Wading Etiquette Question

former bluefishinnyformer bluefishinny Posts: 1,474 Officer
edited April 30 in Angler On Foot #1
So Friday, a buddy and I drove out to a flat in Longboat Key. As we were walking up to the flat, we noticed a guy wading out on the bar (it was low tide, so no water inside).&nbsp; He was pretty much straight out in front of where you first approach. When I fish this location, I walk on the bank as far as I can, then get in and wade South. When we got in, he was fumbling with his reel, facing South. The area comes to "and end" (about 1/4 to 1/2 mile down) as there is a channel that you cant wade across, and that generally is the good area. Well we got to the area, proceeded to catch - and he eventually came behind us. Looked pissed off, and turned back around and went North. Almost like his plan was the same as ours. I felt bad... But what oh well. Thats part of the game. I asked another buddy, and he said we should have asked him which direction he planned on going. That seems crazy to me, the guy was 50 yards out, and approx 1/4 mile to the channel. It wasn't like we "walked around" the guy to get to the channel. <br>

Replies

  • JustKeepSwimmingJustKeepSwimming Posts: 119 Deckhand
    Hmmm i'm not sure what I would do is this situation. If it was obvious he was fishing and wading south then maybe you could have both fished in behind him. But if he didn't look to be moving and was just happy where he was then i think its fair enough you went in ahead of him as long as you were a good distance ahead when you went in. If I was wading in an area that only really produced in one spot and was a fairly small area  I would probably start at the primo spot and then wade away from it rather than wade to it to avoid this kind of situation. I wouldn't expect another angler to wade up to me and ask me which direction I was going unless I was close to the "end" of where you can wade. If I was close to that area and someone hopped in front It would annoy me. 

    I was wading out around the ca'd'Zan on Sunday morning. When I got to the spot there was already a guy fishing directly out in front. I obviously wasn't going to wade up to him and ask him was his plans were but when I did wade out I went south of him about 400m or so to give him plenty of room and kept fishing and wading south in case he was planning on wading south. The advantage on that area is you can wade a long way North and South. You aren't really restricted like the area you mention. I had my fly rod with me and could not get a bite! I know there were fish around as guys on boats not to far in front of me were catching. 

    Out of curiosity were you around quick point? I usually walk to the end and then wade south to the bridge. 

  • mplspugmplspug Lake Mary, FloridaPosts: 6,464 Admiral
    Maybe he wasn't pissed, you just feel guilty.  ;) 

    Captain Todd Approves

  • Rich MRich M Posts: 1,014 Officer
    I've got no answers for you - most folks who show up to fish around me would have walked right out next to the guy, stepped on his line and gave him a dirty look.
  • former bluefishinnyformer bluefishinny Posts: 1,474 Officer
    mplspug said:
    Maybe he wasn't pissed, you just feel guilty.  ;) 
      lol - I did a bit. We dont have too many options as wade fisherman. Especially this location. Its 45 min from house. So ya either get in and wade South. Or go home. Other locations I wade, you can go N or S.... so this would not be an issue.... But hey, at least I have enough decency to feel guilty about it
  • former bluefishinnyformer bluefishinny Posts: 1,474 Officer
    Justkeepswimming... No. We were at a spot on Longboat Key
  • mplspugmplspug Lake Mary, FloridaPosts: 6,464 Admiral
    Like you said it is part of the game. You were mindful and gave him plenty of room to start.

    I know how you feel though, I never want to infringe on fellow fishermen, but shore fishing and wading is a different ball game.  He can't plan on starting in one spot and working his was to another and expect no one to get infront of him. He has to weigh should I start at point a and hope no one else comes or just start at b.  That's part of the game, strategy.

    Not to mention what was to stop him from fishing right by you guys once he got there.

    Captain Todd Approves

  • SloughSlough S.w. Ga./ St. JamesPosts: 4,364 Captain
    mplspug said:
    Maybe he wasn't pissed, you just feel guilty.  ;) 
      lol - I did a bit. We dont have too many options as wade fisherman. Especially this location. Its 45 min from house. So ya either get in and wade South. Or go home. Other locations I wade, you can go N or S.... so this would not be an issue.... But hey, at least I have enough decency to feel guilty about it
    Well sounds like you know he was headed south. You went around him a straight to your honey hole. If it makes you feel guilty, you were wrong. On the other hand, he may have been new to the area and you just showed him your honey hole.
    I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you
  • mplspugmplspug Lake Mary, FloridaPosts: 6,464 Admiral
    I wouldn't feel guilty as long as I gave him a wide berth initially.  Wade fishing from shore is too limited to expect people to not fish hundreds of yards in front of you just because you are working that way.

    Captain Todd Approves

  • saltybumsaltybum Posts: 1,564 Captain

    Depending on how you wade. Slow and very quiet or plowing along and spooking everything as you go. More than once I've been wading flats ( super slow ) for jumbo gator trout and had them come up from behind me where I just came from and usually when I'm not at all ready.

    How you wade to me is more important than how many are wading. Of course a crowd is no good but three guys...not a problem if they wade like a blue heron does.

  • andrewthe1andrewthe1 Posts: 608 Officer
    saltybum said:

    Depending on how you wade. Slow and very quiet or plowing along and spooking everything as you go. More than once I've been wading flats ( super slow ) for jumbo gator trout and had them come up from behind me where I just came from and usually when I'm not at all ready.

    How you wade to me is more important than how many are wading. Of course a crowd is no good but three guys...not a problem if they wade like a blue heron does.

    agreed, unlike most boat encounters, several guys can wade a flat and catch fish without disturbing each other, often with great success if you wade like the heron not the hippo!
    we need more internet money
  • former bluefishinnyformer bluefishinny Posts: 1,474 Officer
    agree with stealth....  Even while with friend in flats skiffs, we often get out to be the heron
  • WetBanditWetBandit Posts: 37 Greenhorn
    I wade almost exclusively and fish a lot.  At least you thought about what the right thing to do was.  I would judge your ettiquette based more on 'how' you passed him rather than if you should have.  Hopefully you didn't blow past him on plane 25yds away which happens way too often.  I hate when guys haul **** over a flat I'm fishing with no intention of anything other than hauling ****.  If you want to fish it fine, slow down a little, give your fellow fisherman some kinda bubble.   If you want to haul ****, cruise the channel or at least outside the edge of a flat or fishing area.  Nothing sucks more than working a school of fish just to have someone disperse them with an inconsiderate boat wake and a loud **** motor.

    I wouldn't expect anyone to give me a quarter mile berth in one or both directions when I'm out on the flat.  A lot of times I drive hours to a good wading spot after weeks of checking tides, gear prep, scheduling work hours around fishing hours and so on.  After all that I'm not going home or piddle somewhere else just because someone else wants to fish it as well.  It's public space and a few people can share a not huge area and be productive as long as common courtesy is in effect.  If he was sorting out tangles when you saw him then I suppose I would assume he was fishing where he was at as well.  If he was fishing the cut, he would have been sorting out his tangles there.  If he was fishing on his way to the cut, then like some other people said, you snooze you lose, we all have to make those decisions all the time. Nothing stopping him from walking down to the cut and fishing it near you either.  IMO 
  • former bluefishinnyformer bluefishinny Posts: 1,474 Officer
    "He was pretty much straight out in front of where you first approach. When I fish this location, I walk on the bank as far as I can, then get in and wade South". 

    Original post above WetBandit. This spot is one I dont too fish too too often. When you park, you have option to walk "straight out" and the wade N or South. Or you can walk the boardwalk as far South as you can on dry land and then slip in. This is what we did. We never came within 50 yards from him. So we never "passed" him. You nailed it with "a lot of times I drive hours to a good wade........." We (another member and I) plan on wading a spot tomorrow (weather depending) - we have a spot in mind, and we have selected this day for tides. I'm fishing it regardless... Im not going to come within casting distance - and I will wade as quite as the heron.  Im even a firm believer in whispering to each other.
  • WetBanditWetBandit Posts: 37 Greenhorn
    bluefish -- I read your post, I guess not carefully enough because I thought you were fishing out of a boat for some reason lol.  I'll reiterate that I think you are in the clear morally.  It's too hard as it is to find good spots to walk-in and none of them are big secrets.  I've got no time for anyone 'owning' public spots.  We all just need to be good neighbors.  I'm with you on the whispering as well.  Good luck on your trip!  
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