Many more saltwater anglers are turning to wadefishing, both for the excitement and to increase their chances of landing a trophy speckled trout or redfish for the wall. What many of these newcomers to the sport fail to realize is that there are a few rules that go with the wadefishing experience that can make it more fun and a whole lot safer. RULE NUMBER ONE is to always know the area yoou plan to wade. If you don’t, there are several things you can do to aquire at least a working knowledge of a new spot. Purchase a map of the area and study it for cuts, channels, and any other obstructions that could cause you harm. A good map will also allow you to get a general idea of how strong the currents may be or where the fish will move through. If you can’t find a map or one is not available, the next best thing is to get advice from someone who has fished there before. And even better, talk them into making at least one trip with you before you try it on your own. RULE NUMBER TWO is a simple one and yet you’d be surprised at how many anglers have gotten into trouble by thinking they were immune to this danger. It’s very simple! Whenever you wade near a pass or anywhere there is the possibility of strong currents; if you plan to try your luck at the third bar; or if you’re wading unfamiliar territory; wear a life jacket. RULE NUMBER THREE is also a simple one that, not followed, results in injuries every year. There are things in saltwater that would rather you not step on them or that love a meal of speckled trout held tightly together on a stringer. Stingrays are probably a waders biggest concern. They cover themselves with sand, contrary to what you may have heard, to camoflauge themselves from prey not from fishermen. These “Texas Landmines” can be avoided by shuffling your feet across the bottom instead of walking heel-to-toe. If, like me, you find this uncomfortable, spend the money on a product called Walk-N-Wade leg guards. They will protect you from just below the knee down and will certainly ease your mind so that you can concentrate on the fishing. Sharks are also prevelant on the Texas coast and some even make their way into the bays. These predators are not after you, but if a stringer of bleeding trout or redfish happens to be wrapped around your leg, Mr. Shark can’t really tell you from the fish. Use a 15 to 25 foot stringer with a good float on the end. This helps keep the fish far enough away from you so is something else would rather have those fish, you’re not going to be part of the meal. Another thing about stringers that can get you into trouble is tying them to your belt loops or to your belt. If a good sized shark, any shark bigger than six inches in my book, wants your fish, it’s best to be able to let him have them as quickly as possible. Once he has his teeth latched onto the cord and is pulling it away from you, it’s extremely hard to untie a knot. I know this is true because it has happened to me. ONCE!! This is going to be an excellent year for wadefishermen along the upper coast. Follow these few simple rules and be around to enjoy the great fall fishing in a few months.
– Texas Saltwater Fishing Guide