KNEE-DEEP: The tides last week associated with the full moon left the shallow flats looking more like barren mud flats. I ran a few trips on this tide and it can be extremely good fishing. The fish stack in the deeper holes and the edges of flats. There, redfish and gangster trout hang out in a foot of water. If you can navigate to these areas you can score big.
THE RIGHT BOAT: Choosing to run the poling skiff, not the bay boat, allows access to shallower water and is well suited for the more hard-core fisherman. Shallow-water fish can be super spooky. Fish that mingle with mullet seem to be more at ease and are not spooked by the plop of a jig tossed into their vicinity.
BAIT: The baits that produce are the shad tail types in dark-color backs and a gold or silver flash on the belly, jerk worms rigged weedless in the same color pattern and gold spoons are always a good seek and destroy bait!
MAN OVERBOARD: If you decide to bail out of the boat, a snug fitting pair of sneakers or wading boots are a must to protect your feet, as is the sting ray shuffle. Fish the mullet in the knee-deep range and don't be afraid to work the bait fast. The fish mixed in with the mullet are feeding aggressively and will chase a lure to get a meal.
The next negative low tides are around the new moon: three days leading up to Christmas and the three days after.
Capt. Tim Whitfield can be reached at (813) 714-0889 or firstname.lastname@example.org.