- Capt. Fred Everson

The Tampa Tribune
Published: March 17, 2010

Capt. Billy Jordan once told me that you can't say winter is over in Florida until the full moon in March. Let us hope so, especially for the winter of 2010, which has grounded most of us since the first of the year.

The next full moon will occur around March 29, and not a moment too soon. In a normal winter that would mean getting the temperature out of the 50s, but this year it has been much colder than that. At the end of the first week of March, morning temperatures were still in the high 30s.

The wind may blow in the coming weeks, but the temperature should rise to a more normal level, according to forecasters.

Regardless of temperature, anglers should still be careful with their exposure to the sun. Temperature really has no effect on direct sunlight, which is why spring snow skiers get burned when skiing in shorts and T-shirts. Sunscreen is one way to keep from getting burned, but you are supposed to reapply it periodically. Now some clothing manufacturers have begun offering apparel treated with ultraviolet light inhibitors. This means you can actually wear your sunscreen instead of slathering it on.

Another thing I'm seeing on the water is fishermen wearing buffs. A buff is something like a neck warmer but a lot more versatile. It's a stretchy seamless tube-shaped affair made of microfiber that can be worn as a hat, neck warmer or face shield. First popularized by snow skiers, fishermen soon caught on and now you find the original buffs and imitations at every fishing show.

I caught up with Gabe Krakowski of Brooklyn, N.Y., at the Outdoor Expo at the Florida State Fairgrounds a couple of weeks ago, where he was selling his UPF-rated T- shirts and some accessories. He explained the method of treating shirts is a complex multi-step process involving certain chemicals and fabric weave. Ultimately, the idea behind the shirts is that you wear your sun protection instead of applying it. Krakowski also said the fit of the shirts is important. Loose-fitting clothing affords more protection, and neutral colors - light blue, sand, and pastels, for example - are best suited for this application. Dark colors are too absorptive, and lighter colors are reflective. He has also incorporated an attached buff into his shirts.

"The attached buff can be tucked under the shirt when you want to stop someplace for lunch, so you don't look like you're ready to rob a bank," Krakowski said.

Fred Everson is an outdoor writer and Ruskin-based fishing guide. All South Shore fishermen and guides may submit information and photographs to be included in this column by calling (813) 830-8890 or sending an e-mail to

Review by: Fred Everson Tribune columnist

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