Wading fishing can be a great way to fish for a very low cost, but there are things you better know if you’ve never tried it before. If you ask other anglers about wader fishing I’m sure you’ll hear all kinds of stories about why so many of them will never try. So before we get into the things that can happen, let’s see what you must have before you go fishing.
There is some equipment you need to ensure a good and safe wading fishing experience. First, you must have a good fishing rod, six feet to seven and a half feet, with medium to heavy action. Next you will need a good saltwater reel. Why a salt water reel? He’s going to get wet … well, he’s going to spend some time underwater. What I like to do is pack my reel with good reel grease. This helps keep the salt water out and will make the reel last much longer. I don’t recommend using high-priced reels for this style of fishing, unless you just like to spend money. Also, when you’re done fishing, instead of rinsing it off with fresh water, steal some Pledge Lemon from the house and sprinkle it on the rod and reel. Something in this material counteracts the salt water. Just clean it when it dries and put it away.
Bait vs. Lures
Do your homework before leaving. In other words, think about what species of fish you are looking for and what is its natural prey. Shrimp is always a great all-purpose bait or if you have a net to cast, whatever bait you find / catch in the area you will be fishing in is definitely part of the natural diet of the fish in the area.
Don’t be afraid to try the lures. Surface plugs like the Heddon Super Spook work well on floors. Another good one is the Strike King Z TOO, which is a weed-free lure. Cast these lures as you make your way to where you want to fish.
As for your bait, you don’t want to drag a net while fishing. Try to catch the bait while you are still close to shore. Use a good bait bucket that will give your bait plenty of water change to help keep them alive. Note that you do not want to overfill the bait bucket because this will cause a large amount, if not all, of your bait to die. Give them some room to breathe. Use a good sturdy fish stringer to tie up your bait bucket; most of these are long enough for your fish and bait bucket. If you can, try to stay away from the aerators. These make noise and you don’t want to scare the fish when you approach them. Also get a rack or lip grip for your fish; This will make handling your fish easier and safer for you and the fish.
Let’s talk about bringing waders with you when you fish. There are a few things to keep in mind before using them: First, if you go too deep, they will fill with water. Second, they will try to drag you down if you go over your head. This can turn a great day really bad, really fast. I’m not saying don’t wear them, but keep in mind at all times where you are about to step because there are some deep holes out there. I’m not sure, but I think they now offer float waders for safety. If so, I would highly recommend them. Another option is to simply wear a ski belt or some other type of waist flotation device.
As for me, I don’t mind getting wet, so I’m wearing an old pair of tennis shoes. You should always have something on your feet – there are many things you can get hurt on including broken shells, crabs, and don’t forget about stingrays. Try to do the stingray movement when walking on the sandbars, so they will hear you coming and move before you get to them. If you don’t know what stripe motion is, it means your feet are scraping at the bottom while walking. On a side note, stingrays are not there to hurt you; Its spike is its only defense and you’ll want to defend yourself if someone steps on you too! Please show them respect and scrape their feet as you go, and you shouldn’t have a problem with them.
Where to wade for fish
Before you go fishing, you need to know where you are going to go. This may sound simple, but if you don’t do a little research, it could mean your life. Please don’t take it lightly, as people die fishing every year. Always check the area very well before fishing. During low tide, watch for deep holes and shallow areas. Track the best walking area to get out to the canal or hole you want to fish. Remember these areas because the tide will rise again and many seasoned wader anglers have waited too long and found themselves in a bad place. Knowing where the shallow water is could mean the difference between being able to walk or having a long and dangerous bath. I grew up wading fishing around Tampa Bay and around the Skyway Bridge. In these areas you can find sandbars at low tide that recede for a mile. They are great places to fish, but they can also be very dangerous. Not only is there a concern of getting stuck when the tide comes in, but there is a strong current that always seems to go the opposite direction you want to go. So again, I can’t stress this enough: know where you’re going ahead of time. Find out what time the tides are changing. Take a watch with you to check the time. Let someone know where you are going and what time to return. A good suggestion is to always have a friend with you. If they can hold their breath, you can ride on their shoulders as they take you back to shore! Seriously, fishing with a partner is more fun and a lot safer.
You may think that clothes don’t matter when you go fishing, but you would be wrong. First of all, wear clothing that protects you from the sun. You know that sunburn you get when you go out on a boat? Well, wader fishing is like laying on a raft – you will get burned if you don’t have protection. A hat is a great idea and polarized sunglasses are a must. Also, try to wear neutral colored clothing like tans, light blues, and light greens. Remember that if you can see the fish, they can see you. The bright white colors will scare the fish away, and there goes your fishing day! However, keep in mind that you don’t want to camouflage yourself so well that you get hit by a boat …
Wading in style
Here’s something you might want to try, especially if you’re into wader fishing. Get a truck tire inner tube that will fit inside a cooler or a large tub. You now have a place to store your catch, tackle, lunch, and now you have a work station if you have a problem with your gear. As for safety, it could keep you alive if for some reason you forget to come back before the tide does.
Remember what I mentioned earlier about using lures while walking to your fishing spot? If you see schools of red mullet on the plains, there is a good chance that redfish are present with these schools. There is also a high possibility of Snook and Seatrout. Always be on the lookout for bait breakage. You might find that the fish you are looking for are still in shallow water and have not yet moved into the holes and channels. However, you still need to be very quiet when approaching and have a club that can make very long casts. You’d be amazed at what you can snag with just a few inches of water.
Once you get to the hole or channel you want to fish in, you can switch to bait if that’s what you want to do. However, if you choose to still lure fish, you’ll have to cast like clockwork to cover a large amount of area. Move along the edge of the hole or channel so that you can cover a large area in hopes of finding where the fish are. Then try working that area until the fish move. You’ll find that using a soft bait works very well – bounce them off the bottom or work in a stream. DOA shrimp and Love’s lures are two that I would recommend.
something to think about
I’m sure you’ve heard stories about wader fishing, from sharks to sea monsters. When you’re alone, they all seem true. However, something to think about is that you are entering the homes of other creatures, we are the outsiders. So always watch what you are doing and respect these creatures.
Also keep in mind that you are going to fish for fish and will most likely put them on a stringer that will be attached to it. These fish will splash around a bit and probably bleed a bit. I think you know where I’m going with this. More than once I have had situations with sharks. When you are hanging fish in the water, you are asking them to come and check your catch. I’ve had moments where I’ve been pulled back a few feet, only to find only the heads of my catch still on my stringer and a large fin surrounding me. Oh, and trust me, hitting a shark on the nose with your stick doesn’t really work very well. So do you remember the inner tube? It’s really a great idea because you can put your catch in the fridge …