|SEE SHELLS: Low tide will reveal fish-holding structure. Photo: Bob McNally|
Ebbing tides are great times to be on inshore waters searching for your next hidden-treasure hot spot. As you prospect, take special note of all exposed shell bars and old pilings. Carefully mark these locations on your chart and you will reap dividends when you return to fish it on an incoming tide. Both pilings and bars are rich in minute marine life, on which baitfish feed, and that brings bigger fish. Extremely low tides, which take place during full and new moons in spring, reveal the most submerged hot spots. I once found part of an sunken barge in a broad sound during a full moon low tide in May. The place has since become one of my best inshore spots giving up heavy catches of flounder, seatrout, red drum, even tarpon. The barge never was exposed during the low tide I located it. It showed as a large, dark shape on the otherwise sand-bottom, but only during full moon, low tide, in spring.