Summer’s end brings about big changes for fishermen. Shorter days signal to gamefish that it’s time to feed heavily in preparation for fall migrations, falling water temperatures mean clearer water inshore, while cold mornings and sudden storms weed out the fair-weather fishermen. Simply put, it’s a wonderful time to be on the water.
Fall weather changes fast, so regardless of the forecast, no one should leave the dock without reliable foul-weather gear. Even under clear skies, a freshening wind from the northwest can make for a wet ride home.
The AFTCO Hydronaut Waterproof System includes a jacket with a two-layer 100-percent Nylon shell with Polyester mesh lining. On the sleeves, the Double Dry Cuff system features an internal rubberized sleeve and cinch to prevent water from seeping up the arm, with an external sleeve cuff with retractable Velcro cinch as the first line of waterproof defense.
In addition to keeping water out, features like the SpeedVent hood design keep fishermen comfortably by alleviating neck strain and restriction from the airflow encountered when travelling at high rates of speed.
The adjustable shoulder system on the Hydronaut Heavy-Duty Waterproof Bib is designed with a wider profile than traditional bib straps, helping to reduce dig while eliminating uncomfortable buckles. Front Velcro tensioners allow single-handed adjustments and rear mesh panels improve breathability. A pliers pocket keeps essential tools handy while Adjustable side zippers allow easy on/easy off.
Early mornings and late afternoons get downright chilly in the fall, and a warm, comfortable sweatshirt makes those early-morning wakeups more manageable. The AFTCO Reaper Technical Sweatshirt has an integrated face mask and neck warmer, perfect for cutting the chill. It features laser-cut ventilation on the mask and underarm area, a hood with a cinch shock cord anchoring system designed specifically for fisherman running at high speeds to reach blitzing fish. AFGUARD stain release keeps the sweatshirt looking good trip after trip and the 100% polybonded microfleece fabric locks in the heat.
Whether on a post-turnover lake or the nearshore saltwater, late in the season, the water is at its clearest, and the gamefish can be wary. Fishermen need every edge they can get, and that includes a near-invisible leader material like the AFTCO Saiko Pro Fluorocarbon. Saiko Pro is a 100% custom formula fluorocarbon made in Japan. It features a supple yet hard finish that provides supreme abrasion resistance, Saiko Pro remains strong after abrasion. Twenty-five-yard spools of 12- to 80-pound test is available in both clear and pink, and thirty-five-yard coils of 100- to 300-pound test is available in clear.
Stay Well Stocked
The last piece to the late-season fishing puzzle is adding enough fillets to the freezer to keep you eating fish until the first trip of spring. A reliable blade, like the AFTCO x Böker Fillet Knife helps get the maximum yield, and is durable enough to survive many season. The range of AFTCO fillet knives feature 4116 German stainless steel blades with a full tang construction and up sweep design. The premium Böker blades are easily distinguished with an AFTCO gold TIN / PVD finish that is bonded to the blade ensuring durable corrosion resistance. A 56-58 Rockwell hardness and sub-zero quench process helps maintain blade sharpness and edge retention. The handle features an over-molded slip-free polypropylene / TPR surface that is both anatomically and ergonomically correct. In sizes of 8, 10, and 12 inches, there’s a model to cover whatever late-season species you’re carving up, from blackfish to bluefin tuna.