What Is the Meaning of a Flat?

Dear Captain "
What Is the Meaning of a Flat? "

My definition of a flat is: Any open shallow-water area from a few inches of water to approximately eight feet (many anglers consider the top number 10 feet). The area in general will be consistently the same in depth. But in that flat there will be deeper cuts, drop offs, shoals, potholes and more. The flat and its bottom structure can consist of grass (which we always hear), sand, mud, oysters, rock or a combination of all these, which is really good. Each flat will have its own unique habitat.

Tortuga Flats

The Tortuga Flats west of Key West. There as a time not so long ago when this was all one land mass.

Examples would be the Florida Keys or Biscayne Bay where anglers look for bonefish in the sand flats that have a sand bottom. In the Tampa Bay area, anglers look for trout in the grass flats which consist mostly of lush grass. Some flats north of us are mostly rock and oyster. I hope this helps.

Your question is excellent and in all the fishing publications, no one really ever gives the definition of a flat. They talk about fishing the flats, but never describe one.

Thank you for sending in your question to The Online Fisherman.

Captain David M. Rieumont
The Online Fisherman Inc.

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