Savvy Wading

July 30th, 2016


As we try to find other methods to capture those speckled trout, this writer would suggest that one might try and get out of a perfectly dry boat, commonly referred to as wade fishing. Many are called, few are chosen to this art of catching good fish. It seems that there is some who would believe that you could successfully catch bigger fish, while in the boat. That is further from the truth………………………

Successful wade fishing depends a lot on how you dress. Wearing apparel that can be seen under water from more than a few feet can penalize you by spooking the fish. Remember that fish are skittish when they search for food in shallow water.

Additionally, the wrong apparel can be downright dangerous, especially in waters with deep holes or along the fringes of cuts and channels or in areas where very soft mud can become dangerous bottom.

Don’t wear clothing that will reflect light. A person all decked out in white clothing can really spook fish, especially speckled trout, in shallow water. Instead wear any dark colored pants. When wet, these materials will make your legs look like posts. It’s not at all wise to wade fish bare legged. Long pants will protect your legs from hooks, fins and jellyfish. Guys that wade in shorts, spend a lot of time in the boat, recovering from the sting of those pesky critters. Jackets are useful to keep your upper body warm during the fall and minimize the chill in the winter. Simms Outdoors has the ultimate covering. See the array at Fishing Tackle Unlimited, at any of the three locations, Sugarland, Katy or the I-45 South at Fuqua. The guys that work these stores are extremely savvy to your personal needs.

Some kind of footwear is a must when wade fishing the bays. Bare feet can get you into all kinds of trouble. I prefer Ever Last boots or lightweight wading shoes by Simms. Boots can get you into a lot of trouble if you happen to step into too deep a hole. So be careful when you purchase those wading boots. Make sure they are at least one to two sizes larger. This is especially true if hip boots are worn. They can quickly fill with water and will practically anchor you to the bottom. Never wade alone. I know what you are thinking. No one else will go or you want to move more quickly to cover the water area. This writer has personally saved several from possible serious injury or worse. Wade in teams of at least 2(two) fishermen.  You can really cover more water and when you find those speckled trout or redfish, you can hold them for a time.

The very worst way to wade fish is to go bare footed. I still see this often when the water along the beachfront is clear and waders are out seeking speckled trout. Instead of going bare foot, wear very lightweight tennis shoes. It’s very important that these shoes can be easily kicked off if you happen to slip into water over your head and be faced with a situation of having to swim for shore. This is a thing that occurs all too frequently when waders invade the waters of San Luis Pass. Sometimes the rip tides are extreme. Wear a life jacket. No exception. Swim with the current till released, then to shore.

Of course, some sort of insulated wear is needed for wading in the winter. I prefer chest high neoprene waders by Simms Outdoors or wade-lites. Waders, however, can get you into trouble if you venture into water too deep. So always walk with a shuffle to feel the ground ahead so you can dodge holes and avoid slipping off the edge of cuts and channels.

A belt around the outside of the waders can make the apparel serve as a makeshift flotation device if you step into a deep hole or slip into a channel. The belt will help to trap air inside the waders to give you a certain amount of flotation. The thing to do if you go into a hole is to abandon your fishing gear and start paddling to shore. Buying new fishing gear is far less expensive than having your family come to visit you at the area hospital. Remember that you can become numb very quickly in cold water. Hypothermia is nothing to fool with. The water temperature today is 89 degrees..Slowly moving down toward colder conditions as time moves toward fall and winter.

Be sure and layer you apparel when wading. It’s much easier to take it off, instead of not having that pair of sweats of light jacket.

The ideal way to wade fish is to wear some sort of flotation device. There are several on the market that instantly inflate when an access cartridge is popped. With a device like that you can save your life as well as your fishing gear. Otherwise, you can purchase those that are already made to wear. Be sure that they would hold your weight. Check the tags for instructions.

It’s extremely important to wear gear that will seal out moisture as well as the cold when wade fishing in the winter. Wearing several layers of clothing is better than a single heavy garment.

Another important aspect of wade fishing is to always let someone know just where you plan to fish. Your family and friends can use this to start a search for you, if you fail to arrive in a timely fashion.

Fishing this time of the year is as good as it gets. Take care of your outdoor homework at home or office, and experience a moment of a lifetime.

As always, have a good time in the outdoors.

See y’all on Galveston Bay.

Capt Paul Marcaccio

USCG &TP&W License




Dog Days of Summer

July 19th, 2016

Options on Galveston Bay………….



The trip was planned to explore several areas in the San Leon, Dickinson Bay, and Texas City near the Dike. But, the old pier pilings that have always been such a magnet for redfish beckoned. It’s hard for this guide to give up good old bad habits, especially when they have produced fried redfish filets so many times. The Big Bay Parker just seemed to go on autopilot, quickly swinging into familiar territory. Near the April Fool shoreline and Eagle Point.


On a FTU Green rod, the limetruse plastic mullet imitation looked deadly swimming through the sandy green bay waters. Long cast with my Green Titanium rod back toward the shallows drew the bait in an almost parallel course to the old pier pilings near April Fool Pt. Just as the sun was clearing the eastern shoreline of East Bay, my 6-½ foot rod bowed deeply. The power and style of the run indicated that I had a good redfish. The ultra light action of the rod along with my 30 lb Sufix braid proved to be lethal again. However, the pier pilings are different. It was over in less than two minutes. Twice more, my presentation proved to fool me’. It was embarrassing……………………..


Then there was that magic day a couple of days later, back near the Texas City Dike. Using medium action Green Rods, four of us did battle on some awesome black drum. Lots of Big black drum. It was a bright sunny day with a light east wind. Those fish were stacked in a deep hole near the Dike. And they were eating fresh blue crabs just as fast as we could serve them up. Passers by on the Bolivar Ferry were treated to several Herculean tussles. These spawn-minded females were all in the 25-40 lb class and they make ones forearms similar to Popeye’s………………………


There was the beautiful July morning, spent with a very dear friend, Brother Chuck, around Goat Island near the Hog Pins in East Bay. We used several assortments of She Dog’s, Baby Spooks, and soft plastic Assassins and Norton baits to tally a mixed bag. By the end of the day, we had waded that entire shoreline and come away with speckled trout, redfish, sand trout and even one grandee gaff top. My brother Chuck was equal to the test and found great success, both on top as well as feeding those great fish with soft plastic.


And yet again was the morning with Mike Heidemann and Casey, along the north shoreline of Trinity Bay. Get this, with no tidal movement; we boxed speckled trout to around four pounds on soft plastic Stanley Jigs and Salt Water Assassin baits. On still another day, when cabin fever trampled good sense, a hasty run to the back of Moses Lake seemed to ease the situation. That campaign featured deteriorating conditions with a light drizzle. The only fish happening were several sand trout and some Hugh ribbonfish. Still again, the need was served.


The aforementioned episodes are described, not for the quality or quantity they produced, but to highlight the exciting fact that July and August are great times to be on Galveston Bay. Most of the action we find on the Texas Coast pecks during the warmer months.  By the first of May, water temperature is in that magical 70’s and the summer smorgasbord is being served up………………….


The large black drum show first. While the run pecks in September, bull redfish are year round possibility. As the beachfront warms to the sunlight, gaffs top, speckled trout and keeper redfish begin the work the shallow guts. Big flounder are funneling through the passes and ditches, working there way back into the upper part of Trinity and East Bay. Sharks will oversee the migration in numbers most people do not begin to realize. The first of these will usually be the small sand sharks. Not far behind them will be the black tip, bulls and hammerheads. By mid-June, Spanish mackerel, jackfish pompano, king mackerel and even ling will be taken near the beachfront. We are catching sharks in the bay this year due to the salinity similar to offshore, except for recent days in May due to excessive rain…………………..


It is easy to rush this great out door experience. As much as this writer and guide love fishing the colder months, I eagerly anticipate that which is to come. Rare is the year that I don’t try to will the fish into place before it’s time. The next three months will offer more and more varied opportunities than any other time of the year. The possibilities are virtually limitless. And every year, during the dog days of summer, I suddenly blink one hot, steamy afternoon and wonder where those magic days of spring went already………………………….


God bless you and your families, while you enjoy the Lords great backyard.

Captain Paul Marcaccio, USGC & TP & W…

B.O.I.  (born on the island) with over 40 years of Texas Coastline experience.