By Captain Pat Damico
The Tampa Bay Times
Getting a trout, redfish and snook on the same outing with a fly rod is very challenging. Increase your chances by concentrating on lighted docks and bridges. We often go out a few hours before daylight and can usually fish without seeing another boat, especially on weekdays. Trout and snook have been the primary targets; reds can be very regional and docks near flats that hold reds during the day are always preferred. The tide must be moving to produce feeding frenzies that often allow doubles when two fly casters are working carefully covering an area. Position one caster on each end of the boat. Rather than anchor, a bow mounted electric trolling motor will keep your boat in the proper position parallel to the shoreline. Use it to get large fish away from barnacle encrusted pilings that ruin fly lines and break off fish. Baby tarpon have been a recent bonus and will require a quick accurate cast as they usually do not hang around like other species. Use a 30 pound shock tippet and white baitfish patterns that match the size of bait around the lights. Crimp all barbs to make releasing easier. Respect the dock owner’s privacy or you will find the light out on your next trip.
Fly fisherman Pat Damico charters Fly Guy in lower Tampa Bay and can be reached at captpatdamico.com and (727) 504-8649.