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Offline DRY

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Winter wading
« on: December 02, 2016, 09:41:55 PM »
Since I received a question about wading I thought I would take a little time and take a few pictures of my wading gear and explain how I take pictures.  It is really quite simple. You donít need an expensive boat or high priced gear to have fun. Maybe someone out there might enjoy some of these thoughts and ideas on wading.
     Winter ice limits the amount of time I get my boat out in the water, even in the Selinsgrove area. From about mid-December until mid-March I really enjoy wading or just scouring the shoreline. As long as the temperature is above 30F and the wind is calm, it is very comfortable, especially when the fish cooperate.
     I havenít had chest waders for many years. (I was sometimes tempted to wade out too far, I had a scary experience and they are not really necessary.) The water levels have been up and down and an inexpensive pair of hip boots works real well. I also have a pair of waist high stocking foot breathable type waders that work and I wear wading shoes with cleats. Ice, snow and mud along shorelines can be awfully slippery. Iíve found that a pair of Yaktrax Proís work real well on my hipboots. It might be a little cheaper than hippers with felt and studs.




     I always carry a wading staff. It used to be wood. Now I carry an aluminum monopod, which is really a shooting stick. It telescopes much like a camera tripod leg. They make expensive ones but you can pick a nice one up for $30 at many of the sports warehouses. It has a threaded lug on top for mounting various attachments for shooting or mounting a camera.



     I attach the staff by a lanyard to my fishing jacket with enough length so I can use it comfortably and leave it attached. It helps me keep my balance while walking down banks or snow covered shorelines and stays attached behind me when standing in the water fishing. Use a quick disconnect mechanism (lightweight carabiner) so you can detach the monopod quickly for a picture.



     My camera is a waterproof model (the most expensive thing that I use while wading  $275). I have ruined both an old 35mm and a digital over the years so I decided to make the investment. It is attached around my neck by a lanyard with another quick disconnect snap. It is carried in a shirt pocket inside my jacket. It is accessible to take pictures one-handed while holding the fish in the other hand. If Iím close enough to shore I can quickly disconnect the wading staff and stick it in the mud on the shoreline. Quickly disconnect the camera and mount it to the staff while setting the self-timer on the camera.


     
      You may think that this process takes a lot of time. If you have things prepared and know how to operate your equipment, things can go smoothly and not take a long time. I land my fish with a fish gripper which has a long lanyard attached also. The gripper stays closed with the fish attached and this allows me to keep the fish in the water almost the entire time I set up for a picture. I have timed the process. From the time I land the fish, photograph it, and release it takes about 80 seconds. Because of the convenience of the lip gripper, much of that 80 seconds the bass is actually in the water with the gripper attached. The fish really spends very little time out of the water.
     Give winter wading or just sloshing along the shoreline a try. There is a lot of shoreline structure (especially with slightly high and stained water) that will hold some nice fish.   Bill
The hours spent fishing are not subtracted from the lives of men!!

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Winter wading
« on: December 02, 2016, 09:41:55 PM »

Offline HenryDavid

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Re: Winter wading
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2016, 04:44:30 PM »
Thanks very much for posting all of that Bill.  With the mild winter we had last year I waded trout streams all winter long.  I'm now on my 2nd pair of Korkers after getting a few seasons out of my 1st pair, at least I can use the old inter-changeable soles.  I've found out that the felt soles will suck up all the mud and  become useless after some time, even cleaning and brushing them won't help if you're in any type of mud or silt, I've gone through 2 felt soles already.  Once they are gunked up with silt and mud they are VERY slippery, I guess you really have to baby them in order to keep them in good condition, they way I fish is the polar opposite of babying anything, too much bank climbing and bushwacking.

I did get a pair of the studded soles and they take some getting used to but they are best for my situations, in the past I had used the Yaktrax and liked them, lost a couple while wading and ice fishing though.

"If Iím close enough to shore I can quickly disconnect the wading staff and stick it in the mud on the shoreline"
Ahhh, now I get it  ::)

I still wear breathable waders all seasons, I have a thin synthetic base layer and one or 2 heavier Rockies underneath, feet do get cold though.  Speaking of which, I waded the Lehigh River late last November, was knee deep or higher constantly for 3-4 hours, that was cold, it was extreme, took a couple hours to warm up after that, I would definitely be better off with warmer waders if I was going to do that again, most of my wading last winter was ankle deep or just wading out to stand on rocks on smaller streams.  I should have a pair or rubber boots like yours even just in case of a pinhole wader leak.  I'm using Reddington chest high breathables now, my Simms need to be sent back for booty replacement which happened when I blew out my Korkers this spring. 

Offline DRY

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Re: Winter wading
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2016, 05:42:29 PM »
HD it sounds like you enjoy cold water fishing as much as I do
I do have a waist high pair of Cabelas neoprene but haven't used them yet
Keep in touch
If you consider some winter smallmouth in the Selinsgrove area...send me a PM and I can let you know if they're biting

Bill
The hours spent fishing are not subtracted from the lives of men!!

Offline HenryDavid

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Re: Winter wading
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2016, 06:39:52 PM »
I appreciate the offer, we're a ways apart, I'm about and hour or more Northeast of you.  If we get ice up here I'll be on a frozen lake somewhere, we had a poor ice season last year.  Maybe I will make a trip down and join you, I could learn a lot, we'll see what the weather is like.

I do know some nice spots on the North Branch, you are always welcome to head up this way sometime.

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Re: Winter wading
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2016, 06:39:52 PM »

Offline johnfries7

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Re: Winter wading
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2016, 02:21:21 PM »
you guys standing on water yet?

Offline DRY

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Re: Winter wading
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2016, 03:34:53 PM »
you guys standing on water yet?

A buddy and I waded the Susquehanna yesterday afternoon around Selinsgrove...water 36F, low and clear. Only one smallmouth on a black hair jig.
Today the creeks around my house (Penns Creek, Middle Creek) are frozen over. Water levels in the creeks are low and flows are slow so they will freeze fast.
I did not look at the Susquehanna today but I suspect it has floating ice. Someone from the north branch told my buddy that he couldn't get on the river due to floating ice.  It's been 17F here all day and it  isn't going away anytime soon. I am depressed already and it isn't even Christmas.

As far as lakes and pond I don't check them because there is no way on earth that I will stand on water!!  ;)

Bill
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Offline Responsible_Angler

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Re: Winter wading
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2016, 07:43:09 PM »
A buddy and I waded the Susquehanna yesterday afternoon around Selinsgrove...water 36F, low and clear. Only one smallmouth on a black hair jig.

Did you ever marinade your tubes in Bang or Yum attractant for a few days when winter fishing?  I swore by it when I fished for Walleyes in the winter.

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Re: Winter wading
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2016, 07:43:09 PM »

 

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