February 13, 2010 11:49:00 PM
Most water sports men and women you see wear sunglasses.
Anglers wear them to see better while fishing.
With polarized lenses, you are able to see underwater stumps and other cover that will likely hold a fish or two. During bedding season, anglers that bed fish wear polarized sunglasses to spot fish while they are on the bed.
Pleasure boats are filled with men, women and children and most of them are wearing sunglasses for a number of reasons. Some wear them because of having to squint in the sunlight. Others wear them to look stylish.
The truth behind wearing sunglasses during water sports is more important than any of the above.
Sunglasses should be worn anytime you are on the water because of UV sun protection. Mega millions of dollars are spent every year on sun protection for the skin, but not nearly enough money is spent to protect the eye.
Cataracts, which we peg on the older generation, is one of the most documented problems seen by doctors in relation to water sports enthusiasts not wearing sun protection for their eyes.
Another well-documented problem is cancer around the eyes.
Still another problem is sand and dirt getting in the eye from the debris flying off the carpet while boating.
But, anglers also use sunglasses for physical protection.
I challenge all anglers that have access to a computer to look up fish hook eye surgery on www.youtube.com. You will see that this isn''t a very big hook so this applies to all anglers.
Whether you are bream, crappie, catfish or bass fishing, wear sunglasses for eye protection.
I personally know of one angler who lost his eye due to the fish coming off and the weight and hook came back to his face. The weight hit him in the eye and he is forever blinded in that eye.
Bernie Schultz, a BASS touring professional, even reported having a similar accident. His accident was not caused by his equipment, but that of his 9-year old son.
Schultz was practicing for a tournament at Lake Toho in Florida. He took his son with him and during the day, his son made a wide back cast with a floating Rapala jerkbait. The multiple treble hooks hit Schultz in the face.
All three treble hooks deflected off of his sunglasses and embedded into his face. Ouch! I have personally had to remove hooks out of myself, but never from my face.
The point here with Schultz is that if he hadn''t had sunglasses on, he could be walking around blind today.
Overcast skies is a time of overlooked exposure.
I know many have heard that someone went to the beach and did not put on sun protection because it was cloudy. They returned to the room with sunburn.
This is the same thing that happens to our eyes.
Sunglasses come in several colors for lenses. Most professional anglers carry at least three different color sunglasses with them in their boat. Schultz, by the way, carries seven.
In the low-light time of the morning, most will have a yellow lens pair resting on their nose. I own a pair of yellow lens and they really help in low light and in the foggy areas.
The next color is amber. The amber lens is the primary color for the day. It works fine in sunny or overcast conditions.
The other color is gray. When the sun is bright and high, gray is the other choice.
I love my Costa Del Mar sunglasses. But every weekend fisherman shouldn''t have to spend $200 on a pair sunglasses. You can go to Wal-Mart and buy a decent pair of polarized sunglasses for less than $20. They won''t be the best, but they will protect you from physical mishaps and the UV rays. Just make sure you buy the ones that are labeled "Polarized".
Kevin Forrester contributes an outdoor column to The Commercial Dispatch each week. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.