We have had an incredibly mild winter so far in Florida. A cold front may come through and drop temperatures for a day but then they are back up in the 70’s two to three days after which has all species feeding actively by the afternoon. Our big low tides are occurring in the mornings which can be beneficial depending on the topography of the flat you’re fishing. When picking an area to fish, flats that have a gradual drop fish 10x better than the ones with a drop off because it allows the fish to stay on it rather than sitting in a trough, waiting on the water level to rise.
The type of bottom that the flat you’re fishing has, often times, dictates which fly or pattern you should use. Crab and shrimp patterns are a go-to this time of year but are hard to fish over dense turtle or shoal grass flats. Mullet and Pinfish don’t disappear in the cooler temps, so your Enrico Puglisi flies work exceptionally well this time of year. All species have their guard down when the water levels are lower and they are beginning their push to the shoreline but become increasingly more aware of their surroundings as the water fills in which allows them to see us and everything infinitely better. If you imagine yourself on their “point of view,” their visibility is limited with a dense grassy bottom but as the water level rises, it allows them to suspend off the bottom which brings their eyes closer to the surface rather than just focusing on their transit on or off the flat. Depending on the part of the tide you’re at will determine where the fly needs to be placed but the most important part of the whole equation is to HAVE FUN!