Mike Long wants you to catch the biggest bass of your life

Part 3: Personal care

"They make some amazing sports fabrics now, that wick away sweat and moisture in hot weather and that help you stay warm when it's cold," Long notes. "The important thing is to stay safe and comfortable so you can focus on your fishing."

Nothing earth-shattering here. Long recommends layers in winter with a good outer shell to protect yourself from wind, and he typically opts for rain pants when it's cold rather than jeans.

In hot weather, he'll often wear shorts or sweatpants, but never wears sandals anymore. "My feet need more protection than that, and I've had some painful experiences with sunburn on my feet.

"I wear long sleeves whenever I'm fishing, and I apply sunscreen regularly throughout the day. I like the spray-on variety because it means I don't have to get it on my hands where it can contact my baits."

Whereas lots of today's tournament pros are using big, wide-brimmed hats to protect themselves from the sun, Long prefers a buff that he uses to cover much of his face, ears and neck. Oftentimes he'll put a baseball cap on top of that, but sometimes the cap will go on first and then the buff over the top to cover his ears.

"I've also learned how important it is to protect my hands," Long says. "I wear sun-protection gloves that have the fingers cut out so I can tie knots and cast more easily. The gloves are long enough that they run up my forearms and under my long sleeves to fully protect my arms. You really need to limit your amount of exposed skin, even on cloudy days."

For more on how Mike Long dresses for success, check out this video.

The eyes have it

A good pair of polarized sunglasses is standard equipment for any Mike Long fishing outing. He prefers Kaenon Rhinos in the grey G-12 lens. Not only do quality sunglasses protect your eyes, but they also allow you to see better, and that can be critical if the bass of your dreams is shallow enough to be caught by sight fishing methods.

"There's just no good reason not to wear good sunglasses," says Long. "It's definitely one area where it doesn't pay to cut corners. Quality lenses will protect your eyes from the sun and from flying projectiles that happen around every fishing boat. Find a pair that's comfortable and that cuts out light from the sides so you can see better into the water."

"A couple of months after watching that trout fisherman fall apart right before my eyes, I ran into him again on the same lake. This time he had long sleeves, a big hat, sunscreen and no beer. He was a lot nicer, too."

advertisement

advertisement