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Fish Tales
Shallow water advice
Keep your distance and try to be quiet as possible
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Another week down and another cold front has passed.

It can be difficult this time of year to execute the game plan you’ve had in your head all week. Clear blue skies and a northerly breeze often mean tough conditions for fishing. Take it or leave it. That’s your choice.

As someone who earns a living through fishing, I often find myself on the water on a lot of days that might look pretty to the untrained eye.

However, from an angling standpoint, they can be a recipe for failure. Following are a couple of shallow water tidbits that might help put a couple extra fish in the boat on those less than perfect days.

If you want to fish the shallows on bluebird days, you’re going to have to stay as far away from the fish as possible and be as absolutely quiet as possible. Long rods and light line will help you get the bait out there. Bringing up another point, I love to fish artificial lures as much as anyone.

However, if the water temperature has dipped and there’s no cloud cover, the bites will be few and far between. Fresh pinfish are readily available right now and if you cut their tail off they make the perfect redfish and gator trout bait.

Positioning your boat and controlling the amount of noise coming from it is perhaps most important. Approach your desired location from an up wind heading. This may require you to take a different angle to the area.

This approach will allow you to use your trolling motor on a very low speed, thus lessening the chance of spooking the fish from a distance that will never allow you to set up on them. As your making your way to the fish consider shutting your bait well down and relocating your bait to an outside towable bait pen.

Lastly, get your crew to believe in what you’re doing. Get them exited about catching some big fish in such skinny water. Let them know that anything they can do to control the vibrations coming off the boat will only help to catch more fish.

Definitely try to get everyone to sit down and relax and to let you freshen the baits and net the fish, you know your boat best and can move around it while making as little noise as possible.

Until next week, get bent.

Tyson Wallerstein can be reached at To get a fish photo in the paper, send the photo along with your name, when and where it was caught to or mail it to Tampa Bay Newspapers, 9911 Seminole Blvd., Seminole, FL 33772.
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