Sunday, April 22, 2018
Sports

Captain's Corner: Exposed flats bring new fishing opportunities

What's hot: As we approach winter, stronger fronts push through the bay area, bringing northerly winds that blow the water off shallow flats. The exposed flats may reveal new fishing areas that are hard to find at higher tide levels. Even if it means not fishing, go out during extreme low tides to learn the contours of the sea floor and find hidden structures. It will pay off later.

Tactics: At the bottom of the tide look for sandy potholes in the middle of a shallow grass flat. Fish congregate in these holes as the tide drops out. But not every hole holds fish, so don't spend too much time in one spot. Once you find a pothole containing fish, expect to catch one after another. When the tide turns, redfish and sheepshead will move up on the shallow flat. They feed with their noses in the grass so locating them in shallow water can sometimes be as easy as looking for tails.

Tip: When fishing in super shallow water, make accurate casts and don't notify fish of your presence. Sometimes fish are so wary, you might have to wade to them. The bait of choice is usually a free-lined shrimp, though any scented artificial, rigged weedless on an unweighted hook, can also be effective.

Seth Leto runs Pristine Fishing Charters out of Tarpon Springs. Call (727) 385-0382.

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