You don’t want to start getting strikes if you’ve left something vital in the car.
Last week I talked about some of the key gear to take when jumping into the water. If you missed it, make sure to check it out. Regardless of what gear you decide you need with you, I highly recommend that you make sure you have it on you as soon as your booted feet hit the water. You don’t want to start getting strikes, remember you’ve left something vital in the car or on the boat and have to walk away from biting fish to get it.
One of the most crucial things when wade fishing is finding good spots. This is probably easier than you might expect. If you live near, or often visit, the coast you have probably driven (or boated) right past potentially great areas. If you aren’t going out with a guide causeways are good places to start. They connect the mainland to barrier islands or one point of land to another across a bay or inlet and are some of my favorite areas. Adjacent to the shoreline, most have a firm shallow sandy strip and a channel that runs parallel to the causeway on at least one side. You should always be on the lookout for structure, changes in bottom contour or cover and other conditions that fish are likely to be attracted to. One of the greatest things about causeways is that even in the worst and windiest of conditions, at least one side of a causeway is usually fishable. If you don’t have any places in mind search the satellite images available on Google Earth or Bing Maps.
Once you’ve gotten to your chosen spot the indicators that fish are present are the same as when you’re fishing from your boat. Look for areas where baitfish are present, mullet are jumping, birds are diving and/or structure is abundant. Once you get in the water you won’t need to go any further than knee to waist deep. Some of the biggest fish can be in just inches of water and within a couple of feet of the shoreline, especially if there is structure or a swash channel. Keep moving along the shoreline. The more area you cover, the more likely you are to find fish or discover the type of structure that’s likely to hold fish. If you entered the water from the land I’d start by casting straight out from shore, if you entered from the boat then the opposite, and then begin fan casting in the direction you’re wading until you’ve covered all the water between you’re first cast and the shoreline and continue to move down the shoreline a few yards at a time.
Wade into the tide or current so that when you’re casting parallel to the shoreline you’re reeling your lure back in the same direction the tide or current is running. This makes your lure appear more natural and improves your chances of a fish striking it. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t wade your way back to where you started from, just focus more on the water that’s not immediately adjacent to the shoreline.
Have fun out there and remember, make every trip a guided trip with MyFinFinder.