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#12845152 - 07/28/18 10:15 AM Wade fishing solo?
Bud1 Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 05/18/09
Posts: 79
Loc: Laneville, TX
This year I'm planning on wade fishing the lower Texas Gulf shallows. When I was in my 20's and 30's I wouldn't even considered asking, but now that I'm in my 50's?! lol, I'm wondering of the dangers of wade fishing solo?! I have good common sense, an avid swimmer, and experienced waterman. But I was wondering about bull sharks, bad currents, or any other hazards that I may encounter on the Laguna Madre? What areas to avoid, and what areas to target? Any help and advice would be welcomed! Thanks in advance!
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If you ain't sweat'n, fuss'n, or swatt'n...you ain't fish'n!
US Navy 86'-92'
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#12845176 - 07/28/18 11:07 AM Re: Wade fishing solo? [Re: Bud1]
Pat Goff Online   content
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 01/29/05
Posts: 6029
Loc: Marble Falls/Seadrift
Depends on where you’re wading.
Surf or gulf passes can be treacherous. Back bay not so much.
_________________________
Pat Goff
Marble Falls/Seadrift TX



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#12845237 - 07/28/18 01:45 PM Re: Wade fishing solo? [Re: Bud1]
cactusrat Online   content
Angler

Registered: 04/09/18
Posts: 439
Loc: Mathis, Texas
You are going to need a boat to get around the Laguna Madre. so why not drift fish. You can anchor at hot spots or even get out of the boat if shallow enough. Plus drinks, lunch and tackle are always at hand.

Drag a 5 gal bucket over board to slow your drift down.

Sharks and currents shouldn't be a problem. Stepping into a hole might be, just be aware around you.

If you do wade, wear tough shoes to keep sting ray from nailing you.

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#12846037 - 07/29/18 01:05 PM Re: Wade fishing solo? [Re: Bud1]
Alumacraft 14 Offline
Angler

Registered: 02/24/06
Posts: 309
Loc: Texas
I have a boat and wade fish baffin bay and the laguna madre all the time solo. I take some precuations.

-I make a trip plan with general gps locations of where I plan to fish throughout the day and leave this with my wife as well as a time of when I should be off the water.

-I avoid days with poor conditions.

-I carry my cell in a waterproof float bag.
Reception is spotty but I can get text out here and there.

-I wear ray guards (ray stings are not fun)

-I use an oversized anchor to make sure the boat holds.

-I wade with a knife, manual inflatable waist belt, camel back, liquid benadryl, Advil, and paper towels soaked in amonia. I wade far from the boat sometimes a mile or more so I made this kit for possible sting ray strikes/jelly fish stings/waders being swamped by deep water.

-I wear my kill cable and life jacket under way this took me some time to get use to because I never use to do this. Had an oh Jesus moment and that made me question my mortality...lol

I also have a survival pack in the boat and a tool set with spare parts like prop, primer bulb, hose clamps, plugs, fuses etc...

Sounds a bit much, I know, but I added these things from prior mistakes and emergencies through out 25 years of fishing. Lots more I carry but thise are the essentials imo.

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#12846790 - 07/30/18 09:05 AM Re: Wade fishing solo? [Re: Bud1]
TroutSupport.com Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 08/10/10
Posts: 1498
Loc: Entire Gulf and Atlantic Coast...
I do it all the time and I'm 49. I'm a fit 49. In addition to what Alumicraft noted, keep yourself physically fit between wade trips and you'll be stronger for the wade and incase anything happens.

I second not wading passes or the beach at night, but the main bays and flats of the Laguna Madre are wonderful to wade solo.

I like to specifically set the anchor put pushing the flukes into the mud from the back of the crown. That way I know the boat will be there when I get back. Never anchor your boat with a 'pin' type anchor alone, especially on a solo wade. Use the anchor, a good danforth or similar with lots of holding power. And make sure it has about 5' of chain on the front of it.

Park and anchor the boat shallow enough that you can see the bottom if you can. This will help to make sure you don't land on a stingray. Many of the guides that get hit do so when getting out of the boat. Don't rush and always slide your feet.

Please don't wade neck deep. That is where you should drift. It's just too dangerous and there is not enough of you above the water, and quite honestly your head bobbing out there only looks like a crab trap and not a wader. Remember that half of the boaters are guys our age and older with our fading eyesight and hearing. Be cognizant of where you wade and other boaters run patterns.

Have fun, be smart about it and you'll be fine.


Edited by TroutSupport.com (07/30/18 09:08 AM)
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#12847295 - 07/30/18 04:27 PM Re: Wade fishing solo? [Re: Bud1]
COFF Offline
TFF Guru

Registered: 08/22/06
Posts: 12318
Loc: Carrollton
Be aware of currents and surf conditions. Your age and how fit you are, or how good of a swimmer are things that the sea just laughs at.

Last year, I was very close to a statistic when fishing near the SLP in Galveston. I was wading in thigh deep water on the surfside side of SLP. Average waves were hitting me in the belly, but then a big wave came up that would have been over my head. I jumped up to ride the wave and when I landed the current had pushed me out to chest deep water. Then the second wave came right behind it and all the sudden I couldn't touch bottom.

No big deal. I'm a good swimmer and started a nice breast stroke back towards the beach. After a few minutes I realize I'm not getting any closer. So I start swimming across the current towards the rip rap. I am making headway, but I can see that I've got to hurry before I get pushed past the rip rap to the seawall. If I make it to the seawall, there is no way up and I am in real trouble. So I make an all-out effort and end up deposited on the rip rap about 10-15 feet in front of the seawall. Waves slammed into me a couple times as I climbed out and my hands, arms and knees got cut to shreds on the rocks.

**EDIT** It was just a week after this when the dad and son died and they closed down wading on the SLP. Pretty sure there are "No Swimming/Wading" signs posted on the beach in that location now. Also, I am not telling this to scare anyone away from wade fishing. Just don't get in the water thinking your physical conditioning can overcome good sense.


Edited by COFF (07/30/18 04:45 PM)
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#12855098 - 08/06/18 10:11 AM Re: Wade fishing solo? [Re: Bud1]
TroutSupport.com Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 08/10/10
Posts: 1498
Loc: Entire Gulf and Atlantic Coast...
Of course physical fitness will not matter above good sense. But part of having good sense is realizing the rigors of wade fishing. It does require more fitness than staying in the boat and there are added risks. There are also anglers that are not fit enough to wade anywhere. Most swimmers drown when they swim aggressively to try to reach an out point while still in the current whether swimming up current or cross current. There are small pinch points in the bays, even in the upper and lower laguna, that cause significant current and there have been young physically fit anglers drown in the bays in those areas. Just 2 weeks ago a man tried to swim after his boat and drowned... this was in the bay with NO current. All they had to do was wait for another boat to come by. He was not wading solo either. He was with several other anglers that parked the boat and waded. In all cases, good sense always overcomes physical fitness but good fitness is part of having good sense. No one should wade the pass, I think we've already stated that above, but there are many high current situations in the bays and it doesn't take something as big as a pass to drown a person. Be smart ya'll.
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#12855346 - 08/06/18 01:49 PM Re: Wade fishing solo? [Re: Bud1]
John Peebles Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 04/18/05
Posts: 1312
Loc: Seabrook
I started tying a lifejacket to my doughnut when I was by myself or the current was ripping in the surf. The doughnut would barely float me if I stepped off in a hole, but the lifejacket would keep me alive in a dangerous situation.


Edited by John Peebles (08/06/18 01:49 PM)

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#12868029 - 08/17/18 07:33 PM Re: Wade fishing solo? [Re: Alumacraft 14]
runaground3 Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 08/17/18
Posts: 4
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: Alumacraft 14


-I wade with a ... manual inflatable waist belt...

-I wear my kill cable and life jacket under way ...



Are you speaking of something like an Onyx self-inflatable belts advertised for paddleboarding?

Regarding the kill cable, I'm very pleased with the Fell Marine remote kill. It was easy to install and gets rid of the cord, which I couldn't find a way to use without getting tied up trying to turn the steering wheel.

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#12868164 - 08/17/18 09:26 PM Re: Wade fishing solo? [Re: runaground3]
Alumacraft 14 Offline
Angler

Registered: 02/24/06
Posts: 309
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: runaground3
Originally Posted By: Alumacraft 14


-I wade with a ... manual inflatable waist belt...

-I wear my kill cable and life jacket under way ...



Are you speaking of something like an Onyx self-inflatable belts advertised for paddleboarding?

Regarding the kill cable, I'm very pleased with the Fell Marine remote kill. It was easy to install and gets rid of the cord, which I couldn't find a way to use without getting tied up trying to turn the steering wheel.


Yes that's the one. Thanks for the tip, I will look it up.

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#12880890 - 08/29/18 05:42 PM Re: Wade fishing solo? [Re: Bud1]
lite-liner Offline
Capt. CUDA

Registered: 07/01/04
Posts: 6555
Loc: Fulton, Texas
I'm 50, & I was pretty apprehensive at first. but that has faded with every wade.
I've had a couple close calls, & I only go solo in places I'm very familiar with.
never the surf. well, not yet anyway.
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#12884752 - 09/02/18 09:09 AM Re: Wade fishing solo? [Re: Bud1]
karstopo Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 05/22/16
Posts: 597
Loc: Brazoria County
Since the OP mentioned the lower Texas Coast that tends to mean clearer water. I always like wading in clear water than in less clear water. I’m about to be 56 and solo wade the surf. I tend to solo kayak the bays and marshes, but that’s about our typically muddy bottoms near where I live.

Sharks have so far left me alone. In the surf, I tend to walk up any fish I keep rather than string them. The surf in general is full of sharks. I’ve had some pretty healthy sized one come real close. The biggest shark I ever saw wading was in a back lake off West Matagorda Bay. It was easily 6 feet and probably 7. The lake was no more than 2’ feet deep. I think a big tide pushed it in there and the little cut to the lake then got too shallow for it to exit.

Sting rays give me the most to think about. I’d hate to get stabbed while fishing solo. I knew of a couple of folks that basically were incapacitated by the pain. Shuffle those feet and don’t back up. Sting rays will follow a wader looking for tidbits the fisherman kick up.

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#12892600 - 09/09/18 08:59 AM Re: Wade fishing solo? [Re: Bud1]
Grinder55 Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 08/21/13
Posts: 1135
Loc: Rockport, Texas
OK - I am 62 YO and wade all the time.

Year round.

Great way to get some exercise and some filets that are full of selenium, both are great for for my body at my age.

I published a Book: WadeFish Rockport© Book & DVD in 2014 and it has been updated 3 times.

Wadefish Rockport© Book & DVD

In the DVD I go into an depth discussion of wade fishing, rigging and terminal tackle for almost 45 minutes.

I have never had any problem with stingray or shark, just friendly dolphins looking for an easy meal when I release undersized trout.

I've fished one spot that has had an alligator living around that slough for as long as I can remember. That gator has never bothered me.

I use wade booty's - not sting ray guards - because they encumbrance my feet too much when I slide my feet over sand, a soft bottom and are way too noisy for my preference when stalking big trout, or any fish, over shell.

Being "in" the water with the Fish when catching them is about as close as you can get to really being a part of Mother Nature and the Bounty she has to provide.

Had some Fun last Monday stalking down some reds with the TEXAS RATTLER™ Rattling Spoon that were literally right next to the shoreline on each side of this slough where my alligator buddy likes to hang out.





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