Sight-Fishing Shallow Water
By: Captain Mark Krowka
From the Florida Keys to your home flats, learn these universal lessons on sight-fishing shallow water
On the edge of the Gulf of Mexico and Florida Everglades is a tiny, less than 2-acre grassy knoll. This spot fills up with some of the biggest redfish in the area when the first fall cold front passes through South Florida. I stumbled upon the site in the 1980s, running by and blowing up fish. They were large enough to be small tarpon, which I thought they were, when I stopped, but on closer inspection I was surprised by their true identity and size.
I privately held it as one of my very own top secret spots. Some years later, I drove by it with Al Pflueger, Jr., on board. Pflueger, always graciously willing to share his vast knowledge, pointed to the flat and described everything I’d learned about that obscure bank, and much, much more. I thought I’d invented the wheel, but Pflueger (scion of the famous Miami taxidermy house and a light tackle expert) had been routinely catching trophy fish there since the 1960s.
Odds are you’ve been surprised by redfish, too. Despite popular conceptions, these fish don’t just swim around waving bronzed tails like flags for us to see. Unless they are squeaking across mere inches of water, reds can be downright subtle.
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