By Keith Lozott Contributing Writer
Every shallow water angler will jump at the opportunity to catch the inshore slam when opportunity knocks. Depending on your location the species vary. The traditional Southern Indian River slam consists of redfish, spotted seatrout and snook. The Northern Indian River slam has flounder replacing snook. If you do the homework to research the area, you’re fishing reaching slam status, can actually be easy. The redfish is the most difficult in the south in my opinion. When I say south I mean south of Ft. Pierce. Snook dominate the southern portion of the river. I like to use soft plastics like Exude D.A.R.T.S and D.O.A. Paddletail jigs, rigged weedless as my go to bait. Topwater baits like the Zara Spook Jr. in chrome or the bone pattern are my favorites. The topwater will also work well with the other slam species as well.
For spotted seatrout I simply use the same baits as I do for reds but a walking the dog style bait has been the best option for me over the years. I also feel bigger fish will crush a topwater giving you a shot at a trophy fish. I have been changing the hooks to single hooks instead of the typical treble hooks that come standard on the lure. Switching the hooks is safer for all parties involved in the ordeal. Trebles love fingers and really hurt when getting removed, trust me! The fish can be released with little effort when switching to single hooks and being a catch and release fisherman that’s always a good thing.
Snook can be caught on quite a few lures depending the water depth and the location you’re fishing. Everyone should know that a white and redhead topwater or suspending hard bait with same color pattern are a snook candy. White D.O.A. Shrimp skipped under mangroves and docks are great baits to target snook shallow. D.O.A. C.A.L. Paddletail rigged on a 1/8 oz or less Owner Keeper Hook are great baits to target snook on the flats when blind casting potholes and grass.
Now to the flounder which is my personal hardship species. My local area has plenty of flounder but nothing like the northern region of Florida in my opinion. I fished the Palm Coast area and have caught monster doormat flounder on soft plastics baits fished extremely slow bumping the bottom. I would say the slower the better when it comes to getting a flounder to bend the rod. You can actually target them on the flats up north, where down south I’m typically fishing a little too fast for them. Flounder become a great bi-catch for me fishing the Southern IRL. The color pattern on a southern flounder is an amazing site. They have an incredible stealth like body with spots consisting of brown, white, black and more all over them making them great for the camera.
Get out there and try a few of these baits and catch a slam!
The Fishing Realtor