I started saltwater fly-fishing in the Northeast, over thirty years ago. My focus during much of the time was shore fishing for striped bass. It became quickly apparent that finding the fish was the first, and ultimately the biggest, challenge. Compared to a trout stream, coastal waters are vast, and ever changing. So to be successful you had to learn how to read beaches.
One thing I discovered to be very helpful back then was this: start by learning your home waters well. Pick a beach, and then work hard to unravel its secrets. Once you do, you can use that information to fish unfamiliar locations.
Here in Florida I spent the last two seasons mainly on my local flats. Figuring them out has been a slow process and I’m still learning. But now I feel more confident in my angling ability. And I’m ready to branch out.
Yesterday I did just that, fished a new spot. As you can see in the photo, I have a chart with me. I’m studying the shape of the shoreline, looking for creek mouths, watching the varying depths, and varying types of bottom habitat. It was exciting to exploring, fun to be fishing an unfamiliar flat.