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Old 05-18-2017, 10:05 AM   #11
LSUALUM
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When I wade fish, which isn't that often, maybe a half dozen times a year, I am way way more scared of stingrays than sharks. When I first started a few years ago sharks were all I could think about, but after seeing a friend get hit in the arm by a stingray while flounder gigging, that is all I can think about there. Shuffling my feet or not, I still cant help but feel I am going to get popped at any moment.
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Old 05-18-2017, 10:20 AM   #12
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You're not alone. I know a lot of people who won't wade fish for a lot of different reasons and though they have tried they stay in the boat now days.

It's not for everyone and you will do just find drifting in the boat.

I wrote an article about that very thing about 4 years ago.

Why Get Out Of The Boat?

I had a friend ask me the other day why I would get out of a perfectly good boat, get all wet, mingle with sharks, jellyfish and stingrays, just to catch some fish. I answered that I just liked to be one with nature and laughed. I added that wading was actually a combination of hunting and fishing, and I really enjoy that aspect. But he was serious and he just didn't understand why I didn't just stay in the boat and drift, so I proceeded to explain further to him why I like to wade.

I told him that I like drifting and do it quite often when over bottom that my knees and back can't tolerate, i.e. soft mud bottom or when fish are holding in deeper water that can't be fished any other way. I pointed out that my feet can take me where my boat can't and I can't find the small changes in bottom structure if I'm in the boat. I also explained there are times when the fish are holding on structure that I would likely zip across while drifting, catching only one, whereas when wading I can stand perfectly still and take greater advantage of my good fortune.

I explained that there is a stillness when wade fishing that you can't get if fishing from a boat. Stillness equates to stealth and adds to the odds that if fish are where you are; you'll catch them. I can cover a lot of ground quietly and I don't have to move with the wind to do it as I would if I stayed in the boat. If I see bait get busted upwind I can wade to within casting distance and with a boat unless I had a trolling motor I'd be out of luck. Even with a trolling motor though, going against the wind is going to cause some hull slap, which is noise, which isn't stealthy.

I told him that by being in the water I was less visible to the fish than I would be if I were fishing from a boat and that by being lower to the water I could cast a little better than from the boat.

He asked me about sharks, jellyfish, stingrays and other nasty creatures being in the water and how I dealt with knowing that they were there. I replied that I slide my feet for the stingrays, wear long pants and long sleeve shirts for the jellyfish and for the sun, and that I watch carefully for the sharks. I told him that when a small to medium size shark gets too close I simply whack him with my fishing rod and it usually goes away. He then asked me what I did if it was a really big shark that got too close and I told him that I usually gave the shark plenty of room and moved away from it. If the shark became aggressive I would make my way back to the boat and toss a fish to it to keep it busy. I told him I would give him my stringer with all the fish on it to keep the big shark away from me. He actually got goose bumps when I told him that and said that he would never give up being at the top of the food chain just to be able to sneak up on fish.

I had explained to him all that I really could at the moment. I'd run out of reasons that I like to wade fish, well those that I could think of anyway, and simply told him that he needed to try it with me some day and see if he liked it. I offered him some wading boots that someone left in my boat one day that would fit him, I had an extra wading belt or two or three that he could use along with a stringer and box to hold the lures he would want to fish with.

I'd like to say that he took me up on my offer and that I took him wade fishing and that he had a great time. I'd like to say that he caught fish, saw no sharks or stingrays and that the jellyfish weren't in the bay that day but I can't.

He looked at me, laughed, and said "Oh hell no."

He said that he would fish the way he wanted to fish and that I could do the same. He said that if I wanted to use a perfectly good boat as a taxi to a spot where I could jump into the water, lower myself on the food chain and be bait for JawsI could just go right ahead. He would be in the boat where he could stay dry, not get eaten, stung or stabbed by any sea critter, and where he could be close to the beer and the snacks where he enjoyed being.

And really, he had a very good point. Fishing is supposed to be fun and stress free. If getting into the water stresses you out; don't do it. If wade fishing is what decompresses you from a week in the office, then great, have at it.

But however you fish, be it from a boat, from belly deep in the bay or from the bank, have fun while you're doing it.

After all, if you can't have fun when you're fishing why go?

TH
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Old 05-18-2017, 10:24 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by LSUALUM View Post
When I wade fish, which isn't that often, maybe a half dozen times a year, I am way way more scared of stingrays than sharks. When I first started a few years ago sharks were all I could think about, but after seeing a friend get hit in the arm by a stingray while flounder gigging, that is all I can think about there. Shuffling my feet or not, I still cant help but feel I am going to get popped at any moment.
How did he get hit in the arm?
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Old 05-18-2017, 10:34 AM   #14
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I've lost some stringers, but my scariest moment was when a bull shark was working a mud flat. Then it went under. Within a few minutes I got hit from the back of my legs and I lost balance and fell in the water. End of story. I kept fishing.
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Old 05-18-2017, 10:37 AM   #15
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He got down on his knees to reach under the flounder to secure it on the gig before lifting it and putting it on the stringer. When he did that, unbeknownst to any of us, the flounder was overlapping a stingray that the gig didn't happen to go through. When he bent down he put pressure on the stingray thinking it was the flounder and when he let up on the pressure it got him. I posted pictures and the whole story on here when it happened a few years ago. He ended up needing plastic surgery on it.
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Old 05-18-2017, 10:58 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by jpayne View Post
I've lost some stringers, but my scariest moment was when a bull shark was working a mud flat. Then it went under. Within a few minutes I got hit from the back of my legs and I lost balance and fell in the water. End of story. I kept fishing.
Nope....just no. That would have been the end of my wading days.
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Old 05-18-2017, 11:31 AM   #17
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My worst 2 fears when wade fishing is getting hit by a stingray...AGAIN... Once was enough for me! The other is getting that flesh eating bacteria in a wound or cut that I wasn't aware of... that's only a problem I think in the summer when the water gets really warm... My scariest episode while wade fishing was doing battle with a little 3 foot bull shark that was after my stringer at POC years ago... I had a few nice trout on m stringer... waist deep water and this pesky little shark kept darting in on my stringer.. had lost one nice trout to him already. I backed out to mid calf deep water, and he came at my fish again. They were in the edge of the grass even. I had just finished a cast and was using a 7M mirro-lure... I wound that lure against my rod tip and whacked that shark on the back to run him off... trouble is, that 3 hook lure stuck him smack in the back with all three hooks!!! He took off and almost snatched my rod out of my hand... Fortunately I had the drag set for trout instead of reds... he ripped off about 30 or 40 yards of line in about 2 seconds!! Hooked in the middle of the back by his dorsal fin, there wasn't a good way to handle him once I landed him on the sand... I never have whacked another one with the lure again!!
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Old 05-18-2017, 11:35 AM   #18
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I can tell you that a bull shark rubbing against your leg will rub the skin off lol.

Bull sharks usually swim off due to the water you clouded up with the bowel movement though.

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Old 05-18-2017, 11:44 AM   #19
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Nope....just no. That would have been the end of my wading days.
That is pretty much what ended my wading days between the months of May-October. I still have a few areas i will wade where I know sharks aren't very prevalent, but I refuse to wade fish West Matty or POC during the warmer months when big bull sharks are more prevalent.

Several years ago I was on a good school of fish around the Green's area of W. Matty. 3 weeks in a row in July-August time frame I had issues with big bull sharks being aggressive. First incident I saw the bull shark come up the gut in Green's and the bite went dead...the bull shark was hunting. I walked back to the boat and he blew up on my stringer about halfway back to the boat. Scared the heck out of me.

The following weekend, pretty much the same thing happened. Only this time I was prepared for him and only had to donate my stringer without the surprise attack.

The 3rd weekend, I got on a school of trout out on the bar in front of Green's and followed them for several hours. I had my limit and was just playing catch and release with them. I had 2 buddies with me and unbeknownst to me, they had had an encounter with a shark taking a trout just as one of them reached to grab the trout to string it. So, one of them stayed in the boat and the other stayed shallow. Anyway, I ended up a long way from the boat and a long way from the shore. Standing in chest deep water catching trout with a stringer attached to me when a saw fin come up. At first, thought it was a dolphin, then saw the fin circling and really paid attention. Noticed it was not a curved fin of a dolphin, but the straight and VERY large dorsal fin of a Bull shark. She nosed around my stringer several times, with me shaking in my wade boots and about to dirty the water around me, and then she made a charge at me. Her head was just about as wide as i was. I hit her square on the nose with my custom Waterloo rod and she turned away. But, she came back one more time...this time I broke the end of my rod on her nose and she turned away for good.

I was severely shaken at this point, knowing i had a good 3-400yd wade back to the shoreline crossing several deep guts now that the tide was high. I made my way to the shoreline, tied on a topwater, and fished for Reds along the grassline back to the boat. Every mullet that busted gave my heart a jump...at one point, I heard a splash behind me and I turned to see what it was, at the same time a nice red smashed my topwater! I just about threw my rod and ran! LOL

I ended back at the boat to join my buddies who were now thoroughly bored and heard their story about their shark encounter.

When we got back to the harbor, cleaned boat & fish, we immediately packed our bags and headed south. I went straight to a boat storage place in Aransas Pass, paid for a stall, and never moved back to Matagorda! I still fished Matty, but only in the cold months when the sharks weren't as prevalent.

As stated by Trouthunter, fishing is supposed to be fun and if you are stressed about wade fishing...don't do it. I love wade fishing, but pick my times and places to do it now. Wading with big bull sharks just isn't fun for me.
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Old 05-18-2017, 11:47 AM   #20
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I get a little nervous wade fishing once I catch a fish and the sucker inhaled the bait and starts bleeding. I had a red do that while wade fishing Baffin mudhole...err I mean Bay. The dang red kept swimming back to me bleeding everywhere. I finally took him back to the boat so I could relax. I got smacked in the shin by something big out there too. Pucker Factor 8. I convinced myself it was a bull red. Heh.
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