The Tampa Bay Times

Warmer weather and improved inshore fishing conditions will have more people on the water, especially on weekends. This can adversely affect shallow water fly fishers. Trout, snook, and redfish present more challenges as well as rewards where they can be sight fished. There is nothing more exciting than having a visible fish in shallow water take a well-presented fly or small artificial bait after a careful stalk. In order for this to happen the fish has to be happy or free of stress. To be successful, the fish’s resistance to locate plentiful food in clear shallow water must be overcome. Predators, both winged and swimming, are constant issues, but careless other fishermen and boaters become an increasing problem because of our large population that is also attracted to the water. If you see a shallow watercraft or waders fishing in skinny water it is best to keep your distance. They often have spent considerable time and effort getting to this spot and a visitor on jet skis or other watercraft will disrupt their effort. Practice the golden rule, especially in the shallows.

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

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