Wade fishermen escape the heat only to challenge Mother Nature
The big center console finally drifts to a stop in the early morning darkness as the anchor rope comes tight. Solitary figures equipped with the latest gear that would make a NAVY Seal jealous slide over the gunnels into the warm still water and begin casting in all directions, probing the shallow flat for the fish of their dreams. These anglers have achieved their goal of being at that special place when the fish begin to feed, the scene is picture perfect and the plan has no flaws. One hefty fish after another crushes the offerings of these anglers, topwater plugs disappear in a foamy wash and that is followed by the sound of line stripping off a reel. A successful wade is a thing of beauty, especially when it’s shared with other anglers who understand what it takes to make it all happen. You don’t just get to a spot and hop out expecting to catch fish, there’s a little more to it than that.
Summer wade fishing is an excellent way to not only catch fish but to catch big fish. Pre dawn excursions are the norm when the temperatures climb high and thunderstorms pop up during the day at a moments notice. The lack of traffic on the water combined with the cooler temperatures makes wading early and late mighty productive. The well equipped wade fisherman can make this time on the water more enjoyable as long as they are prepared. Besides the obvious stuff like rod and reel, tackle, and pliers there are some other essentials that the wader should never be without. Proper footwear is a must, sting ray guards or ray proof boots should always be worn when wading during this time of the year. Having a barb from a ray get lodged in your leg is a very dangerous and painful experience so be sure to wear the guards or boots. Another couple of items you don’t want to be without is some sort of light and a whistle. Both of these items will help keep safe from other boat traffic in the dark as well as make it easier to signal for help if needed.
Now probably the last thing any fisherman wants to find in the water swimming around with them is a shark, wade fishermen deal with this much more often than they realize because there are plenty of sharks. If you are going to wade you need to be aware of a couple of things when dealing with sharks. When keeping fish that you have caught be sure to put them on a longer stringer to get them farther away from your body. Dragging dead or bleeding fish around behind you is just an advertisement for sharks and believe me they will find your fish. Talk with anyone who wades and more than likely they have a story about shark stealing fish off of a stringer or taking the whole thing completely. There are alternatives to stringers; the Do-Net is a Styrofoam float with a net in the middle designed for carrying fish while wading. Other anglers like those on the middle coast have resorted to making floating 5 gallon buckets using foam pool toys to keep the sharks away. Whatever approach you choose be sure to pay close attention and use common sense. Letting a shark take you stringer or a fish off a lure is much cheaper than trying to fight it.
Well now that you are equipped to do battle you can head out on the water with a better understanding of what it takes to make a safe and successful wade. Use your time in the water to not only fish but to study the bottom in the areas you fish because that will pay dividends in the future. By walking these areas you can learn a great deal about the structure and what actually makes an area hold fish. Get in the water and get with the program.