There is one place on this planet where there is peace. You won’t find it in Palestine. You won’t find it in Iraq. You won’t find it in Afghanistan. You will find it where Anne Murray sang – out on the Myrah. Yes, out on the lake, where almost nothing moves on the calm water and you can hear every bird and every cricket…where you can get away from it all.
After all the planning – the where, the when, the how – you’ll need to grab your tackle box and make sure it is properly equipped. Chances are the contents look something like this:
– bait or lures
– fish hooks
– fish hook sharpener
– split rings
– plenty of fishing line
– fishing knife
– first aid kit (just in case)
– more snacks
– small pair of pliers
– more snacks
– fishing line clippers
– fish weighing scale
– tape measure
– more snacks…no, wait…a six pack.
But in all that tackle and snack preparation, you might have forgotten one very important item, and item tool to help you better locateyour fish and survive several hoursbeneath an unforgiving sun in an unsheltered boat. Yes, a hat will come in handy, but that is not what I am talking about. Agreed, sunscreen is also important, but that’s not it, either. I am referring to polarized sun sunglasses.
Why sunglasses? Why polarized?. Choosing the right polarized sunglasses is important for both your health and enjoyment.
Sunglasses because the sun’s harmful UV rays are multiplied when out on a fishing excursion as the glare from the sun bounces off the water. There are no trees. There are no buildings. There is no shelter. The sun beats down on you for hours. And bounces up at you from the water for hours. Over the years, too much exposure to UV rays can cause permanent damage to your eyes. Maximum protection from UVA, UVB and UVC light is your goal.
A few of the dangers include…
– Skin cancer around the eyes, where it is hard to apply sunscreen
– Pterygiums – small growths on your cornea
– Solar keratitis – sunburn right on the cornea, acute and painful, and perhaps a precursor to some of the other eye diseases the sun can create.
– Macular degeneration – a loss of vision in the center of the visual field that makes it hard to read, recognize faces, drive, etc.
Cataracts – a cloudiness in the crystalline lens of the eye, which reduces the light we see and can ultimately lead to blindness
Why specifically polarized sunglasses? The glare off the water can be blinding, and after a few hours your eyes can get pretty fed up of the strain. Polarized sunglasses will block almost 100% of the glare that comes off of water. They, are designed with “vertical polarization”. Since the light bouncing off of the water is in the form of horizontally polarized light, they also allow fishermen to see down into the water helping them to spot fish. So, while they are great for any activity that is surrounded by reflection, from snow-shoeing to canoeing, polarized sunglasses are doubly useful for fishermen.
If you are fishing in shallow water, amber colored lenses will help you better see the fish. For instance, the bigmouth bass, which survives by blending into its background, can be easier seen through the yellow filter.
Polarized lenses will also help you see dead heads lurking just beneath the surface, so even boaters who are not fishing have a double reason to wear them – they reduce blinding glare that hurts your eyes, and they reduce blinding glare that keeps you from seeing below the surface.
A good pair of polarized sunglasses will make your fishing trip a much more enjoyable experience than if you forget to bring them along. See the fish, not the glare…and see better for years to come.