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Tampa Bay Fly Fishing Report

I have not posted a report in a while. The polar vortex that had its grip on most of the country through early January is the reason. Through most of this month cold temperatures and steady north winds have made the fishing tougher than usual. There was a 2 week period where I actually cancelled or rescheduled most of my bookings.

At this time it appears that Florida weather has returned and the fishing is improving with each bright sunny day. For the last week I have been back on the water every day.

During my recent trips I have had to really pay attention to water temperature and move around the bay chasing the warmest areas. My recent trips have had my guests in many areas from residential canals, power plants, rivers and the flats.

Over the cold period as expected the best action has been with Spotted Sea Trout. These fish are far more cold tolerant than all of our other local game fish. Even with their fondness to cooler water the action was not hot. I had Mike and Stu down from Long Island for 3 days of Fly fishing and they had to work for every fish. We managed to put together a catch each day by moving around the grass flats and targeting the waters that dropped off to 5' to 10'. Small Clousers in Chartreuse /White and Tan / White kept the rods bent. There was a big increase in fish activity late day after the sun had worked the water temps. up a bit.

The only time where the bite has been real steady has been between 4:00 and 6:00 pm.

below are some photos of Mike and Stu

Since Monday the weather has really improved. The daytime highs have been above 80 degrees a few times and the forward look is for continued warm weather.

My last 2 days on the water have started to show more signs of things returning to normal.

Yesterday we did quite a bit of walking in the water and it was much warmer. Some diversity came back to the days catch as well. Trout, Ladyfish and Redfish were feeding well during the afternoon incoming tide. There was a period where we really got on the Reds for a while. Most of the Reds we were taking were just below or just into the slot size. There were also lots of Sheepshead moving around on the flats and some of the cuts are full of them. These are an incredibly hard fish to fool on the fly but now is a good time to give it a try.

I am expecting the action to improve quickly especially when water temperatures on the flats push into the mid 60's which should be in a few days.

Give us a call today to book your next Fly Fishing or Light tackle trip. 607-290-4022

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