Flats fishing is well known in Florida since they are usually estuarine areas that are made of mud, grass or sand. Depending on the tides, fishing on the flats can be very different in various times of the day. These areas are usually shallow, about 5 or 6 ft. deep.
Knowing how to fish the flats is a basic requirement for all of us inshore fishermen. These areas are preferred feeding grounds most of the year in Southwest Florida. Fishing the flats isnít as easy as drifting over a shallow area dragging bait. Knowing how to drift is where our skills start in flats fishing. It can be easy to bait improperly and spook any fish that may have otherwise been ready to strike. There are methods to this type of fishing, as with any other fishing. What you need to learn is to understand the environment in which these fish live, what is constant and what is not, and how the food chain moves through. We also have to understand the fish we are trying to catch and their predatory actions as well.
As I watch the tide move up and down I will usually cut the engine and we will drift while allowing the current to take us back across the flat. Most likely we will use live shrimp or pinfish to use as bait to catch what is biting or swimming in that area.