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Fishing Spartina Grass Flats

We are about to embark on a special time of year for North East Florida. During the summer and fall time from North Florida through North Carolina the coastal waters push up into the spartina grass and the redfish come alive.

Most of the year during high tide, the water pushes up to the edge of the grass flats but not over them. When there is a full or new moon we have extreme tides which causes the tides to be higher than average and flood the spartina grass flats. This will give access for the redfish and sheepshead to gorge on all of the crabs, snails, and grasshoppers that they can handle. This in turn causes the inshore fishermen to be filled with joy and is some of the most exciting style of sight- fishing that can be had. It is pretty amazing seeing a 25 inch redfish tailing with over half of its body out of the water. These fish are extremely happy feeding on the flats and are pretty skittish. There are a lot of Ospreys and Eagles looking for an easy meal as well which is why proper bait and presentation are part of the equation.

For years I thought that I had the perfect presentation for these redfish. I would take a Z-Man® 3 inch Scented ShrimpZ in the Houdini color and trim about an inch off of the tail and rig it backwards on a weedless Mustand KVD weighted hook. This worked well, but I still would spook a few fish with the splash. I also had to twitch it sometimes to get the redfish to see it. That would work sometimes but other times the fish would see it move and take off as fast as they could.

Then Z-Man answered the flood tide dreams. With their invention of the TRD Craw paired with a 1/10 ounce Finesse BulletZ jig head, I can now throw the bait closer to the fish since there is not as much of a splash. This aids in not having to guess what line the redfish will swim. With the TRD CrawZ doing the happy dance waving in the air I do not have to twitch it as much. The redfish will investigate and more often than not, we will have a redfish screaming drag in a foot of water. It is definitely something that every fisherman should get a chance to see at least once in their lifetime.

Until next time, get out on the water!
Capt. James Dumas
Drum Man Charters
St. Augustine, FL

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