Flats Fishing 101: Finding Spots For Redfish, Trout, Snook & Flounder


Want to learn how to catch redfish, trout, snook, and flounder on the flats?

We’ve been getting tons of questions about flats fishing recently, including:

  • what is a flat?
  • how do you find flats on online maps?
  • what does a good flat look like in Texas? or Florida? or in the Carolinas?
  • where can you catch fish on the flats?

So we created this video to go through how to find flats step by step, and how to identify where the fish will most likely be on them.

To learn how to master catching fish on the flats, watch the video below.

How To Catch Fish On The Flats [VIDEO]

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To make catching fish on the flats easier, we’ll break it down to three steps:

  1. How to find flats on online maps
  2. How to find fish on the flats
  3. How to catch fish on the flats

How To Find Flats On Online Maps

how to find flats on online maps

A flat is a shallow open body of water with muddy, sandy or grassy bottom.

They’re usually 1-5 feet deep.

You can see three different examples in the picture above of flats in Texas, Florida, and South Carolina.

In Texas and Florida, the darker colors on the flat are areas of seagrass, where the lighter colors are sand or muddy bottom.

In the Carolinas, you want to look for areas of open water that might have oyster bars or cuts and troughs running through it.

How To Find Fish On The Flats

Predator fish, such as redfish, trout, snook, and flounder, like structure.

They like structure because it gives them ambush points, as well as protection from bigger predators like dolphins.

There are two categories of structure:

Physical structure

  • oyster bars
  • seagrass
  • shorelines
  • rocks

Topographical structure (depth changes)

  • channels
  • cuts
  • troughs
  • drop-offs
  • depressions

You’ll most likely find fish in areas that have both types of structure.

For example, an oyster bar with a drop-off next to it.

Or seagrass next to a channel.

How To Catch Fish On The Flats

Now that you’ve found a flat, and you know where the fish are likely to be, it’s time to actually catch them.

Where exactly the fish are and what they’re feeding on will be largely influenced by things like weather, tide, current, season, and wind.

You can try to go catch fish armed with this information, but if you want to shortcut the whole process and want someone to tell you the exact types of spots they’re biting in, and what they’re feeding on, you can join us in the Insider Club.

Every Friday, we do a weekend gameplan where we’ll give you the current trends so you don’t have to figure them out yourself.

Click here to learn more about the Insider Club.


catch trout on flats

To find flats on online maps, look for large, open areas of water with sandy, muddy, or grassy bottom.

Predator fish will most likely be in areas with structure, so look for oyster bars, grass, and rocks, as well as potholes, troughs, and cuts.

And if you want to get a shortcut to catching fish on flats, click here to join us and 13,000 other anglers in the Insider Club.

Have any questions about catching fish on the flats?

Let us know in the comments below.

And if you know someone who wants to get better at flats fishing, please TAG or SHARE this with them!

P.S. Insiders also get 20% off on all the fishing gear in our online shop — Click here to join the Insider Club!

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  • Weekly “spot dissection” videos that walk you through all the best spots in your area
  • Exclusive fishing tips from the PROS you can’t find anywhere else
  • Everything you need to start catching fish more consistently (regardless if you fish out of a boat, kayak, or land).

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Jonathan Zak
4 years ago

What’s up with the tackle section on the website? I’m seeing a knife and two different leader options??? Where’s the slam shady?

Steven Free
4 years ago

Yea you basically nailed it great job in less then 4 min to awesome thanks Wyatt ????

Tim Rolfe
4 years ago

Nice Job Wyatt! I hope to meet up in CB sometime.

Jonathan Getz
4 years ago

Great concise video Wyatt! Although I don’t know why you have to punch your redfish and give them a bloody nose after catching them. Brutal…lol

Miller Ronald
4 years ago
Reply to  Wyatt Parcel


Alan Lanoue
4 years ago

Ok the slam shady ? What’s the rigging ? Sinker or no sinker and what position and weight of sinker if required ? Sorry I’m a newby

Jonathan Getz
4 years ago
Reply to  Alan Lanoue

Alan: The Slam Shady is a soft plastic paddletail. Typically it is rigged on a a jighead of some kind, but it can be rigged multiple ways. Weight of jighead/sinker depends on the depth of water you are fishing, current, and the action of your rod. For example, I would start off rigging them on a 1/4 oz jighead.

4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan Getz

Ok another dumb question straight line or leader ? I watched the video but it doesn’t discuss that part ?

Alex Frey
4 years ago

Dude, this was incredibly helpful! Great explanations and very well done Wyatt!

4 years ago

Is that drone footage?

Thomas Campbell
4 years ago

Love this! Fishing these structures has helped me tons!

Jamie Beadle
4 years ago

Another great one Wyatt. Hoping to put it to use Sunday.


Do what the “SMART ANGLERS” are doing and join the Insider Club.

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