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Using google earth to scout wading areas


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35 replies to this topic

#1 swampsinger

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Posted 30 December 2017 - 04:44 PM

I have a little saltwater trip planned. I have a guide booked for one day but have two more days available. I wanted to discover wade fly fishing on my own. I've picked up what I can off u tube and such about techniques and tactics. I want to use google earth to scout spots. I am assuming that I am looking at, beaches then shallow sand and grass flats. I'm also going to assume that I will be able to wade out to where I see outboard motor "tracks".  I suppose there's no way to tell what the bottom composition is.   I'm open to suggestions or thoughts on this.   



#2 FlatsRoamer

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Posted 30 December 2017 - 04:57 PM

I might be able to help you out since I do this a lot? Where are you fishing?

Still hunting for my first tarpon on fly! 


Why are windknots in love with me?


Can't wait for that diy trip to Acklins!!

 

 

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#3 swampsinger

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Posted 30 December 2017 - 05:21 PM

Ok I'll give a specific example.  On google earth I see a sand bar that looks like the shape of a stick figure seagull, not a hundred ft, east of the 275 in tampa bay, north of a groovy looking sunshine skyway bridge. This spot looks fishy to me. I'm thinking I could wade its entire length and cast either side.  



#4 mikechell

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Posted 30 December 2017 - 05:27 PM

Compare your info from Google Earth with information https://www.takemefishing.org/florida/

 

When I travel to a new area, that's the website I use to find fishing spots, etc.


Barbed hooks rule!
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#5 FlatsRoamer

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Posted 30 December 2017 - 07:12 PM

I haven't wade-fished the Tampa area much...

 

One thing that I have found out is that it is best to just go ahead and wade it, or at least go "scout" it first. Keep in mind that just because you didn't catch a nice redfish doesn't mean its a good spot. If there are signs of life such as sharks, rays, baitfish, then it will probably hold fish, just need to find the good tide or wind direction for that specific spot. It's amazing to me how different a spot can change within a couple of hours. 

 

Just wade it! Who knows, you might find a solid spot!


Still hunting for my first tarpon on fly! 


Why are windknots in love with me?


Can't wait for that diy trip to Acklins!!

 

 

Find my youtube channel in the link below

 

https://www.youtube....plkVnmuDObYCLBg


#6 tidewaterfly

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Posted 30 December 2017 - 07:12 PM

Google Maps & Earth both are great tools for finding general areas, but the best tool for learning the details is going out & scouting at the lowest tides. Unfortunately, that takes time to do!  



#7 swampsinger

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Posted 30 December 2017 - 08:15 PM

I haven't wade-fished the Tampa area much...

 

One thing that I have found out is that it is best to just go ahead and wade it, or at least go "scout" it first. Keep in mind that just because you didn't catch a nice redfish doesn't mean its a good spot. If there are signs of life such as sharks, rays, baitfish, then it will probably hold fish, just need to find the good tide or wind direction for that specific spot. It's amazing to me how different a spot can change within a couple of hours. 

 

Just wade it! Who knows, you might find a solid spot!

I'm not stuck on Tampa bay. I might also try around Sarasota or Charlotte Harbour area. I'm supertitiuos when comes to fishing, so I'm going to have to try this spot. I kinda like the strategy of just wade it. Also looking forward to a whole new environment baitfish, rays, etc. not so much sharks. 



#8 swampsinger

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Posted 30 December 2017 - 08:18 PM

Google Maps & Earth both are great tools for finding general areas, but the best tool for learning the details is going out & scouting at the lowest tides. Unfortunately, that takes time to do!  

 Oh yeah, tides. Those motors tracks could have been made at low tide.



#9 FlatsRoamer

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Posted 30 December 2017 - 08:24 PM

Don't be scared of sharks man, if you think about it they are just fish with bigger teeth than others and that's it. Sad to see that they have a bad reputation, and unfortunately people kill what they are scared of (in general)

Good luck with the wading, let us know how you do!

Still hunting for my first tarpon on fly! 


Why are windknots in love with me?


Can't wait for that diy trip to Acklins!!

 

 

Find my youtube channel in the link below

 

https://www.youtube....plkVnmuDObYCLBg


#10 Bimini15

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Posted 30 December 2017 - 09:06 PM

It is a good starting point but it is not enough.

Get yourself to a local forum, ask around and find some names of unknown places. Then make sense of it in Google Earth and more or less plot your wading route.

Google Earth pics may not be current, tides make a difference, so does water clarity. Wading access may be covered by mangroves, you will not know if bottoms are to soft, etc.

Also check youtube for something like “wading whatever area”. You might be surprised and may pick up some visuals you can recognize in Google Earth.
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#11 Capt Bob LeMay

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Posted 31 December 2017 - 07:42 AM

Use google earth as a starting point only - then seek out local knowledge..... Florida Bay, for instance, along the southern coast of the Everglades has lots and lots of shallow areas (many with prop scars...) but if you ever stepped over the side you'd learn that the bottom is three feet of really nasty, sticky mud with sharp bits of shells embedded... To put it mildly you'd never want to wade that area (except right at the shoreline, maybe....


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#12 Poopdeck

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Posted 31 December 2017 - 09:19 AM

personally I think looking for wading water with google earth is a complete waste of time with or without a tide. Your gonna need boots on the ground.

#13 mikechell

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Posted 31 December 2017 - 09:30 AM

Wading in salt water:

Cons ...

Watch for urchins. (which can impale you with VERY painful spines)

Watch for oyster beds. (which can slice through skin like razor blades)

Watch for sharks. (If sharks are there, so is their prey ... which is what you're fishing for.  But sharks can and DO bite just to "test")

Watch for  Vibrio vulnificus.  (Also called "flesh eating bacteria" ... which can enter through any open cut, and is prevalent in warmer water)

Watch for tide changes and rip tide currents.  (As or more dangerous than river currents, because they can come up unexpectedly)

Watch for sediment areas.  As Capt. Bob says, the bottom is only inches under the water's surface, but step in and find muck up to your knees or deeper.  (Also, this is the most likely place to contact Vibrio vulnificus)

Pros ...

You might catch a fish.

 

Get a guide, so you can avoid all the cons and enjoy the one pro.


Barbed hooks rule!
My definition of work: Doing something in which effort exceeds gain.
Ex-Marine ... quondam fidelis
 


#14 Bimini15

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Posted 31 December 2017 - 10:49 AM

And the stingrays! Don’t forget the stingray shuffle.
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#15 Capt Bob LeMay

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Posted 31 December 2017 - 05:54 PM

I forgot to mention that in places with dark water (and more sharks per acre than maybe anywhere else I can think of...) wading in any of the areas I work in the 'Glades is a bit more adventure than I'm looking for....  My standard advice for any of my anglers is simply "stay in the boat" and if you do end up in the water... get back in the boat - only do it as quietly as possible....  With lemons up to 12 feet, bull sharks up to 10 feet, lots of blacktips, and the occasional tiger or hammer things can get exciting at a moment's notice (and you'll rarely see one coming until it's on top of whatever you've hooked..).  We only lost one tarpon to a shark this past year but it was in only four feet of water and a medium sized bull shark, between 6 and 7 feet long just chopped it up (and we lost an 80lb fish so quickly that my angler couldn't back the drag off quick enough to make a difference...).  Can't tell you how many snook, reds, and other fish we lose to sharks each year - all in nearly wadeable waters...

 

For anyone that's never heard of "vibrio" -the press calls it "flesh eating bacteria" and the organism is in all warm tropical waters.  Even the slightest infection you get while wading in salt or brackish waters should mandate a quick trip to your nearest emergency room...  Have the folks there "check for vibrio" - they'll know what you're concerned about.  Caught early,  a vibrio infection is very treatable and with no hazards.  Leave a vibrio infection un-treated and within a day or so it will simply overwhelm your body's defenses - and medical treatment may not be able to beat it... Every year a few have very bad outcomes from a vibrio infection.  Most could be avoided if you quickly treat the slightest break in your skin you got while wading - and if you see the slightest sign of an infection - then get treatment, right then... don't fool around with any possible vibrio infection...

 

All of that said, I love bonefishing on foot and if I had never become a guide - that would be one of my favorite things to do on the water - but all of that's in clear water.  It's a different world when you can't see what's coming your way...


Tight lines Bob LeMay (954) 435-5666