What's hot: During the winter, when fishing can be tough, target fish that are less susceptible to cold-water temperatures. Trout, redfish, sheepshead and bluefish return to feeding mode quickly after a passing cold front. Each front ushers in northerly winds, which blow water off shallow flats. The exposed flats may reveal fishing areas that are hard to find during higher tides.
Tactics: At low tide look for sandy potholes in the middle of a shallow grass flat. Fish congregate in these holes as the tide falls; although not every hole will hold fish, so don't spend too much time in one spot. Once a pothole containing fish is located, you can expect to catch one after another. When the tide turns, redfish and sheepshead will move onto the shallow flat to forage on crustaceans and small baitfish. Locating these fish in shallow water can sometimes be as easy as looking for tails.
Stealthy approach: When fishing in super shallow water, it is crucial to make accurate casts and not notify the fish of your presence. You may have to exit the boat and wade to the fish. For bait, usually a free-lined shrimp is best, though any scented artificial bait, rigged weedless on an unweighted hook, can also be effective.
Seth Leto charters out of St. Petersburg and can be reached at email@example.com or (727) 385-0382.