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Wading Over Soft Bottom

Coming up with solutions for wade fishing in the mud.



Most wade fishermen “step lightly” when hopping out of the boat, leaving the kayak or heading away from a shoreline. The bottom substrate is almost never ideal for wading, but anglers must go where the fish are.

Sometimes, the river, bay or lagoon floor can be downright dicey. Mud flats with oysters and spartina grass can swallow waders entirely. Grass flats can be soft and quicksand-like, even if it looks navigable in appearance. So how do you wade-fish an area completely unfavorable to wade-fishing?

Florida Sportsman member Capt M Brennan thinks snowshoes might be a solution. “I was out walking one day on the spartina flats (by myself, not a good idea) and sunk in the mud past my knees,” he said. “With the tide rising I got kind of worried, but managed to roll myself onto higher ground. Later, while visiting my sister in Maine, I thought of a solution to walking in the mud. Has anyone tried snowshoes?”



So far, most FS members feel the idea has merit, but no one yet has truly tried snowshoes on the flats. The increased surface area of your footprint may help prevent from sinking, but it may come at the expense of being able to move in the water. Plus, the larger footprint may initially hold the angler above the mud, but eventually could sink just as well. Other possibilities include trying a smaller-size or child-size snowshoe that creates more foot area than a normal wading boot but is still less cumbersome than a full-size snowshoe.

Join the discussion and add your input to the soggy bottom wade-fishing dilemma.

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