One Method on How to Flats Fish with Live Bait


Fishing season is among us again! There are several great charters in Pensacola to choose from; moreover, shouldn’t you be able to catch fish on your own? I want everyone to be able to catch some fish this season.

I have experience to show you the tackle and targeting methods to be a success. My knowledge is a great chance to have a good time and increase your knowledge of fishing for flats species.

Flats’ fishing is best when you’re targeting specific species such as: speckled trout, red fish, and flounder. The Emerald Coast is surrounded with areas with high potential, or even a sure hook-up with the targeted fish as mentioned before.

I am going to write a list of instructions, so you can be successful while flats fishing.

Now remember! Fishing for species with the right gear, with the right bait, at the right time, in the right place is the bottom-line for a successful trip. My advice provides valuable information such as: the right location during certain months of the year

the right hooks, line, leader, and sinkers. The correct time to be at those locations considering tides, currents, lunar, and temperatures. I will offer a high level of sophistication through professionalism and technology.

First, you will want to look for some great locations.

The best way to spot great locations is by looking for areas with structure such as oyster beds, debris, or reefs in shallow waters.

Moreover, my favorite spots consist of grass beds and sandy areas scattered throughout the grass beds.

We are not looking for just grass beds or just sandy bottoms; we are looking for areas with both mixed throughout the area. Red fish, speckled trout, and flounder are all ambush predators, and these areas provide that tactic for these targeted species.

Second, you will want the appropriate gear to fight these fish ashore, to you, or to your vessel. I recommend 3000 to 5000 series reel and rod.

I recommend using a 12 to 15 pound braided line for your setup because it provides more fish due to its proven durability.

Now, you should focus on tackle. The best method for catching fish in my opinion is to use live bait. I would grab some number one and two circle hooks, ¼ ounce through 1½ ounce egg weights.

You will need some 20 pound test swivels.

You will need a few types of fluorocarbon leader line such as: 15 pound, 20 pound, and 25 pound. These leaders will be used based on location.

You should use lighter leader lines the clearer the conditions. You should use heavier leader lines the rougher the conditions and the type of area you’re fishing such as if you’re fishing reefs, debris, or oyster beds.

Then you should tie together the swivel to a 12-18 inch leader line, tie the hook on the end, put a sinker on your braided line, and connect your leader set up to your braided line.

However, if the conditions are excellent, you can free line the bait without using a sinker in the setup as mentioned above.

Third, we need to have a few locations available to get live bait. I recommend live bait such as shrimp or live finger mullet. I catch finger mullet with a cast net.

You should grab a few dozen live shrimp because smaller fish such as pin fish, croakers, and grunts will also eat them.

Hook the shrimp at the end of their tails.

The object is to let them swim around and seem natural.

Fourth, the best months are March to September. You will need to look at the lunar, tides and currents table or chart for that day.

Certain internet sites offer them, but you will find out by experience that some are not correct. Once you find a reliable source here are some things to keep an eye out for. Fish like to eat while the currents are moving.

Opinions differentiate on which tide is better the outgoing tide (ebb) or the incoming tide (flood). Through 25 years experience, I catch a lot of fish on a break of dawn, top of an outgoing tide situation.

You will catch fish on both tides; although, you will be more productive during the first 4-6 hours of day light, and the last 3-5 hours of day light on a moving tide.

Full moons will slow down your productivity too.

Last, you should get a local fishing regulations guide and go catch some fish!

As Andrew Brown stated, There is nothing like hooking up with a 25″ red fish, fighting the fish, and reeling that big one in.

(A. Brown, Pensacola Resident) Reeling in a prize fish is very excited and easy when you follow these simple instructions.



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