Wade Fishing in Winter - Pensacola Fishing Forum

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Old 01-12-2010, 06:02 PM   #1
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Cigar Minnow
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 9
Default Wade Fishing in Winter

OK. I've wade fished once in my life, and I hated it. Got ate up by pinfish and stung by jellyfish and really wondered what I was doing wading through seagrass beds while I had a PERFECTLY good skiff to fish out of...

Now, I've got the chance of a lifetime to the Chadeleur Islands and fish w/ my Uncle for a few days. Fishing the Chandeleur's is EXCLUSIVELY wade fishing.

We will be going in mid February, so the water will still be cold.

So, all of you wise PFF'ers I need some advise: Winter Waders.

I'm thinking neoprene w/ built in boots. But, should I also get insulated? Or, should I just wear some thermals under the neoprene waders? Any specific brand?

Dizzy Lizzy's is going to order a floating fish basket for me to keep my catch in, but is there anything else that I should get to make my experience a good one?
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Old 01-13-2010, 12:10 PM   #2
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Default RE: Wade Fishing in Winter

Fished the Chandeleur many times when I lived on the coast of MS. I used regular stocking foot neoprene waders and wore wading boots over the stocking foot waders. Sometimes you can get into some soft muck and I find the combination of the wading boots over the stocking foot waders gives you a pretty tight fit. When the water was at its coldest I wore insulated "ware" next to my skin with sweat pants over that. Always layer your clothing so you can remove clothes if the temps rise and if you are walking a lot, believe it or not, sometimes you can get very warm.

I also wore a combination wading belt. My belt was somewhat similar to a water ski belt in that it had flotation. You never know when you might step into a hole and your waders begin to fill up. Personally, I like the extra security of the flotation.The belt also had a built in rod holder. That is very helpful when you are trying to hold a struggling fish, de-hook it and get it on a stringer or into a floating net. Before getting the belt I've dropped my rod in the water several times when trying to keep it under my arm while doing the other stuff. One other thing that I've done is to run the line of the stringer/floating net through one of those swimming noodles. That will keep the end of the stringer/net away from you. There are a lot of sharks at the Chandeleur and I've had them come right up to me and take the fish off of the stringer. Ya want to keep your catch as far away from your legs as possible!

One other thing that I found very useful is a custom made hat. I got a cheap straw hat with a wide brim and glued some soft foam around it. You then put your jigs and lures in the foam. That way you can take a pretty wide assortment of artificials with you so you can change to a new bait whenever you want. With the hat ya don't have to worry about the hooks (treble or otherwise) getting hooked in your clothes.

I trust that this will help and may-be stimulate some thought on your part about the way that you fish. I really loved wade fishing the Chandeeur. I bet that you'll enjoy it too. If you want to talk some more send me a PM and I'll respond with my tel # and we can talk.

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Old 01-14-2010, 05:39 PM   #3
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Location: Tuscaloosa/Orange Beach
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Default RE: Wade Fishing in Winter

Ive fished Chandeleur for years and we fish out of skiffs most of the time. Winter time wading is good however, be careful of the mud bottoms on the flats, you'll sink up past your knees in some spots. The big reds seem to like the flats and points, the big trout seem to like the cuts, channels and bayous up in the island. Some of those are 6 to 12 ft deep. Lots of sharks on the flats but they're easy to spot and more scared of you than you them. The neoprene waders are the way to go with layers of clothes under them. Move slow and you wont get hot or spook fish. If its sunny, you'll be surprised but you'll catch the truly big fish in knee deep water, it warms faster than the deeper water. Fish topwater plugs and soft plastic grubs with a light jig head. Sometimes the fishing there is fantastic but the views, birds and other things you'll see are worth the trip. Good luck. You might get a fishing report from the Pelican, a floating "hotel" out there. I think you can find it on line. I'm jealous.
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