Fins, yes or no....
Posted 12 November 2014 - 06:41 PM
First, in strong current, you gotta have the fins. I don't drift down, I go against the current. The majority of the work goes to my arms but I get to places where I need to power through. I also carry nets, not cameras. Sometimes my pursuit of fish requires both hands and to the extent I'm not clinging for dear life with my knees clamped around a boulder, I power through with the fins.
My problem is the fins I used for so many years were acquired when I was a bit of a younger man. Seems the fins are a bit too aggressive for the strong current on my slightly aged legs. It's not fatigue that gets me but whopper Charlie Horses that would prolly drown me if I was far from shore. Sometimes they hit hours later when I'm driving home on the highway. Very very painful.
Posted 12 November 2014 - 07:06 PM
I agree that I do not often let myself drift with the current and usually work my way upstream, but do so more my pulling myself along the bottom with my hands than by swimming with my feet.
You asked "how many of you guys" and I would answer that question by saying about 80% of all the river snorkelers I see are wearing boots or shoes of some type, not fins.
Posted 12 November 2014 - 11:19 PM
I always have my camera with me and one hand is always tied up so I use the other hand and my knees (I wear knee pads to protect my wetsuit) to pull myself upstream or brace myself downstream; often I'll use my fins to hold myself stationary against the current if it's not too swift. Mostly I use my fins to force my head and torso to the bottom so that I can get my camera on the fish's level. Yes it takes some leg strength to snorkel the way I do so I put in some gym time, 30+ miles a week on a stationary bike, weights year round and many kilometers swimming with drogue shorts over the winter.
You asked "how many of you guys", and Michael is probably correct in saying 80% don't. But I say who cares what others do or wear. Try snorkeling with fins and without then decide what's best for you and the conditions you will be snorkeling in, remember safety first.
Posted 13 November 2014 - 08:10 AM
Posted 13 November 2014 - 08:24 AM
Posted 13 November 2014 - 08:47 AM
My fish stalking tends to be in saltwater, in spots where current is frankly a lot stronger and scarier than the average stream crawler. If my grip slips off the boulder, I'm 50 yards offshore before I turn around. For that, obviously, fins are personal safety devices. I also snorkel lots of vertical walls where I cling with only one hand and nothing beneath me. Fins aid greatly moving one handed against the tide.
One thing I encounter that may not fit here exactly....
In searching for the perfect spot for tropical strays, I have in the past attempted to survey areas designated "No Swimming". Also, I have encountered the issue of the need for a "Dive Flag" while snorkeling. A dive flag restricts the movements of nearby boats and snorkeling is discouraged, at least flags are, in areas where boats need to go.
The answer that has worked for me - No Fins. Seems in the eyes of the [offseason] harbormaster and local boaters, if you're wearing fins, obviously you're swimming and need a flag.
If you're wading in boots, even wearing a face mask, peering into the water, you're looking for bait or something and more likely to be ignored.
I wear my wading shoes and wade more in those spots but I still lay down and slither under the boulders to chase the butterflies.
Posted 13 November 2014 - 08:47 AM
Posted 13 November 2014 - 09:38 AM
I weight slightly negative to snorkel/net. Nothing is more frustrating than fighting your wetsuit when you got a hot fish in sight.
Again, I might get whisked out to sea in a heart beat. Don't want to be fighting my weightbelt without swimfins [sure ain't gonna dump it].
Posted 13 November 2014 - 09:42 AM
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