Fishing for trout and chumming in the flats areas questions...

The reports I read usually talk about grass flats for trout and the pics are usually taken from a flats boat or very shallow draft hull anyway. I draw 32" so I like to stay in 4' of water or better. Going over the charts there looks to be plenty of places I can fish where the bottom is grass, even some places I can get to mangroves for the snook and redfish and still be afloat. One thing the trout and redfish and snook reports almost never mention is the depth they're fishing.

So that's my question...given my depth restrictions can I still catch some of the above species using all the proper techniques etc? Lol, note I didn't say can I 'fish' for the above...I know I can fish for them...but if I can't get skinny enough I don't want to waste the time.

Also, still talking about the PIS and shallow water fishing...I've read that chumming is a good way to draw small sharks to the boat but will it also help with general fishing in the flats and shallows?

I know it seems like a lame question but what I really want is for my wife to catch a few fish on light tackle before we head out deep and she hooks into a fat grouper thanks to capeangler and it jerks $250 worth of rod and reel out of her hands because she had no idea what it would feel like.


  • Panhandler80Panhandler80 Posts: 8,038 Moderator
    Not sure where you are, but the short answer is yes you can catch fish there. Healthy grass is healthy grass. If it has bait it will have fish. Heck, I fish in ten to twelve feet where grass starts to thin out into sand on drop offs.. Especially late in year when the shallow stuff is like bath water.

    Edit... Yes, chumming can help a lot. Especially live chum. If you can find an expansive shallow, like 2 or less, then a strip if the depths we were talking about earlier... That 4 to 5 got stuff you are set. Especially if that transition stiff is near a drop if and some current. Chum that transition and make note of tide. Eventually you'll have a couple hours of really good fishing. then you know when to fish that spot again.
    "Whatcha doin' in my waters?"
  • nobrainsnobrains Posts: 91 Deckhand
    Thank you Panhandler...what you're saying makes a lot of sense.

    I'd be talking about Pine Island Sound mostly, that's the closes to me. There's a few spots close to Rookery in Naples and then the 10,000 Islands after that. PIS gets me up where we can overnite on the boat and be a good 15-20 miles farther west already than leaving out of Naples in the morning to run deep if we want. While there in PIS it would be fun to fish that area during the evening hoping for a little action before the deeper run.
  • SCFD rtrd.SCFD rtrd. Posts: 1,386 Officer
    Why don't you start the learning curve by catching bait to chum with? Take the wife to the inlet and throw jigs for Ladyfish. She can learn about the process while catching bait. Then take those Ladyfish and cut them up and use them for chum and for bait. Reds, Snook and Trout love fresh Ladyfish.
  • nobrainsnobrains Posts: 91 Deckhand
    I like that idea SC' for the very reasons you mention. She's not afraid to get fishy at all and she really wants to "learn about the process". Very good idea.

    Thanks SC'!
  • PtsrhenryPtsrhenry Posts: 256 Deckhand
    Drift the grass flats to the west of the stilt homes in the PIS, the water here is plenty deep and the trout bite almost on every cast.
    RANGER BAY 2300
  • nobrainsnobrains Posts: 91 Deckhand
    Ptsrhenry wrote: »
    Drift the grass flats to the west of the stilt homes in the PIS, the water here is plenty deep and the trout bite almost on every cast.
    Hey I know where that is. There's a nice big stretch of water there well off the main channel. Great idea 'henry. Thanks!
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