The waters in Tampa Bay remain warm and there are plenty of opportunities for the fly angler.
Over the last week my guests have taken a variety of fish species on the fly. Over this period several anglers have been lucky enough to take their first snook or redfish on the fly with me. This week I also did 2 days of reef fishing and these trips were filled with action.
Recently most all of my trips have included a mix of locations and techniques. I have been mixing up the day with time on the flats, time in the deeper water and time hunting the Mangroves and cuts. Each location is holding different species of fish and coming to life on different stages of tide.
This approach has been working well on my full day trips and some days we are taking 5 or 6 different species. This week we have had Snook, Redfish, Trout, Spanish Macks, Ladyfish, Jacks, Sheephead and Snapper on the fly.
Anglers planning to get out should expect to fish both Baitfish and shrimp patterns. Right now the snook, Trout, Jacks, Ladyfish etc. are taking baitfish well. Both Small and large imitations have their place at this time. The snook have been taking the larger baits well and I have been rigging with 5" patterns for the mangroves. The best action is coming with sharp strips and lots of pause time. The bigger snook are hitting on the drop or as the fly tumbles along in the current. All of the other fish have been taking the smaller 3" flies much better.
For redfish I have been having the best luck with shrimplike creature fished painstakingly slow. You earn every red and this week the few that we have taken have been on similar flies but in Black, Olive, Tan and Pink. The photo below shows the basic construction of the flies
Below are a few more shots. The Jack has the fly in the photo in it's mouth. This was from an afternoon kayak outing to walk the flats.
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