The Tampa Bay Times

Shallow water fishing for trout, reds, and snook continues to accelerate as our area water becomes cooler. Frequent late afternoon thunderstorms are diminishing and evening fishing opportunities will become more attractive. The last couple of hours before sundown has been productive recently and presents great opportunities for weekday fishing after work. As long as the water is moving, fish will be active. To become one of the 10 percent that catches 90 percent of the fish, use a fishing log, where information for each trip is cataloged. I use a composition book. Water temperature and clarity, tide information, wind direction and speed, location of feeding birds, either diving or wading, and successful baits or flies used will give you a good start on choosing your fishing location as well as tactics. Fishing every time you go out in the same spot that you once had a great day is a prescription for failure. Information collected from previous years for today’s conditions will eliminate a lot of guesswork and save time. Mullet schools have been a good location where redfish and large trout have been hanging out. As weeds and grass diminish, topwater lures and poppers for your fly rod have provided exciting and explosive strikes. Reds, because of their low slung mouth have difficulty eating surface presentations, so delay setting the hook until you actually feel the fish. This takes some concentration and discipline. Keeping your rod tip low and close to the water will not only help with feeling fish hit but will set up your next cast more effectively. Eliminating slack and having a straight line or fly line between you and the fish will increase hookups.
Fly fisherman Pat Damico charters Fly Guy in lower Tampa Bay and can be reached at captpatdamico.com and 727-504-8649.

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