See What's Out There
Sight fishing has some requirements that many other styles of fishing do not, from the boat to the personal gear utilized by the angler and the guide. One of the most important pieces of equipment you will use all day are your sunglasses. Having the proper pair of sunglasses cannot only make the difference between seeing fish or not seeing them, it can make the difference between having a headache from eye strain or not.
The first thing an angler must understand is the need for polarized sunglasses. Most people know what they are and that the lens allows the individual to see through the surface glare and actually focus into the water. This is paramount when looking for redfish cruising a shoreline, bonefish swimming across the flat, or snook laid up in the mangroves. Polarized sunglasses can be purchased almost anywhere, even the local gas stations. Personally, I believe any pair of polarized glasses is better than not having them; remember that if you forget your pair on the way to a trip.
With that statement, I will also add that not all polarized sunglasses are the same! I have tried various pairs throughout the years, from almost every manufacturer out there. Without naming them, allow me to say that if you have read a fishing magazine, a motorcycle magazine, or a golfing magazine, I have tried almost every pair in those pages. Then, a few years ago, I was re-introduced to Costa del Mar and a new lens they had developed. Since that time, I have stayed with them.
One of the issues with most sunglasses is maintaining a balance between allowing light through the lens, for visibility, and keeping a high amount of polarization. This is made even more difficult for low light conditions, such as early morning or overcast skies. Costa del Mar developed a lens for this condition: Silver Sunrise Mirror. This lens was developed for low light conditions, allowing the maximum amount of light transmission, while maintaining the highest protection. Ok, what does that mean? Simply put, it allows ample light to enter your eye for visibility, while providing maximum polarization and UV protection; it makes seeing fish much easier in the most difficult conditions.
During low light conditions, seeing fish can be extremely difficult; especially those species that do not like to show signs above the water. This was very evident over the last couple of days on the water. Our skies were less than favorable, with overcast, rainy conditions and very little to no sun coming through the clouds. To make things more difficult, we had extremely high tides, which allowed the water to get high on the shorelines of islands and the mainland, adding all types of debris and clouding the water. Most people would consider these conditions worthless for sight fishing. Having the right gear and knowing what your gear is designed for makes all of the difference. Despite poor conditions, I was able to spot snook, redfish and tarpon throughout the day. My client was having difficulty seeing the fish, so I would talk him in during the cast and we had a lot of success. yes, he was wearing Costa sunglasses too, but he had the normal "flats fishing lens", in copper; this lens works great on sunny days, but is not as effective during cloudy days. How successful? 31 snook, 2 redfish and 1 tarpon in under 5 hours.
Hey, I know sunglasses are expensive. Still, having a really good pair can make a huge difference in having success or not having it. Don't want to spend the money for a single pair of glasses specific conditions? The best part is, this lens has such a high polarization and UV protection rate, I wear them all day, despite the conditions. In fact, if I'm on the water, I wear them 95% of the time. The only time I change to a darker pair is during periods of bright, blue skies in gin clear water. I still wear them in early morning, but will change to a darker lens to avoid my eyes getting tired in the afternoon. You owe your eyes to do the proper thing and protect them, while still enjoying your outdoor activities. Get great sunglasses! For me, Costa is the answer. Try and pair and ,"See what's out there!"