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TommyBass

Flats Bassin'

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I hear alot of you talk about fishing the flats for bass.  What do you consider to be a flat?  How do you approach fishing it?  How can you tell productive flats? Are flats without some type of cover still areas to fish?  This is by far my weakest area of fishing and would like to focus on it this comming spring.  Any advice welcome!

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There could be a book written on this subject!!  My definition of a flat is very straight forward--it's an area with very little bottom contours.  The most productive flats are usually the ones closest to deeper water and with some cover.  Personally I don't spend a lot of time fishing flats unless there is some form of cover.  The cover narrows down the search on a big flat.  For instance, you can go into a flat and just cover a weedbed rather than fishing an entire area of featureless, coverless flat.  Although, there are times when fish will be on these bare bank areas, but for the most part, I always look for some cover.  

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Spawning flat: would ideally be firm bottom sand, gravel, clay, and perhaps rock. This area should be located where it remains calm; in essence, the spot should be protected from north winds.  

Feeding flat: would ideally be heavily weeded, with a number of weed types and open pockets 4-8 feet deep. Other kinds of cover like trees, stumps, brush or rocks are also beneficial. Deep water down to 17 feet or more as near as possible and better yet, a source of inflowing water, like a creek.

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Agree with both above. Weeds or rocks will definitely. Some of the most productive areas I fish are barren flats inside the weedline but lined with docks and boats. Sometimes I sightfish for cruising bass like on the bonefish flats. They can't resist a wacky senko fluttering down in front of them.

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Productive flats normally have several things in common. They are usually close to a spawning area, have deep water nearby, and some kind of cover like rocks or weeds. Productive depths vary from a couple feet to as deep as 15 feet, but for the most part they are level.

Look for weedlines or pockets in the weeds, as well as rocks and rock piles. I prefer to work over the top of these flats with a surface to sub-surface lure like a King Shad or a Swimbait. Other lures that work are spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, and shallow running crankbaits. Once you catch a fish throw out a marker buoy and fish the area thoroughly with a worm, tube, craw, or jig. Many times fish school up on flats to feed.

Give flats a try and you might find they hold a bonanza of fish.

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Productive flats normally have several things in common. They are usually close to a spawning area, have deep water nearby, and some kind of cover like rocks or weeds. Productive depths vary from a couple feet to as deep as 15 feet, but for the most part they are level.

Look for weedlines or pockets in the weeds, as well as rocks and rock piles. I prefer to work over the top of these flats with a surface to sub-surface lure like a King Shad or a Swimbait. Other lures that work are spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, and shallow running crankbaits. Once you catch a fish throw out a marker buoy and fish the area thoroughly with a worm, tube, craw, or jig. Many times fish school up on flats to feed.

Give flats a try and you might find they hold a bonanza of fish.

Baron nailed this one on the head. I fish a river and there are several channels running though with deep areas from 6-20'. On each side of the river there are flats but some are way more productive then others. I tend to fish beds on flats. They are easy to find when there is grass. Just look for clearer areas in the grass and especially focus on the holes in the grass. The river that I fish can be very muddy all the time but around the grass it is the cleanest and clearest water, I can see all the way to the bottom and pretty much pick the fish I want to catch.

It you are fishing around any type of duck blinds these places are key for me in the spring time. Duck blinds on flats tend to have alot of fish around them. The seagulls and other birds pick up oysters and other shell fish and drop them on the blinds to crack the shells. If there is not any grass or a small amount of grass growth there I will throw a jerkbait, swimbait or a crank bait and slam fish all day long.

:)

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Here is a quick rendition of where I would be fishing the flats in comparable to other areas. There is a deep area close bye 10-20ft. The lite blue areas are the flats usually with channels. I always fish the channels first when going up into a flater area 5-10ft. The stumps are structure rocks etc. (i didn't want to get too intricate :P). The green is cover or weeds.

Elaborate if you would like.

post-8793-13016301125_thumb.gif

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Productive flats normally have several things in common. They are usually close to a spawning area, have deep water nearby, and some kind of cover like rocks or weeds. Productive depths vary from a couple feet to as deep as 15 feet, but for the most part they are level.

Look for weedlines or pockets in the weeds, as well as rocks and rock piles. I prefer to work over the top of these flats with a surface to sub-surface lure like a King Shad or a Swimbait. Other lures that work are spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, and shallow running crankbaits. Once you catch a fish throw out a marker buoy and fish the area thoroughly with a worm, tube, craw, or jig. Many times fish school up on flats to feed.

Give flats a try and you might find they hold a bonanza of fish.

Absolutely!!! Also, at night; over flats with weeds lets say 8 to 12 ft deep. A large and loud surface bait like a big Jitterbug or a wake bait will get you some heartstopping action!

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Productive flats normally have several things in common. They are usually close to a spawning area, have deep water nearby, and some kind of cover like rocks or weeds. Productive depths vary from a couple feet to as deep as 15 feet, but for the most part they are level.

Look for weedlines or pockets in the weeds, as well as rocks and rock piles. I prefer to work over the top of these flats with a surface to sub-surface lure like a King Shad or a Swimbait. Other lures that work are spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, and shallow running crankbaits. Once you catch a fish throw out a marker buoy and fish the area thoroughly with a worm, tube, craw, or jig. Many times fish school up on flats to feed.

Give flats a try and you might find they hold a bonanza of fish.

Absolutely!!! Also, at night; over flats with weeds lets say 8 to 12 ft deep. A large and loud surface bait like a big Jitterbug or a wake bait will get you some heartstopping action!

NOW, your talking,  My heart is pumping fast when you wrote that! :D

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