Tips for Wading the Flats

By Jon B. Cave

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Gamefish that inhabit the shallowest portions of saltwater flats are notoriously skittish and even the most subtle disturbance can send them scrambling. It has become almost cliché that you have to stalk these shallow-water fish as silently as possible in order to be consistently successful.

To provide a quieter approach and eliminate the noise that comes from water slapping against the hull, most flats-skiff manufacturers have eliminated hard chine edges in favor of softer ones. The results have been fantastic and it is now possible to more closely approach fish in a skiff than ever before. But despite all the technical advances in no-slap hulls, stealthy wading remains the quietest way to stalk fish in skinny water.