Trout and Edges — May 12, 2008
Do you power wade? As you read this article, think about the question and see if you are. Most waders have a tendency to get out of the boat and take off. They think the more ground you cover the better your chances are to catch fish. In some cases, I may agree. However, speedy anglers often walk through more fish than they catch–especially trout. Trout stage, or hold, next to structure and ambush bait as it comes swims by on the tides. There are times they will chase shrimp and bait all over the bay. To improve your odds of catching bigger and more trout, slow down and use the structure you have available.
In the Lower Laguna Madre, we have a different type of structure in comparison to the upper coast. We do not have reefs or large rock formations. Our structure consists mainly of grass. Understanding how trout ambush their prey, one can maximize their time on the water by using a little common sense. Here is a tip I use while wading. I use my feet as a depth finders and structure feelers. How often have you waded across hard sand to softer sand? Did you realize that represents a structure change?
I always instruct my clients to walk the grass edges while wading. I ask them to wade along the grassline with one foot in the grass and the other on bare bottom. That my friend is what I refer to as an edge. A grass change of only a half inch may mean the difference between success and getting skunked and may be the structure you are looking for. As you wade, feel for different textured bottoms. If you walk off the grass edge, or you find yourself only on sand, move right or left to get back on the edge.
Most importantly, always keep your guard up to find a for grass point. Points extending from the grass edge into the sand are FISH MAGNETS. I often stand in one spot and catch numerous trout from these points. As in life, size is not important. A small point of 6 to 8 feet can hold numbers of fish. Look for these grass edges in water from 2 feet to depths that require a boat.
For us OLD GUYS, slow wading fits our mode of exercise. Let the Young Bulls power wade; I will just walk or stand in one spot and work on the fish. I hope this bit of information helps you in catching more trout and remember to only keep what you plan to eat.