Christmas time on the flats? You bet. On Saturday December 20th, I fished two flats from Dave’s boat. Both of these spots are beyond my normal kayak range, so it was a chance for me to fish new waters. Moreover, we had great weather. Warm, with a light southeast breeze. So Santa was on our side.
The first flat was huge, several football fields in size. And, the bottom covered in lush grass. Immediately we found “tailing” reds, but a series of factors kept us from hooking up. Still this flat obviously held great potential.
The second flat was completely different. Much smaller, with a barren sand bottom. Frankly, it didn’t look very fishy. As we waded along, Dave directed me to the flat’s edge where it slowly slipped away to deeper water. Here the bottom undulated, forming holes and trenches. And, here we quickly found cruising fish.
I landed my largest pompano to date. Roughly 20″ to the fork. On a 6-weight fly rod, it put up an awesome fight. Believe me, it was stellar. These scaled down permit are fast, strong, erratic fighters, and packed with energy. Dave got one about the same size. From there the action remained fairly steady. I hooked and lost a redfish. Later Dave hooked and landed one.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the day, at least for me, were sheepshead. Sheepshead are common in my waters at this time of year. They are bottom feeder and usually targeted with bait. With a mouth as hard as a rock, they are also difficult to hook and hold. Overall, they are very much like the northern tautog. So can you catch a sheepshead on a fly? Turns out the answer is yes. We both got one. And they fight darn good!