How To Drift Grass Flats For Speckled Trout

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If you had no fancy trolling motor…

And no expensive Power-Pole…

How would you catch fish?

That’s a great question and one that we get asked a lot!

Those pieces of equipment are expensive, and if you’re part of a boat club, like Freedom Boat Club, your rental boat likely doesn’t have these things.

If this is you, we hear you!

In this new live and uncut podcast episode, we decided to show you exactly what we would do in that situation.

So here’s what we did: we found a grass flat in a good spot that was likely to hold fish.

We set ourselves up to let the wind and the current drift us into the feeding zone and we caught a ton of nice trout!

Check out the video below to see exactly what we did and learn:

  • What the best lures to use when fishing grass flats for trout are
  • Where to find flats that are likely to hold fish
  • How to decide when to move spots (and start catching fish again!)
  • And much more

You can watch the video version of this podcast below (which I definitely recommend since there was a lot of fish catching footage), listen to the audio version by clicking the play button underneath it, or listen to it on iTunes, Stitcher, or Spotify.

P.S. Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, or Spotify and leave us a review!

How To Drift A Grass Flat For Trout [VIDEO]

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How To Drift A Grass Flat For Trout [PODCAST]

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How To Drift Flats

The key to drifting grass flats is to set yourself up so that the current and wind take you to where you want to go.

On this trip, we positioned the boat upwind and then let the wind take us down the flat.

To make sure we stayed on course, we used the motor as a tiller.

We didn’t turn it on, but we did turn the wheel to keep us heading in the right direction.

Leaving the motor off lets you stealthily drift a grass flat and decreases the chance you’ll spook fish.

Once you’ve drifted an entire flat you can turn your motor back on and find another flat to drift, or, if the bite was good, you can circle back (without driving through the feeding zone) and drift the same flat.

Where To Find Trout On Grass Flats

Trout can often be found in or around sandy potholes in grass flats.

If the tide is low, you can usually find them near the edge where the flat and deeper water meet, but on this trip, since it was high tide, they were about 50 yards off of the edge of the flat.

As far as depth, it will change every trip, but what you’ll find is that the fish will most likely be holding in the same depth.

For instance, if you catch fish in water that’s 3-5′ deep (like we did on this trip), then other flats that are 3-5′ deep will probably hold fish, while flats that are shallower or deeper might not.

And here’s another tip for finding fish: look for birds.

If you see diving birds, they’re probably feeding on baitfish from above, and there’s most likely predator fish feeding on those same baitfish from below.

You can often find mackerel, jacks, trout, and ladyfish there.

Best Lures To Catch Trout On Grass Flats

One of the keys to our success is that we were using a proven lure.

Paddletails, like the Slam Shady we were using, are proven to catch trout on grass flats.

We rigged them on the Trout Eye Jig Head and just casted them out and did a steady retrieve, occasionally adding in some twitches and pauses.

We’ve caught tons of trout on grass flats using this setup and recommend it to everyone else fishing the same scenario.

And besides the fact that using a proven lure gets strikes, it also helps us focus on what’s important: finding feeding fish.

You’ll notice that when the bite slowed down toward the end of the video we didn’t question if it was the lure that was causing it to slow down, but we questioned the spot.

What happened was we drifted out of the feeding zone, so all we needed to do was go back to where we were catching fish previously and start drifting that area again.

Where many people go wrong is that they stay in dead zones too long trying different lures and wasting time.

If you’re using a lure that you know fish like, then you can put all your time and energy on finding the feeding zones, which is what will actually help you catch more fish.

Conclusion

trout on whitebait

If you don’t have a fancy trolling motor or expensive Power-Poles, you can still catch a ton of fish.

Just find a grass flat, position yourself up current and up wind, and let your boat drift through the feeding zone as you toss out paddletails rigged on jig heads.

This is a great way to get a ton of tight lines and since all you need to do is cast and retrieve, it’s a great way for kids and anglers to catch fish.

Have any questions about drifting grass flats?

Let us know down in the comments!

And if you know someone who needs to learn this type of fishing trip, please TAG or SHARE this with them!

P.S. Want access to our best fishing spots and tips, plus discounts to our online tackle store? Click here to join us in the Insider Club!

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Caden
Member
Caden
10 days ago

Thanks for the info

Luke Simonds
Admin
10 days ago
Reply to  Caden

Our pleasure! Thanks so much for making time to leave the nice comment.

Caden
Member
Caden
9 days ago
Reply to  Luke Simonds

Your welcome thank you so much for this creating this site I have been using it since feb.

Caden
Member
Caden
8 days ago
Reply to  Luke Simonds

Your welcome

Ron Scott
Member
Ron Scott
11 days ago

Hey Luke, I see that you keep your rod tip down while fishing in this video. Why is that? And does it matter with bait or lure?

Luke Simonds
Admin
10 days ago
Reply to  Ron Scott

I keep it down whenever casting across the wind on a windy day so that the wind can’t blow my line around and mess up my retrieve and feel of strikes.

On calm days, I’ll use the height of the rod tip to control the depth of the lure during the retrieve.

A. Rollins
A. Rollins
12 days ago

What are your thoughts on rigging the Slam Shady on a Eye Strike Texas Eye Jig? Is it too much of a good thing?

Luke Simonds
Admin
10 days ago
Reply to  A. Rollins

That is actually our favorite jig head for slam shady paddletails… works great!

Anonymous
Anonymous
12 days ago

Well Luke, it seems that Joe was putting on the clinic! 😊

Luke Simonds
Admin
10 days ago
Reply to  Anonymous

It’s about time he did that:)

Tom
Tom
12 days ago

We had a place in Keaton Beach for 17 years. What you guys are doing is how we fished the grass flats. We catch a little bit of everything including cobia on the flats, might even jump a tarpon. I’ve seen schools have reds that I looked like a school of Bonita on the flats. great job guys, in Northeast Florida now and everything is different but we still find the Fish…

Luke Simonds
Admin
10 days ago
Reply to  Tom

Thanks for making time to leave the nice comment Tom!

Brian Sweeney
Member
Brian Sweeney
13 days ago

you mentioned a slam shady Bomber? not seeing that lure anywhere on your site.

Mark McKinney
Member
Mark McKinney
13 days ago

We do that a lot up here in the Big Bend. There a lots of grass flats. I also use a drift anchor to slow us down.

Luke Simonds
Admin
10 days ago
Reply to  Mark McKinney

Yes, the drift anchors are extremely helpful on windy days.

Michael Dobrowolsky
Member
Michael Dobrowolsky
13 days ago

I would have thought that rigging weedless would work better on grass flats but apparently the jig heads are not a problem catching grass

Rick Liskow
Member
Rick Liskow
12 days ago

I was thinking the exact same thing.

Luke Simonds
Admin
10 days ago

It’s all about depth… these flats were about 3 ft deep, so the jig head was the ticket because it enabled us to get the lure just above the grass… a weighted hook would have not been able to get deep enough given the depth and wind we were fishing that day.

Mark Weekley
Member
Mark Weekley
13 days ago

great video, I never thought of chumming for specks.Plan on trying it, and I bend the barbs down on my treble hooks.

Luke Simonds
Admin
10 days ago
Reply to  Mark Weekley

Thanks Mark! Yes, bending barbs down is a great practice for catch and release fishing.

Wally Perez
Member
Wally Perez
13 days ago

I also noticed that it looked like Joe was keeping his rod tip up more and therefore probably presenting his lure at a higher level than Luke who had his tip down and closer to the bottom? Was that on purpose?

Luke Simonds
Admin
10 days ago
Reply to  Wally Perez

I keep my rod tip down whenever casting across the wind on a windy day so that the wind can’t blow my line around and mess up my retrieve and feel of strikes.

On calm days, I’ll use the height of the rod tip to control the depth of the lure during the retrieve.

Wally Perez
Member
Wally Perez
13 days ago

Did I understand you to say that the different jig head “eyes” have different hook sizes? I’ve never noticed that in their packaging?

Rob S
Member
Rob S
13 days ago
Reply to  Wally Perez

Hi Wally, the 3 different sized Trout Eye Jigheads all have a 2/0 hook. The broader category of Eye Strike Fishing Jigheads have a wider array of weights and hook sizes. Luke mentioned Redfish Eye Jigheads which have a 4/0 hook which are usually used on larger swim baits. For more info, see https://zmanfishing.com/store/categories/jigsspinners.

Wally Perez
Member
Wally Perez
13 days ago
Reply to  Rob S

Thanks!

Dave Otte
Member
Dave Otte
13 days ago

Joe and Luke, you guys are so real. It is such an honor to see ‘you’ just being ‘you’. Thank you for these live podcasts, they are awesome!

Luke Simonds
Admin
10 days ago
Reply to  Dave Otte

Thanks so much for making time to leave the nice comment Dave!!!

Steven Free
Member
Steven Free
13 days ago

Yea great for your area or central fl but where I live in northeast fl we don’t really have grassroots per say but I have already found an even better way to catch lots of trout a technique you or like doesn’t seem to do it’s called night fishing by docks so go ahead and get in the hot sun with your long sleeve shirts on I’ll stay cool all night long and fish at night and be back by about 10am when everyone else has only started ha ha

Luke Simonds
Admin
10 days ago
Reply to  Steven Free

Yes, night fishing can be very productive. I have done a lot of night fishing over the years… just haven’t made any videos doing it because I haven’t figured out how to get the lighting good enough to look good in the videos.

Stephen Rothman
Member
Stephen Rothman
13 days ago

Were you bouncing the lures along the bottom on the retrieve, or a more swimming retrieve?
Did you know where the grass flats were just by looking down? Or you have been there before? If it’s overcast or deeper, you won’t be able to see the bottom, right? I guess if it’s too deep to see the bottom it’s also too deep for grass to grow.

If the water is moving, I have done drifting where you put the lure out and don’t retrieve, just let the water pushing the boat create the motion, which then mimics a baitfish that’s being swept along by the current. But I guess your movement was created by wind, which may not be in the same direction as the current, so there is no point to that strategy in those circumstances.

Are you avoiding the channel because the fish are not there, or just to stay away from boat traffic?

Luke Simonds
Admin
10 days ago

Great questions:
1) The retrieve can work with twitching or a straight swim with paddletails… the key for grass flats is to get it as close to the grass as possible without snagging it.

2) Yes, I knew grass flats were there because it is visible on satellite maps and it was clear enough to see it by sight when on the water too. For most areas with seagrass, you’ll at least be able to see the grassy zones even in deeper water because grass won’t grow in deep water that’s not clear.

3) I avoided the channel because there isn’t too deep for the grass to grow there and because I didn’t want to deal with boat wakes while filming (we lost a $4k camera earlier this year due to a boat wake, so now always make an effort to avoid waves whenever possible).

Lamar Nelson
Member
Lamar Nelson
13 days ago

Ive been doing this in Pine Island sound for over 20 years, it works

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