Successful Spring Flats Fishing

Successful Spring Flats Fishing

How anglers cover shallow water, spot fish and present lures or baits will determine their success.

Story and Photography By Danno Wise

April’s warmer weather sparks a substantial increase in the number of fishermen heading to coastal waterways. Most of these inshore anglers are casual “bay fishermen.” However, April’s often high winds can sometimes limit the available water – especially mid-bay hotspots. As a result, fishermen still determined to make a day of it quite often find themselves fishing the shallow flats tucked behind protected shorelines.

While fishing these stretches of shallow flats in protected areas allows a break from windy conditions, which affords both comfort and safety for fishermen, it also presents an entirely different angling environment – one that many weekend anglers are unfamiliar with. As a result, they are frequently unsuccessful during their skinny water forays – not because there aren’t fish in the area, but because they are not accustomed to the techniques utilized for locating and catching fish in such shallow water.

However, this does not mean that every day anglers can’t successfully fish the skinny flats. But, they do need to put in a little time to learn the nuances of fishing in super clear, super shallow water.

While there is a difference between general bay fishing and the more specialized discipline of flats fishing, not all shallow water fishing techniques are technical or involve a lot of skill. Anglers do, however, need to pay attention to how they cover water, spot fish and present lures and baits.

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