Mwalsh787

Paddling Gear for Cooler SC Weather

15 posts in this topic

Hello All!

 

I have been kayak fishing for a few years now and kayaking for at least twelve years, so I have some experience.  However, I am getting more and more into fishing the May River here in Bluffton, SC, and I'd like to continue through the winter months.  I am undecided on the right cooler weather gear.  I very much respect the expertise and experience of the folks in these forums, so I thought I might ask the experts!  I dive a bit, so I do have a 3 and a 5 mil wetsuit that I could employ, but I wonder if there aren't better solutions.  A dry suit isn't in the budget right now, so I wondered if there may be some advice for the right clothing/gear for paddling in the cooler weather here in SC.  I do carry a VHF radio with DSC on each trip, as well as a few different signaling devices and a cell phone in a Stormr bag, but I am very open to suggestions on safety gear as well.  Thanks in advance for any suggestions that you may have!

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I think your water temps won't get below the 55 degree mark, which is still cold. If it's sunny out and 60's or 70's the 3mm may have a shot but the reality is you could see 30's in the morning, which would make the 5mm wet-suit the better option. What you need to do is find out how your wet suit acts with some splash on it. Some wet suits don't do well out of the water and in the wind you can get chilled.  Some folks wear splash gear over their wetsuit to take away the chill. Take both wetsuits out and try em out before you launch then you will know which one will work better for you.

 

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11 mins ago, The Riddler said:

I think your water temps won't get below the 55 degree mark, which is still cold. If it's sunny out and 60's or 70's the 3mm may have a shot but the reality is you could see 30's in the morning, which would make the 5mm wet-suit the better option. What you need to do is find out how your wet suit acts with some splash on it. Some wet suits don't do well out of the water and in the wind you can get chilled.  Some folks wear splash gear over their wetsuit to take away the chill. Take both wetsuits out and try em out before you launch then you will know which one will work better for you.

 

Riddler, that's a great suggestion.  I have been diving with both, but don't have a sense of "splash".  Thanks for the good idea!

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While you need to dress for the water temps, it can get fairly warm in the Carolinas. Two piece wet gear, semi dry combos or similar could be more comfortable than a full suit.

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13 mins ago, cheech said:

While you need to dress for the water temps, it can get fairly warm in the Carolinas. Two piece wet gear, semi dry combos or similar could be more comfortable than a full suit.

That makes good sense, Cheech.  I appreciate the feedback.  Any suggestions on brands of gear/good stuff?

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Seperate drypants and a drytop (even a semi-dry top should be OK) should be sufficient based on the temps the guys are talking, Kokatat is a reliable brand. You can then layer where necessary.

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1 min ago, Africaster said:

Seperate drypants and a drytop (even a semi-dry top should be OK) should be sufficient based on the temps the guys are talking, Kokatat is a reliable brand. You can then layer where necessary.

Thanks, Africaster!

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1 hour ago, Africaster said:

Seperate drypants and a drytop (even a semi-dry top should be OK) should be sufficient based on the temps the guys are talking, Kokatat is a reliable brand. You can then layer where necessary.

^^^^^   Concur.  

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Ive been wearing paddling bibs with a semi dry top. Its not as waterproof as a drysuit but you'll have plenty of time to get back on without too much water seeping in.

 

NRS Sidewinder Bibs and NRS endurance paddling jacket. Level six also makes good products that are very comparable.

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I live in Columbia. Was on Broad River fishing for smallies, windy, temp around 60 , gortex bibs did ok. Wished I had another layer other than my blue jeans when I was in the shade for very long. This was 3 weeks ago. 

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On 12/6/2017 at 3:32 PM, Mwalsh787 said:

Hello All!

 

I have been kayak fishing for a few years now and kayaking for at least twelve years, so I have some experience.  However, I am getting more and more into fishing the May River here in Bluffton, SC, and I'd like to continue through the winter months.  I am undecided on the right cooler weather gear.  I very much respect the expertise and experience of the folks in these forums, so I thought I might ask the experts!  I dive a bit, so I do have a 3 and a 5 mil wetsuit that I could employ, but I wonder if there aren't better solutions.  A dry suit isn't in the budget right now, so I wondered if there may be some advice for the right clothing/gear for paddling in the cooler weather here in SC.  I do carry a VHF radio with DSC on each trip, as well as a few different signaling devices and a cell phone in a Stormr bag, but I am very open to suggestions on safety gear as well.  Thanks in advance for any suggestions that you may have!

Btw, u fishing artificials or bait?.  What species r u pursuing? I love that area. Always wanted to fish more down there. I have a time share on Daufuskie. Never have taken my yak there. 

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On December 20, 2017 at 2:19 PM, sunobskt said:

Btw, u fishing artificials or bait?.  What species r u pursuing? I love that area. Always wanted to fish more down there. I have a time share on Daufuskie. Never have taken my yak there. 

Sun, so sorry to be seeing this so late.  The Holidays got me!  Interesting that you live in Columbia.  I work in Columbia at the University.  I'm here every Thursday!  I live down in Bluffton, SC, so most of my fishing is done there, although I do scoot down to Florida now and then:)

 

I fish the May River, mostly, for Redfish and Trout.  The trout bite was pretty hot through December.  The Redfish bite was not too great for me after September, but I have friends who did well with Reds all year.  

 

To answer your question, I fish almost exclusively with soft plastics on 1/4 ounce or 3/8 ounce jigheads.  I am a big fan of the Zman soft plastics as I love their action in the water and they hold up pretty well.

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I fish artificials as well but don't get to the coast much unfortunately. I have always loved the Beaufort area. A lady I work with is in the process of moving down there. Let me know when you are in Columbia and have some spare time, take you out on Lake Murray, I have a 19' Scout. It has been tough until the fall bite last year but then was good. Mid-Feb until late May can be very good. 

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