Inner Circle Q&A: How To Protect Yourself From Stingrays When Wading

Have you ever listened in on one of our Fishing Coach Inner Circle calls?

All of the Salt Strong Fishing Coaches are at your disposal to answer questions and field your fishing inquiries!

A topic of discussion this week was protecting yourself against stingrays when you are wade fishing.

Take a look at the full Q & A here!!!

Inner Circle Q&A: Protect Yourself From Stingrays When Wading

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Insider members can submit questions before each call, or ask questions during the call to get quick answers.

All of the calls are recorded, so you can watch the past recordings at your convenience in case you can’t attend any of the live calls.

Protecting Yourself From Stingrays When Wade Fishing

Stingray populations are healthy and it is always of concern when wade fishing.

There are some precautions you can take to prevent getting stung by one of these stingrays.

The first defense against stingrays is the “Stingray Shuffle”.

This is merely keeping your feet on the mud or sand and shuffling them slowly forward to where you want to walk.

Theoretically, you will bump into a stingray’s wing or churn up some mud that will hopefully scare it off.

If you happen to step on top of a stingray, the first reaction it will have is to get its barb up and try to sting you.

Another option is purchasing guards or protection that several companies have designed to defend against stingrays.

The guards will cover your shins and can even go higher to protect your knees that may also be in the water.

Bart’s Armor as well as ForEverlast are companies that have ray guards or ray shields available.

Furthermore, if a stingray happens to be swimming up on you, using your rod point to gently poke them can scare them enough to scatter and swim off.

A lot of times you are rarely looking down at your feet when wade fishing because you are concerned with what is happening in the water in front of you.

For this reason, the “Stingray Shuffle” is the most practical way to protect yourself from getting stung by a stingray and will prevent you from stepping on one that may be sitting in the mud.

Be sure to wear proper wading boots that offer plenty of protection.

Try to find a pair of wading boots with thick rubber around the toes and sides.

These are areas you are more likely to be stung by the barbs.

What To Do If You Do Get Stung

One of the best ways to treat a stingray sting is to apply warm water to the affected area.

Hot water helps reduce the pain and treat the wound.

Sometimes the outflow from a boat engine is warm enough to apply to the sting.

Smaller stingrays tend to have shorter, thinner barbs compared to larger stingrays.

It is vital to make sure the barb is removed.

Venom will still flow from the barb into where it stung you.

Make sure to remove any barb fragments to stop the venom from flowing into the wound.


Regardless of where you choose to wade fish, there are going to be stingrays around in the mud, sand, or grass.

The risk is there but minimized if you take the proper precautions and practice the “Stingray Shuffle” when out fishing.

If you are an insider member, be sure to take full advantage of our weekly Inner Circle Calls!!!

Do you have any more questions about protecting yourself from stingrays when wade fishing?

Let me know down in the comments!

And if you know someone who wants to learn more about wade fishing protection, please TAG or SHARE this with them!

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Michael Knapick
1 year ago

Great topic.
Vibrio infections from stingray wounds occasionally happen in the summer along the Gulf of Mexico.
Most people who fish here know or have heard of people who had a “flesh-eating-bacteria” infection.
Many are guides who wade almost daily.
Some infections result in death or amputations.
I would recommend a trip to the emergency room, especially in hot weather.
Preventative antibiotics are always controversial, but…
Here is an excerpt from the Medscape article referenced below.
“One study showed a significant number of patients returning to the Emergency Room with wound infections when prophylactic antibiotics were not administered at initial presentation. Many physicians choose to treat the wounds associated with stingray envenomations prophylactically with a short course (about 5 days) of oral antibiotics.

The whole article on stingray wounds:

Last edited 1 year ago by Michael Knapick
Neal Hagood
1 year ago

An important follow-up to shuffling your feet, is to NOT back track on the same path (or follow another waders path. The stingrays will move into the disturbed bottom looking for food. I have witnessed this several times in & around Aransas Pass / Rockport, TX flats.

John Talmadge
10 months ago
Reply to  Tony Acevedo

I’m wade fishing Rockport/Aransas this week, and in all my many decades I’ve never heard the advice about the path. Last outing in April I caught three small rays, so I know they are prolific in the flats down there. Thanks for a very helpful tip. Cheers – T

Brian Reynes
1 year ago

About 15 years ago I got jabbed in the top of my foot from a 80Lb Bat Rey in Malibu Ca.
As I was carefully bringing him up on the beach in a rocky area my feet were were to close together and he got me.
The instant pain was like a bolt of lighting.
First things first, got him back in the surf and off he went.
Then off I went to the emergency ward.
My foot was the size of a football.
Yes very hot water and was on antibiotics
For 2 weeks.
Not Fun.
Catching 100 plus pounders was typical
But all it takes is one mistake.
They are beautiful but the big ones will ruin your gear and back real fast.

James Cable
1 year ago

Do the feet protection you say they sell will they keep you from string ray sting

Rod Burke
1 year ago

How poisonous is the sting? Do you need to seek medical attention?

Michael Knapick
1 year ago
Reply to  Rod Burke

Generally, yes. Especially in hot weather. See my post above.

Les Garten
1 year ago
Reply to  Rod Burke

I was a Paramedic in Destin and other places in Florida for a long time. The Venon is one thing, the barb is quite another thing. The barbs can be really large and wide. They are meant ti imbed themselves in your leg and they are unidirectional. They have little barbs that make it where you can’t pull it out. Usually, there is going to be surgical intervention to deal with the barb if it is much of a stingray. The surgeon will have to cut a core out around the barb. Different rays have different barbs. comment image

Justin Bradburn
1 year ago

I wear duck non insulated goretex hunting waders. They have a built in layer of 1000 denier cordura nylon from the boot to the middle of the thigh. Though it’s meant as a brush guard, its still very effective against string ray barbs.

Steven Rackas
1 year ago

Good information. It might be helpful to have the live Q&A at a later time, say 7pm EST – this would allow people to join in outside of normal business hours. It would also allow people from CST to come in when they are not at work.


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