Wade Fishing, Snook, Flounder, Trout, and some leaky boots
Earlier this week, my good friend Ryan invited me to go wade fishing with him up in the Stuart area. I had never been wade fishing, nor owned a pair of waders. I quickly scrambled to find a friends to borrow and sure enough a buddy came through.
When I had arrived at Ryan's house at 6am, I accidentally ran over my buddies waders and unknowingly put a hole in them ,that would later come back to bite me. We got to the wading spot around 6:45am and the sun was just peaking through the horizon. I had never wade fished so I had no idea what to expect, but I didn't expect to be swimming in my waders. Sure enough that little incident I had earlier, was enough to force my waders to fill up with water.
The first fish of the day was a nice 18-19in 3-4lb flounder I had hooked right at the edge of a dock. We were both using DOA Cal soft plastics, light 10b braid spinning outfits and just popping our jigs with a steady retrieve. I was stoked asI had never caught a flounder before on artificial! I knew we got a decent push of Flounder in S. Florida in the winter, but I certainly was not expecting my first wading fish and first fish of the day to be a mini doormat. I'll tell you what, pound for pound flounder are one of the hardest fighters out there. They're stubborn to the very end and with a relentless pursuit to stay down deep in the water column.
Finesse the Snook.
We moved on just walking parallel to the shore line and working every dock we though was deep enough to hold fish. Second fish was a 24in class snook that took quite the "finessing". I ended up losing the fish as I went to leader it though. As the day went on we were greeted with two more snook, a trout, handful of jacks and lots of the poor mans tarpon, otherwise known as the ladyfish. The wind was cranking out of the East, which made for nice murky water, which I assumed to be ideal for this type of close encounter style of fishing. I was reassured of the wind playing a critical role in our success, as we tried wade fishing again 2 days later, but the wind was nowhere to be found and the water was crystal clear. Needless to say, we only caught a handful of jacks.
If you haven't tried wade fishing, I highly recommend it. One of the most serene types of angling available to us as Floridians, away from the combat fishing, seen in other land based scenarios such as inlets and piers. Although I have only fished twice, I can tell you the water clarity makes a huge difference, just like when you are chasing kings offshore, which tend to turn off in crystal clear waters.
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