Vessels For Flamingo FlatsThe first step to flats fishing flamingo is getting on the water. From skiffs to kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards, your options are endless. We all love to obsess over what the best boat is but in reality there are just a few key features you NEED.
For these flats, if you want the ease of a boat that floats in 8 inches or fewer. Yea, a 4-5 inch draft is cool and helps but it will rarely produce more fish. This will allow you to get high on the flats with the comfort of not getting stuck too easily.
You also need a push pole and a platform or a trolling motor. All the flats are poll/troll zones and you need to follow these guidelines. Not only for the health of the fishery but to not scare all the fish away. A light boat with a pole will allow you to sneak up on fish all day without running out of battery.
If you want to tackle flamingo on a paddle craft - which is very doable - you will be able to in just about any kind. I’ve used both a canoe and paddleboard and have caught plenty of fish. It’s about a 2-mile paddle to any flats in every direction so know what you're getting into.
The best approach to tackle on the flamingo flats is to keep it simple. Any light inshore rod will do the trick with a 2500-3000 reel. Unless you plan on chasing tarpon or hooking one of the million sharks, this will suit your needs.
Sight fishing is the name of the game in flamingo. A small paddle tail is deadly! In clearer water you want to think white/chartreuse and black/purple for dirtier water. If you plan on blind casting, have a second rod rigged up with a jig using the same colors.
For the fly guys, an 8 wt will be your best friend. On a calm day, you could probably get away with a 7wt, but I find a light 8 wt to have plenty of finesse. Same as for spinning rods you might want to bump up to a 10wt if chasing tarpon or sharks.
The same colors apply as for the spinning tackle. A simple clouser will get just about anything to eat in flamingo. I like to use that for cleaner water, and a shrimpy pattern for the dirtier water. Craft fur is deadly on these flat!
Where To Fish In Flamingo
The best part about fishing Flamingo is that there are fish everywhere. My best days have always been exploring unfamiliar areas. Plus, finding a spot of your own is much better than going to the well-known ones where you will have to fight for space.
It’s as simple as looking at google maps to see where all the flats are, or you can just head to the islands, every island has a flat around it. Check the tides, you’re looking for a depth of 6-18 inches and moving water.
The incomer and outgoer are equally as productive. However, just getting started in a new area fishing the incomer might be smarter. It’s best to learn how the tides work in an area and how skinny it gets so you don't risk getting stuck on a flat for a couple of hours.
After you find skinny, and moving water, you will find some grass. Mostly the grass is all dead but any bit of grass gives prey a place to hide and the fish will look there.
Also look for depth changes. Channel edges are great for blind casting, but sight fishing is where it's at, look for holes in the flats, you will see fish swimming in and out or crossing in between. The islands often have deeper moats around them where fish like to hide.