What Do Commercial Fishermen Wear

What Do Commercial Fishermen Wear? | Outfitting the Professional Fisherman

Fishing is one of the most exciting outdoor activities. In 2020, around 55M Americans flocked to different waterways for Fishing. But any activity is a fest only when you feel comfortable. Therefore, outfits always hold incredible weight in any activity. As a result, many recreational fishermen want to know about commercial fishermen’s clothing to avoid hard times. So, “What do commercial fishermen wear?”

Commercial fishermen wear clothes and accessories that provide them maximum comfort and flexibility. Therefore, quick-drying shirts, lightweight & water-resistant pants & boots are their all-time top picks. Regarding accessories, they also prefer hats, gloves, and sunglasses for further protection, depending on the weather and season. 

If you want to gain more knowledge about commercial fishermen’s clothing and accessories in different weather, go through the entire article. The readers will be familiar with other necessary information with some FAQs. So, let’s start.

Importance of appropriate fishing clothes

Fishing is not a hobby for commercial fishermen. They have to catch fish in different weather and seasons for livelihood. Therefore, appropriate clothing is unavoidable for better Fishing instead of restricting their actions due to weather conditions. However, other significances of the right outfit are as follows: 

  • Proper outfit enhances the fishermen’s flexibility for more effortless mobility
  • Suitable outfits help them to maintain body temperature and to protect themselves from harsh weather and its effect. For instance, fishermen often suffer from hypothermia due to their long-time presence in water, which decreases the body temperature below 35°C. 
  • Appropriate outfit limits body exposure and provides protection from the sun to prevent sunburns, premature aging, and skin cancer.

What are the key clothing items for commercial fishermen?

Commercial fishermen’s outfits and accessories primarily depend on the weather and place. For instance, staying warm is the primary concern for those fishermen who work at sea because of high winds and freezing temperatures. So, what do fishermen wear at sea? They wear dresses in several layers. 

In contrast, fishermen working in a warm environment don’t need to wear outfits in several layers. Instead, they focus on lightweight, breathable clothing for staying cool and calm. Similarly, the dressing pattern changes during rain depending on the preferences. However, I have listed below some must-have clothing items that every fisherman has in their wardrobes:

Fishing Shirts:

It is one of the essential clothing items for every fisherman. The selection of appropriate fishing shirts depends on the weather and the fishing time. Regular lightweight, waterproof, long-sleeve shirts would be an excellent choice on summer days to keep you calm, dry, comfortable, and UV protected. One must avoid cotton-made clothing items since they absorb water. Otherwise, cotton shirts will take longer to dry if you get wet.

In cold weather, fishermen generally wear multiple layers of clothing to keep warm. However, the base layer must be comfortable, lightweight, and breathable. It is the outer layer that will protect you from adverse weather effects.


Even though many takes outwear clothing very lightly, it should not be taken lightly! Since you will be moving around the water, cold water can divert your attention from Fishing to rescue yourself from the water. But proper outwear clothing will keep you warm and help to focus on Fishing. 

Most popular outwear clothing items include jackets, raincoats, fishing bibs, waders, etc. However, the type of outerwear varies depending on the weather. For instance, waterproof & windproof jackets or raincoats are the all-time partner for fishermen during rainy weather.

In contrast, the main focus remains on staying dry and warm during cold weather. Therefore, many pick waterproof insulated jackets and hoodies. Most manufacturers use PVC or Gore-Tex to produce fishing jackets. PVC-made jackets are lightweight and easy to carry &wash. But they are non-breathable. Therefore, you can only put them on for a short time. In contrast, Gore-Tex material is warmer and more breathable than PVC, but it costs more.

However, one must not forget about fishing bibs and waders. Both of them are breathable and have similar functions. They will help you to maintain the proper body temperature while protecting your skin from direct contact with water. Then, one may ask about the difference between them. Waders are heavier, bulkier, warmer, more expensive, and more durable than bibs. But bibs provide greater mobility due to being lightweight than waders. 

Convertible Pants

Convertible Pants are another necessary item for commercial fishermen since they can easily convert them from full pants to shorts and vice versa. Most often, manufacturers use 100% nylon material for these pants that are lightweight, quick-drying, less prone to staining, and easy to clean. Moreover, since the fabric is breathable, it will keep you sufficiently warm.


What are the vital all-weather accessories for commercial fishermen?

Regardless of weather, you will see the fishermen with the following accessories:


Regarding footwear, fishermen repeatedly choose between boots, sandals, and shoes. Durable deck boots can be an outstanding option for keeping the feet dry and warm at sea. Besides, it will provide excellent traction on slippery boats. One can also choose sandals. Insulated sandals can retain warm and quickly dry if it gets wet. But make sure the quality of the sandal is exceptional to offer you more excellent protection. 


Hat excellently serves the fishermen in different weather. Generally, commercial fishermen prefer wide-brimmed hats. Wide-brimmed hats cover the face and save facial skin from sun damage during sunny days. Besides, it deflects the sun’s rays to keep the face cooler. Moreover, it deflects rain during the rainy day, which enables the fishermen to see further. However, a snug beanie hat or a hat made from fleece or wool can be a life savior during winter. 


Sunglasses are crucial to shielding eyes from glaring sunlight and extreme wind. Extreme sunlight can make fishermen temporarily blind and hinders their ability to Fishing. But sunglass can eliminate these difficulties. However, one can also choose polarized glasses instead of sunglasses. 

Regarding color, Grey color polarized glasses would be suitable for all weather, while yellow and copper are ideal for Fishing at dawn or dusk, and Green is perfect for Fishing in clear water.


Is wearing Flip-Flops ideal for Fishing? 

Flip flops or Shower Shoes are not suitable for Fishing. They will expose your feet to the water and not provide minimum warmth. Furthermore, flip-flops sometimes stick to the wet ground. Therefore, fishermen may stumble.

Do All Shirts Offer Sun Protection?

All shirts do not provide the same level of sun protection. Polyester or nylon-made long-sleeve fishing shirts offer the highest level of sun protection. Shirts of wool and silk offer moderate sun protection, while cotton, rayon, and hemp-made shirts are more vulnerable to sun exposure.

Final verdict

Fishing is one of the thrilling pastimes for people of all ages. But making the wrong choice in clothing and accessories can prevent people from thoroughly enjoying the moment. However, many people don’t know what to wear when fishing at sea or in a warm environment. Therefore, they inquiry, “What do the commercial fishermen wear?” 

In this article, I have detailed descriptions of commercial fishermen’s outfits and accessories with other alternatives. The information will help the new commercial and recreational fishermen to enjoy Fishing to its fullest.

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