The Tampa Bay Times

One way to avoid red tide is to fish freshwater ponds and rivers. The condition of a number of our freshwater rivers is controlled by dams which presently may have more water than they can usually hold. USGS sites can be checked to select one where favorable water temperature and flow conditions exist. This quick check with your computer or smartphone will save you a lot of time and prevent surprises. With rivers and larger ponds, a watercraft is required. Kayaks and canoes fill the bill. Launch and exit in a safe area always taking wind direction and tide into consideration. Having a second vehicle at a destination on a river will prevent a back-breaking paddle back to your starting point. Talking to some of your fishing friends and guides will save you a lot of time. It is usually a good idea to do this with others not only for your safety but for some great fellowship and fun. If fly fishing, a 5 or 6 weight rod with floating weight forward line and a 7-8 foot tapered 10-pound leader is a good start. Adjust tippet size for larger fish. Small poppers and baitfish imitations will provide nonstop action. Snook and baby tarpon adjust to fresh water and may provide you with some unexpected pleasant surprises.

Fly fisherman Pat Damico charters Fly Guy in lower Tampa Bay and can be reached at and (727) 504-8649. 

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