Wade Fishing – What gear is a must have?

Aaaah May. The days are longer and it’s warming up.

Things are blooming. The wild life is teaming. It’s a great time of year. I’m starting to see a lot more folks out wading. I personally don’t mind wading while it’s chilly, less people to share the fish with, but I understand why some would wait until the warmer days. Since there are more people out in the water, I thought I would do a two parter: This week I’ll talk about gear and next week will be some tips and tricks I’ve found useful.

This time of the year, and really until the water temperature drops below 72 degrees AND your planning to wade more than knee deep, you won’t need to wear anything more than a lightweight, quick-drying fishing shirt and shorts. Hard soled neoprene wading boots are very important. A pair of high-quality wading boots will help you keep your feet out there. I’ve known a number of people that have torn their MCL/ACLs or sprained ankles. I know some anglers like to wear waders in the summer, just for protection. Can’t say I blame them. I’ve been nipped at plenty of times or taken a knee right on a rock. Lastly, as far as what to wear, a good hat, polarized sunglasses and LOTS of sunscreen. Melanoma and skin cancer aren’t things to be cavalier about.

I’d recommend you use a 7’ or 7’ 6” medium or medium light action spinning rod, matched with a 3000 or 4000 series spinning reel. 12 to 15 pound line is generally good for wade fishing the Texas coast with a few feet of 20lb fluorocarbon leader.

Find a small to medium, sturdy waterproof box that you can either attach to your waist or throw over your shoulder with a strap. Fill it with half a dozen lead head jigs ranging in weight from 1/16 to ¼ oz, a few weighted hooks, a couple of ½ or ¾ oz gold or copper colored weedless spoons and if you like plugs, throw in your favorite suspending and topwater baits. Another good thing to grab is a hardy fanny pack and throw in a couple bags of plastic swim and/or split tail baits in your favorite colors, and a small spool of leader material. Attach some good pliers and a plastic fish grip to the fanny pack strap. If you are venturing into an area you’ve never tried before, any tackle store will be glad to recommend some lures to use. If you plan on using live bait then you should really get a floating bait bucket which will keep your bait alive.

You’re almost ready to start fishing. If you haven’t perfected your technique for handling the fish or tying on a new rig you can get a wading rod belt. Don’t forget to carry a net to land the fish. If you intend to keep your catch then you’ll need to bring along a long wading stringer.

Have fun out there and remember, make every trip a guided trip with MyFinFinder.

-Woody

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