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Tampa Bay Fly Fishing Report


I've been in Florida for about 3 weeks now. My transition from Trout fishing in the Upper Delaware to the Florida Flats was a quick one. I arrived here in Mid November, got my skiff ready and finished out November with a trip just about every day.

The fishing has been hot since the water temperatures are still very warm. Just about everywhere the water is in the low 70's. The bait in the area is incredible as the flats around my main fishing area are one big constant mass of tiny bait fish. The photo below shows some balls of small baitfish.

There has been some pretty amazing feeding blitzes most every day. since arriving here my guests have had some action filled days on the water. With all the small bait fish it is easy to draw attention to small flies fished on or near the surface. Right now we have perfect conditions for action on the fly rod. Most of my trips have produced mixed bag catches of 50+ fish per day. During this time our main action has been with Spanish Mackerel. These fish are super exciting on light fly rods. I have been rigging #5 and #6 weight rods and my reels are getting a workout! Below are a Pair of recent photos

With all of this heavy surface activity my guests have been very content. I have not put much time into chasing Snook and Reds on Back Country flats and in the Mangroves. We have had some luck with both on the flats and in the passes. Right now however they have not been the main attraction. They will become my main focus once some cooler water moves in and the migratory fish thin out.

Overall it has been a action filled few weeks full of shredded flies and happy faces!

Since my arrival here we have also been taking a wide diversity of different fish. Right now it seems that most every species is visiting the edges of the flats to gorge on the bait masses. Here are some of the fish that we have been taking on the fly. Daily - Spanish Mackerel, Spotted Trout, Jacks, Ladyfish, Snook. The following creatures have also showed up pretty regularly on the end of our fly rods. Redfish, Bluefish, Pompano, Flounder, Grouper, Snapper, Grunts, Sheepshead and Sea Bass.

Here are some photos from the last week