Camping is necessary in some of the places I go fresh water wade fishing. I like and enjoy camping. I have ever since my boy scout days. Back then I didn’t have a tent so I had to make a small shelter and sleep on the ground with no air matress. All of these trips were summertime outings with friends. We had fun and caught enough fish to feed ourselves. The tackle was very simple and cheap but it served the purpose. It’s a wonder we caught much of anything because most of the plugs we bought either looked pretty or was what the store clerk recommended. Now I have a good tent – 10 X 19 ft – an air bed, air matress, camp stoves and other comfort items I didn’t have back then. My tackle is in the upper middle price range and my plugs and other baits that I use now are what experience has taught me over the years. I am 70 yrs old now and I still love a good 2 or 3 day camping/fishing trip.
My saltwater fishing gear is almost exclusively artificial baits and a good spinning rod and reel. Once in a while I will use live bait, mostly shrimp, but not very often. Artificial baits are easier to carry and do not attack small sharks or stingrays or other unwanted critters. Dragging a live bait bucket tied to your waist leaves a shrimp odor trail in the water that will lead anything right to you. My rod is a 7ft or 7 1/2ft, I have both, medium light action spinning rod. My reel is a standard size spinning reel with 10lb test line. My baits or lures are mostly Johnson Spoons and soft plastic swim baits. I do throw some Mirror Lures, mostly floater/divers, early in the morning or from high noon until about 2pm. I suggest trying different baits at various locations and time of day. Believe It or not, I have caught some nice speckled trout on Zara Spooks.
I talked about the transition time in south texas in my last blog. A good example of that was the weather this week – 10/10 thru 10/14. I had planned on going fishing in one of my favorite areas on Corpus Christi Bay shoreline but the weather changed that. The Pacific hurricane that hit Mexico sent rain all the way to our area. We needed the rain but the fishing had to be cancled because of possible lightining. What really hurt is that the best fishing times by the solar tables was from about 10am-2pm Tuesday through Thursday. Interesting time of the year. I will try again next week. Wish me luck.
It is transition time in south texas. The weather is beginning to cool down so I am going to get back to my salt water fishing. The water temprature is in the mid-seventies which is good. I can still wade without waders for a while longer and the fish are still pretty active. I haven’t been salt water fishing since May because of leg surgery but I am going to try to go this next week. It will be interesting to find out what kind of, if any, lure changes I will have to make. I really think most of the changes will be in lure retreive method. As the seasons change, so do the fish. It is these transition times that can be very frustrating. Wish me luck.
When are the best fishing times? Day time, night time, early, late or just when you decide to go because you are bored. Talk to different people and you will get different answers. For me any time I can go is the best time. Most of the time I like to be on or in the water just as it is turning light-daybreak. From daybreak until sunrise is one of the best times to fish on any body of water anywhere in the country. When the moon faze is right, the action can be tremendous. If the moon faze has the prime or best time to fish on up in the morning or afternoon, daylight to shortly after sunrise is still an excellent fishing time. Fish know when the bugs and other little creatures get up to feed so they get up to feed also. Actually, when all is considered, I guess my best fishing time is when I can go.
Wade fishing gear is a little different from boat fishing or fishing from the open bank. You are very limited at what and how much gear you can carry with you. I have a wading belt that is designed more for salt water wading but it works great for fresh water as well. It has pockets for small bait treys, two rod holding sleeves (metal), a stringer loop and small pockets for snacks and other goodies. It is reasonably comfortable, a little hot but that’s ok. I can carry enough lures and other tackle to supply both my wife and myself for a morning or afternoon of fishing. My style of wade fishing does not demand a large variety of lures so I keep my wade fishing gear simple.
Having fun fishing is the whole essence of fishing for me. I like to try to match wits with my finny adversary to trick it into taking my offering as something alive and good to eat. When I don’t succeed it feels more like work than fun but what the heck, that is what keeps me coming back for more. I am always trying new techniques and lures but few have been able to out perform the ones I have already written about. Most of the baits on the market today is are takeoffs, or attempts to improve the old, well proven lures of the past. It is fun however to find a new one that will work almost as good because many of the good old stand-bys are fading from the market place. One such bait is the “Creek Chub – Injured Minnow”. It was and still is a great top water bait for catching bluegill, perch, bream and bass. The last one I have is so beat up from use I don’t really like to use it much but it still works so well.
Almost all of my fishing is at shallow depths, two feet deep or less. Once in a while I will come upon a pool of water that is three to five feet deep but not very often. These pools are another place that swim baits work very well, especially the soft baits on weighted hooks. Top water baits still work good along the bank areas on the deeper side of these pools. One bait that is one of my favorites I have not mentioned that is good is the baby zara spook. The spook family of lures have been some of the best top water lures ever developed. They will continue to be good for the fishermen that believe in them. Experment with the size and color to use in your area. The color and size will change during the day from area to area. The more acceptable your are to this change the more successful you will be at catching fish – having fun. Having fun is what fishing is all about.
There are many different varieties of lures on the market right now, from hard baits to soft baits and anything in-between. All of them have caught fish at one time or another. I sometimes use the black salamander or water dog on a jig on bottom a little after daylight around large rocks and brush piles. Then I go to soft swim baits on a weighted hook. With this set up I can fish it slowly on the bottom or swim it at various speeds up off the bottom. I like to use a #1 or #1/0 weighted hook with clear blue mono line. I tie the line straight to the hook so I can slip the soft bait over the hook eye and line knot. With clear blue line the only thing the fish see is the bait. This is great in weeds, lily pads and grass and helps make the lure weedless.
Lure selection is something that varies from streams to small creeks and rivers all across the country. In my area the best lures to use is top water and floater/divers very early. These work very well from daybreak until sunrise. Then comes small spinner baits and chuggers or poppers. Black or dark green frog hulla popers and jitter bugs are great. Last but not least comes jigs, jigs with trailers and small to medium plastic worms. For pan fish you have to keep the hooks sort of small. A #1 or #2 trebble or straight hook works very good. I have used a #1 trebble hook in the middle with a #2 straight hook as the rear hook. Works very well around small grassy areas and lily pads.