GREAT WINTER FLATS FISHING

         ABSOLUTE FLORIDA FLATS FISHING went on a fishing trip on Friday December 16th in the late morning from 11am. To near 4pm. ½ day fishing charter and scored nicely with Gator Spotted Sea Trout fishing, redfish and more. Flats fishing is heating up on many Tarpon Springs + New Port Richey inshore flats. It was dead low-tide when we located our first good size school of Trout in the 3lb. to 6lb. range, 20” to 30” long. AT the start of the incoming tide we kind of spooked them at first, as they were holding 12” to 18’ of water sunning, gin clear, calm, shallow water so we just stopped the boat and tried to be as quiet as possible even moving around on the stable flats fishing skiff seemed to give us away the flat was like a lake on the tide change conditions! We spooked some fish as far away as 50’, there were so many trout on this one fishing flat it looked like the bottom was moving,  plenty of bait also and no other boats nearby,  you have to use stealth with these conditions. We continued to move ever so slowly and throw our Berkley jerk shad in the 5’ and 7’ variety rigged Texas style while the tide began to come in, that’s when the fish turned on the best. These were excellent conditions for Fly-Fisherman armed with an 8 to 9 weight fly-rod and floating line, I would recommend a silver flash deceiver 4” to 5” or a clouser in the real broken areas at the beginning of the flat. Early morning would be great for poppers, (make some noise and flash) etc. After a few hours of chasing the big speckled trout around and the tide getting up a bite we went to a good redfish fishing flat to try and catch them pushing up on the flat, except with just 2 days till the quarter moon and a north wind the tide wasn’t really coming as hard as we wished.  Blind casting in an area they like ( the Red’s)  with nearby oyster bars in a foot of water netted us 4 nice Redfish to 25” and 5lb. +, and a Jack Crevalle, not really surprising as the water temperature was 70* F . All on the same jerk-baits we were throwing at the Trout a little more camo colored. After covering a good portion of that inshore flat our fishing trip drew us back to those Trout which we connected with several more and a couple of good redfish as the tide was almost high, what a beautiful day in mid-December on the West Central Florida Gulf coast.

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