If you fish shorelines from a boat, consider keeping your distance. That is, don’t assume that all of the fish you’re targeting are flush up against visible structure. It’s tempting to get very close to the trees, bars, oyster beds, etc. that line saltwater or brackish transition points, since it’s easier to place accurate casts and see fish when you’re in tight. But game fish — especially those of the larger persuasion — are often laying or cruising in the deeper water that is well away from shore, especially on mid-to-low tides that wick water away from the shallows. Deeper drop-offs and cuts provide them with the cover they prefer, yet allow for quick rushes into the skinnier water to surprise prey. Bottom makeup also plays a role here: shorelines that descend into a shelly, hard or grassy bottom will hold game fish 10, 15 or 20 feet off of the shore – or more. Keeping your distance and working your lures over the water you once ran your trolling motor or poled through can put you on fish you would have “blown out” while trying to get too close.
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