The Tampa Bay Times
Cold fronts passing through this time of year with strong northeast winds will push water out of the bay on low tides, exposing every sand bar at the edge of every flat. I use this to my advantage, looking for cuts in the bars. Fish have no choice but to use these cuts on extreme lows as their highway to get on and off the flats. Redfish and trout use these cuts, which is a great opportunity for sight casting. Neoprene waders are a must when water temperatures get below 70 degrees. These will keep you warm while wading in the shallows, also a good pair of wading boots is necessary to protect you from stingrays. I always drag my feet to avoid stepping on a ray. Another important item is a wading belt. It will allow you to carry an extra rod, a small tackle box, and most importantly, keep water from entering the waders if you slip or fall. I like to wear a breathable jacket, that way sweat can escape from all the vigorous wading. I prefer a 7-foot rod and a 3000 series reel loaded with 10-pound braided line. It is a light combo that will not wear me out while wading. The light braid allows you to make long casts with the wind and cover more area when blind casting. A long six foot twenty pound camouflage leader will keep reds from seeing the braided line in the clear water. A red quarter ounce jig rigged with a root beer colored tail is hard to beat, it imitates a small crustacean, a favorite food of redfish.
Captain Rob Gorta