, I had just finished trailering my boat

when a jonboat with three waterfowlers came roaring in toward the ramp on the heels of darkness.

They were drinking on the marsh (a big No-No) and one of the waterfowlers fell overboard

within sight of the boat ramp. After a fashion, the other two guys finally managed to haul their buddy

out of the icy water and back into the boat, and they were laughing out loud the whole time.

When I returned the following week, I learned that it wasn't a laughing matter at all,

because the fellow who fell overboard, died of hypothermia that night!

Roger

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Guest the_muddy_man

This is my list for cold fishin

One couch

one TV

One lady friend

pocorn,movie and hot chocolate(all optional)

the rest is self explanintory

DREAM OF LAKE FORK ON A DAILY BASIS

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I read that if you fall through ice (or out of boat) and cant get out (or in boat) Then you should stay as still as possible, arms and knees folded to you chest.

This is suposed to keep you alive %50 longer than treading water, infact treading water decreases your time of survival.

(somthing to do with water acting as a insulater)

True or false?

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I don't know if it's true or false, but it sounds a lot easier said than done.

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Off topic replies have been moved to [link=http://www.bassresource.com/bass_fishing_forums/YaBB.pl?num=1163953222]This Thread[/link]

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The 1 pair of socks deal is something I found the hard way. One winter I was layed up in bed and my feet were always cold no matter how many pair of socks I stretched on.  I even started putting my sneakers on in bed. They just kept sweating and getting colder.

Now, no socks to sleep. 1 pair when wearing boots.

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