Cold fronts passing through with strong northeast winds will push water out of the bay on low tides, exposing every sandbar at the edge of every flat. I use this to my advantage, looking for cuts in the bars. Fish have no choice but to use the cuts on extreme lows as their highway to get on and off the flats. The last cold front dropped water temperatures to 60 degrees, so neoprene waders are a must when temperatures get that low. These keep you warm while wading in the shallows. A good pair of wading boots also is important to protect you from the stingrays. Another important item is a wading belt. It allows you to carry an extra rod, a small tackle box and, most importantly, keeps water from entering the waders if you slip or fall. I like to wear a breathable jacket, that way sweat can escape from all of the vigorous wading. I prefer a 7-foot rod and a 30 series reel loaded with 10-pound braided line. It's a light combo that will not wear me out while wading. The light braid allows for long casts with the wind and covers more area when blind-casting. A long 6-foot, 20-pound camouflage leader will keep reds from seeing the braided line in clear water. A red quarter-ounce jig rigged with a root beer-colored tail is hard to beat. It imitates a small crustacean, a favorite of redfish.
Rob Gorta charters out of St. Petersburg. Call him at (727) 647-7606 or visit captainrobgorta.com.