What is Flats Fishing?
Unless you spend a lot of time watching ESPN or reading saltwater fishing magazines you probably never heard of Flats fishing. To the best of my ability I will put it in a nut shell for you.
what is a Flat? ..... If you live in England, it's an apartment. If you are in Florida, it's a shallow area (usually less than 2 feet deep) covered with patchy sea grass. We commonly refer to this area as a grass flats. these flats are the home to literally thousands of species. You can find a little of everything. Sea horses, shrimp, crabs, sting rays and all sorts of juvenile fish making their home here at some time in their life. With so many small fish hiding in this shallow water larger predatory fish such as redfish, trout, snook and many more come to these areas to feed.
How do you fish these flats? ...... There are a few methods for fishing these areas. You can wade, you can fish from the shore and wait for fish to come to you, or pole a flats boat and hunt for the fish.
Wade-fishing ..... This is probably one of the most common ways to fish the flats due to the cost involved and your ability to move silently across a flat. Many flats fisherman still consider this to be the most effective method of sneaking up on big fish. The draw back to fishing this way is many times you will spot reds moving just out of reach and when you get within casting range, they move. I'm not trying to put down this method. There is nothing more frustrating than following a school of reds and have them stay just out of casting range.
Now in defense of wade fishing. I have caught a lot of fish wading. It is also nice to be able to get out on the fishes level and fight them mono-a-mono.
Shoreline fishing ..... If you are looking to just go sit and fish, you can't beat fishing from the shoreline. To me though, if I'm going to sit and wait for fish to come to me, I rather go surf fishing. Now I have caught a lot of fish from the shoreline, but I have also spent a lot of time watching birds fly by also.
Fishing from a flats boat ..... If you like the thrill of the chase. The excitement of spotting the fish your are after feeding 100 yards away. Trying to remain calm long enough to try and catch it. You will love flats fishing from a skiff. It is a true combination of hunting and fishing.
Imagine yourself standing on the front of a boat just as the sun begins to rise. You can see the sun reflecting off the glassy clear water. All you hear is the sound of a few birds off in the distance when your guide whispers, "redfish, 100 feet, 12 o'clock". You look and see a tail fin sticking out of the water just out of range. Your heart begins to pound as you notice the fish is at lest 40 inches long. As you move in closer, you cast, Your lure lands just feet from the red. Then just as you start to retrieve your lure, the redfish darts toward you line. You see a amber flash and a big splash. You feel your line jerk and hear your line began to scream off your reel. For the next 15 minutes you fight this fish up to the side of the boat just to have it take off again. Finally just when you think your arms are going to give out you are able to get the red up to the side of the boat. The guide reaches over a grabs it by the tail. A feeling of pride and accomplishment comes over you, because you know you have just landed a great memory.
For Capt. Doug's "Flats Fishing Tips" Click Here
For more information on catching a memory Click here
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