By ED WALKER
© St. Petersburg Times, published June 3, 2001
One of my favorite things is wade fishing on a quiet grass flat by myself. After the boats go home and the sun sinks, the ultra-skinny water fish become more active. The trout creep in shallower, the redfish stick their tails out more often and the snook bite much better. There is no better way to coexist with the fish than to exit the boat and join them.
Few things in fishing are as exciting as sneaking up to a tailing redfish or snook in water so shallow the grass touches the surface. The approach is the challenging part. Too much splash or a misplaced shadow and they will run away. Falling because your foot stuck in the mud has been known to have the same effect.
The basic equipment for wading is a pair of wading boots or old shoes with tightly tied laces, an accurate light spinning rod and a hat you can stick a few lures into. I usually carry a topwater plug, a soft plastic jerkbait rigged weedless, and a pocket full of live shrimp. Nothing beats a shrimp skimmed across the surface and dropped into the mud cloud surrounding a rooting redfish. Keep the lure or bait moving until it is within sight or smell of the fish.
Among great places to wade fish are the east side of Caladesi Island, Green Key in New Port Richey, the clam bar north east of the Skyway bridge and the east side of Anclote Key.
- Ed Walker charters out of Palm Harbor. Call (727) 944-3474 or e-mail TarponEd@aol.com.