The Tampa Bay Times

As a guide, we are ofter limited to a particular day and time when a client can fish. Are there any ways to improve our odds on these days that are less than perfect? Poor tides which cause slower moving water are often an excuse for anglers to stay home. This means that good fishing areas that are often crowded will be barren of boats and anglers. This presents an opportunity to visit some of your best spots. Boat and jet ski traffic that will scare and chase fish out of the shallows may be absent so expect more relaxed fish to now occupy these areas. Wind intensity and direction can really slow or accelerate a tide and an understanding of this will help you find more active fish. On a large bay, wide deep water will not be affected as much as areas where the water is shallow. Passes and constrictions between islands will have improved flow. Points of land are always worth investigating, especially those that start shallow and drop off into deeper water. Oyster bars, when near mangroves deserve special attention. With water moving very slow, it will stay in one place for a longer time and the sun will have an opportunity to make it warmer, always an attraction for southern fish interested in your fly. Fish areas that are exposed to the sun longest. Don’t spend too much time in one place if unsuccessful. Head to your next spot and find a pattern that will work. Having two fly rods rigged, one with a floating line and a crab or shrimp pattern, and another with a sink tip line and a weighted small size baitfish fly will cover everything. Darker colored flies or those that match the bottom are a good place to start.

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

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