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Flats angling target species

These are only a few of the most sought after species of fish a flats angler may encounter.

This may vary in the various coastal estuaries due to water temperature or habitat. Some are more revered than others but any of these fish will thrill an angler.
Flats Fishing Species
Bonefish (Gray Ghost)
Tarpon - the silver king of the flats
Bonefish - the gray ghost of the flats
Family Elopidae, TARPONS
Megalops atlanticus
Family Albulidae, BONEFISHES
Albula vulpes
Capable of reaching weights of 300 pounds, though rarely reaching 200 in Florida waters, the Tarpon is without a doubt one of the most thrilling game-fish to catch in the world. Abundant throughout most of the coastal waters, Tarpon will readily strike both artificial and live baits. Known for their incredible leaping ability and long fight, these fish are not for the weak of heart.
Bonefish occur in shallow tropical and subtropical waters, where they inhabit tidal flats and coastal passes. Similar to the sea trout, bonefish are essentially schooling fish. Smaller bonefish can be seen in large schools on the flats; while, larger ones tend to be more solitary and form smaller schools or groups.
Snook ( Line-Sides)
Spotted Sea Trout (Speckled Trout)
Snook - linesides a top flats predator
Sea Trout - an ambush specialist of the grass flats
Family Centropomidae, SNOOKS
Centropomus undecimalis
Family Sciaenidae, DRUMS
Cynoscion nebulosus
Sought after by Florida anglers for its incredible fighting power. Snook are a protected species that is regulated closely to protect the fishery. Catch and release fishing is strongly encouraged. Known for explosive top water strikes that often knock a plug out of the water completely. Snook are hard fighters, that will jump and rattle their gills in an effort to escape. Abundant throughout the warmer coastal estuaries.
Though more common the farther north you travel in the coastal flats, Spotted Sea Trout are relatively abundant in most local waters. These fish are always willing to accept both live bait and artificial and make excellent table fare. Averaging 2 pounds, the Sea Trout can reach weights of 10 pounds or more.
Red Fish
Crevalle Jack
Red Fish - bulldog of the flats
Crevalle Jack - the wolf pack of the flats
Family Sciaenidae, DRUMS
Sciaenops ocellatus
Family Carangidae, JACKS and POMPANOS
Caranx hippos
Frequently found around Oyster Bars and on opened water flats, the Red Fish is a member of the Drum family. These fish are known for bruising long runs that are referred to as being similar to hanging on to a runaway truck. Red fish are abundant throughout most coastal flats and will readily take both live and artificial baits.
The Crevalle Jack may be one of the toughest fighting fish pound for pound anywhere. Exciting to watch feeding, these fish commonly travel in Wolf Pack fashion, marauding unsuspecting bait fish in a frenzy. Willingly accepts anything thrown in its direction when feeding.

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