How To Read The Flats (Light Vs Dark Color Bottom)


What is the type of bottom that you are fishing in your area?

Are you fishing over sand flats, mud flats, or grass flats?

And what color is it?

These factors will play a huge role in how you approach an area, where to cast, and whether the fish will be cruising or waiting to ambush.

Check out the video below!

Fishing Light Vs Dark Color Bottom [VIDEO]

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Fish are going to behave differently depending on the environment you’re fishing in.

If you’re drifting on a flat, cover a lot of water and always be scanning in between grass patches.

Don’t discredit these open, clear sand flats just because there’s not much structure.

Although fish are not going to be waiting to ambush, they will be on the move looking for an easy meal.

If you do come upon a darker bottom and maybe some structure, fish will be holding around that structure.

The combination of the color change on the flat and structure makes for a great environment for predators to camouflage and wait for prey.

As the baitfish moves off of the darker bottom, predator fish will be ready to strike.


How to Read the Bottom (Light Vs. Dark)

Depending on the type of bottom you’re fishing, you’ll want to approach it differently to maximize your chances of catching fish.

And the light bottom areas versus the dark bottom areas will help you know whether fish will be cruising or waiting to ambush.

Have any questions about tactics for fishing the flats or what to look for?

Let me know down in the comments.

And if you know someone who loves to fish the flats, please TAG or SHARE this with them!

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John Long
2 years ago

Super nice fish, Justin! Thank you for sharing.

Jerry Dexter
2 years ago

Thanks Justin

Pat Ogletree
2 years ago

Great video Justin! Didn’t recognize the area at all with the clean water. Were you in the North end? I’ve seen a change in the past month or so myself. Last month the trout were about as shallow as they can get but the past few trips they’ve move out some. I never catch reds on the open flats, only on the shorelines. I’ll have to make it a point and spend the day fishing open areas like you did. Thanks for the tips!

Ed S
2 years ago

Great video, im up north now and getting reports on a red tide situation on the west coast of Florida. Have you guys gotten any uodates for us on red tide ?
Thx. Ed

C. Lance Weaver
2 years ago

Nice job Justin, did those flats have more grass at one time or always patchy.

Steven Free
2 years ago

Yea here in northeast fl the bottom is probably 95 percent mucky mud bottom with some creeks and areas by our inlets with sand and she’ll but the ice is all mud but maybe that’s why this area can be awesome especially in the wintertime when mud bottom areas warm and hold heat better then light colored sand bottom areas and as for me being a Yankee originally from much I don’t fish during the day much in the incredibly hot state of Florida I go mostly at night late in the evening usually on a Fri night around 6pm and fish all through the night until around 10am in the morning then I’m heading home I let the crazies who wrap themselves up like a mummy wearing all those hot cloths have it I already got my dinner and will soon be fat and happy works for me😁

Bob Hartwein
2 years ago

Really enjoyed the video! Nice catches & Big Red! You must be near or in Mosquito Lagoon? I’m in Ft Pierce & our water isnt that clean. Perfect depth for a kayak!

Jack Dickerson
2 years ago

Thanks Justin. That is exactly the type of fishing that I am doing right now. I am fishing the flats with channels running through them. This gives one the opportunity to use top water baits and then move to depth changes as the day warms up.


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