It is the time of year again when the weather is really beautiful, the temperature is moderate both day and night and even some folks who have never held a fishing pole are starting to get the core call to go fishing. Feeling the urge to hit one of our many lakes or the Gulf and wet a hook. The experience of getting out in the great outdoors can be beyond compare to anything offered by 21st Century electronic outlook, but I have a few tips that may make the fishing experience even more rewarding.

You see, beside the necessary rod and reel, line, hooks sinkers, and lures an angler needs to know much more. I have stated many times you can catch fish without having a hundred thousand dollars or so invested in boat, motor, truck and the best of the rods, reels and lures. However, if you are a serious tournament angler you will naturally gravitate toward those items obsessed by the never ending quest to catch the most and/or the biggest. Peer pressure will also come into play; unless of course you start winning tournaments while piloting a 14 foot Jon boat and 10 horsepower motor. Then everyone will be wondering how you are cheating. Not because it cannot be accomplished with that rig, it is just that it would not sit quiet right with the competition to have their major investment flaunted by one who has spent a much lesser amount and accomplishing the abler ends.

Some of the other items I am referring to are little things like sunglasses and sunscreen. You may dismiss these items as unimportant, but if you do it is apparent you are not familiar with the increasing number of skin cancer cases that are occurring every year.

One important point about most skin cancer is it is caused from an accumulative exposure to the harmful rays of the sun and by the time you have a problem it is too late to reverse. It becomes necessary to destroy or remove the tissue affected. As you get more exposure the damage keeps adding up. My doctor told me, while freezing some small areas on my face, that the damage was cause 30 or 40 years ago.

For the price of a tube or bottle of SPF 30 plus sunscreen you can purchase some important insurance against skin damage. An alternative is to wear long sleeve shirts.

Another important item is sunglasses. Yep, they are cool (or whatever the current term is). Old time bass champions Jimmy Houston, Zell Roland or any of the current big time bass champions with their brand specific fishing shirts and manufacturer logo embossed hats look the part for sure. Besides being decorative they are also functional. The shirts and hats may sport all sorts of logs and company crests, but the main reason they are wearing sunglasses is for UV protection and to cut the glare.

A good pair of polarized sunglasses enables the wearer to cut through the uncomfortable glare on the water and enables them to see what is under the water. They are able to see those underwater stumps and hiding places and drop their lures right where they want them. They can even see the fish under the right circumstances.

Another benefit to wearing sunglasses is to protect your eyes from being hit. When a person is in the heat of battle after bass, crappie, redfish or whatever the quarry fishhooks are flying around. The glasses can help protect you from being struck in the eve by lure or hook.

There is also the benefit of the sunglasses offering important protection from the harmful rays of the sun. Good sunglasses do that also.

Everyone wears a hat to cover their head. Some of us who are a little thin in the hair department soon discovered that the sun can really beat down on the top of your head and cause headaches, discomfort from the heat and sunburn. The skin cancer threat is there also, so we wear a hat.

Now let me address anyone, be they male or female, who feel they do not need a hat. Folks think about your ears. Even if you wear a cap your ears are exposed unless your hair covers them up. Look around at some of the more seasoned anglers and notice how many of them have scars on their ears or pieces of them missing. Yep, the old skin cancer situation.

Let me recommend a hat with a bream. If you do not like cowboy hats consider the old faithful Willis Breezer or River Guide Canvas hat with a smaller bream that are very durable and will still protect your ears from the harmful rays of the sun.

As I have advanced in years I have learned that I am not bullet proof. I finally have accepted that I am as prone to the common physical hazards as the rest of the population and to put ones self in harms way by negligence is stupid. So everyday after my morning shower and shave I put on the sunscreen, face, ears, hands, and arms. It matters not what the activity plan for the day, because I know I will be outside and in the sun. I know that because I love it and I will just be prepared.

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