Website Created by Keith Kalbfleisch
What is "Inshore" or "Flats"?
Florida is blessed with a unique fishery in its shallow backwater and lagoon systems. Imagine shallow saltwater lake-like lagoons, with unique fish, birds, and plants. The areas we primarily fish near Orlando is the famous Northern Indian River system. By shallow, we mean that most of our fishing is done in less than two feet of water! Because of its sheltered properties, inshore waters can often be fished when it is impossible to fish offshore or nearshore. It also has calm water, so if you have problems with the "Mal de Mar", sea sickness, you will not have any problems.
But can you catch fish? YES! Commonly we catch top saltwater fighters like:
and perhaps less likely, but still possible, other gamefish like Tarpon, Snook, Jack Crevalle, and Ladyfish.
Redfish are the primary fish of choice on our flats, as they are spooky, powerful fish that are a blast to catch. These fine gamefish are bulldogging fighters with wide shoulders and beautiful coloration They are copper-backed, silver-sided, white-bellied, golden-eyed beauties with a blue-tinged tail and a distinctive spot. The Indian River Lagoon system is one of the few places that a truly large mature redfish can be caught on the flats due to the land-locked nature of this pristine system.
All of these fish are caught in just a few inches of water on ultralight fishing gear. We primarily use 6-8 lb test line on rods and reels most people would think are sized more appropriately for small freshwater trout streams. These fish will commonly take over a hundred feet of line on a run, and on the flats there's nowhere for them to go but speeding away!
There are two ways to fish our flats--lures or bait. Fishing the flats with lures can be very close to hunting, as Capt. Keith silently poles you along the shoreline in The MTC sneaking up on fish. You carefully present your lure or fly to the fish, perhaps a tailing redfish, and WHAM! Fish on! Similarly, you may be casting to hidden fish lying in potholes in the skinny water, never knowing when a camouflaged spotted seatrout may pounce on your lure. Since our fish are extremely wary, you must be able to make long, accurate casts--this can be extremely challenging and exciting fishing.
The other way to catch our wary fish is "Flats Trolling". Capt. Keith will put you into key feeding areas with bait, quietly waiting for fish to come to you. This is a laid-back approach that can still provide excitement as that big one takes off, making the reel scream and waking you from your dozing in the warm sun. It is also perfect for children and anglers with less experience. While you wait you will see a variety of birds, stingrays, crabs, and maybe dolphins. This is quiet, relaxing, private fishing.
While on the flats near Orlando, you may also see some unusual Florida wildlife such as raccoons, manatees, porpoises, stingrays, horseshoe crabs, a variety of non-game fish, and a plethora of birds including Ospreys and Bald Eagles. It is a Florida paradise that is fun, interesting, and has some big fish!