Flats fishing can be an exciting and rewarding experience for fishermen of all ages, whether just beginning or accomplished angler. Flats are long, level, shallow water areas next to deeper water. They are found in bays estuaries and marshes. They are also found atop reefs and atolls, and along shorelines.
The bottom of a flat may be made up of grass, sand, rock, mud, gravel, or a combination of these. Flats with grass or other aquatic vegetation offer cover and food for a variety of fish as well as shrimp and crabs. The most sought after fish when flats fishing include redfish, tarpon, seatrout, bonefish, permit and snook. Other popular catches are striped bass, bluefish, barracuda, shark, cobia and mutton snapper.
When choosing the best areas for flats fishing, look for flats that are 8 feet deep or less. More productive flats usually contain stumps, brush piles, grass beds or other types of cover. Flats that contain shallow ditches or humps are especially attractive to bass. Also look for baitfish, crabs and other fish foods.
Observe tides carefully when locating good flats to fish. Some will be totally dry during low tide. As the tide rises, game fish...