Finding warmer water has been the key to success lately with trout, reds and snook. Cold fronts lasting two to three days have dropped water temperatures drastically to negatively impact inshore fishing. An early start has provided slow fishing, but from noon to 4 shallow water fishing has been great. The low water, caused by north winds, low midday tides and a warm sun will warm quickly. Some of our best locations have been protected from the wind. Canals, protection from trees and buildings and areas where fresh water streams enter should be investigated. Besides warmer water, decent sized baitfish have been at every location where larger predators were lurking. If the only baitfish you see are very tiny, look elsewhere. Marbled bottoms with a combination of grass and sand holes will hold fish.Your boat temperature gauge should be carefully observed. A pool thermometer placed in your live well or over the side of a kayak is very effective if you don’t have electronics. A few degrees of warmer water have found fish very willing to eat our flies. Leaving the boat in very shallow water is always best. Watch wading birds move very slowly and patiently as they stalk or wait for a meal. Do the same. Wet wading is not a good idea as several reports of severe infections where broken skin became infected have been reported. Light weight waders are a good idea. Try to find clear water to improve sight fishing chances. Long accurate casts with minimum false casting will improve your success rate. A false cast over fish will send them scurrying. Cast off to the side with your fly rather than vertically then make your presentation with a soft delivery.
Fly fisherman Pat Damico charters lower Tampa Bay and can be reached at captpatdamico.com and (727) 504-8649.
Capt. Pat Damico is a Coast Guard certified charter captain with extensive experience guiding in the Tampa Bay area. Whether you enjoy spin or fly fishing, your chances of success are as good with him as anywhere else in Florida.