Flats fishing: Mild winter temperatures have kept fish on the flats longer than usual. Trout remain active and willing to hit slow moving jigs or top-water lures walked across the surface. Redfish are cruising dropoff edges where the shallows meet deeper water. They can be taken on artificial lures but chunks of fresh cut bait will seldom be refused.
Low tides: Extreme low tides have drained most flats recently, leaving bare ground in many areas. This means fish are easier to find as they retreat to deeper locales and become concentrated. Deeper potholes within shallow flats can hold numerous fish. A tail hooked live shrimp is the bait of choice in this scenario.
Another option: Deeper canals are also a haven for fish on low water. Many rows of docks provide cover from dolphins while acting as ambush points for the fish to feed. Using live shrimp in the canals will connect with multiple species, including trout, redfish, snook, sheepshead, flounder, snapper, and more. When fishing in residential canals you are in someone's backyard, so be respectful.
Brent Gaskill runs Summer Vacation Charters out of the St. Petersburg area and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and (727)510-1009.