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CAPTAIN'S CORNER

What's hot: With negative tides approaching on the moon phases next week, many flats will become exposed and offer great redfish action. As fall progresses, many will school up and push into the shallows on incoming tides, rooting for food with their tails giving away their position. The key to setting up is to avoid interrupting the flow of tidewater to the area. These gamefish are very aware of subtle changes, and any excessive boat pressure will shut them down. Work slowly into the grass flat. Poling the skiff into range will eliminate a lot of deck noise. The deeper dropoffs from the flats are another key to finding schooling redfish. The negative tides leave larger potholes that funnel baitfish and crabs, a major source of the redfish diet. Cooler water will make the reds more aggressive and give them a fire engine tone easily seen from a distance.

Tackle tips:Use a jumbo-sized shrimp to get optimum distance on the cast. Break off the tail section to release scent. A medium-action spinning outfit with a length of 8 feet will increase casting distance.

Jim Huddleston charters out of Tampa, Palm Harbor and Clearwater and can be reached at jim@captainhud.com or (727) 439-9017.

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