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Tampa Bay Fly Fishing Report

Red Hot Trout Bite

Sorry for the long gap between reports. I did a bunch of back to back trips before heading off to fish the everglades and 10,000 islands for a few days. We were without internet down there so this is my first chance in a while.

Last week the Trout bite was off the chart hot. My guests had non stop action and at times it was a fish on every cast. I had 2 days in a row that 2 anglers combined for over 100 Trout. Whenever you get into this type of action most of the fish are uniform in size. Lately most every fish has been 14" to 15". With the negative low tides these big pods are in weeds just off the flats in 5 to 10 foot depths.

Most of my trips have been on the fly but I had 2 light tackle trips recently. On the fly, a #2 Chartreuse and White Clouser is all you need. During some hot action spurts I like to change out colors often to see if there are any trends. Lately color had little effect, they have been eating everything when the tide is moving. With light tackle, Paddle Tails and Curly Tails have been killing it. Chartreuse, White and Clear have been keeping the rod bent.

Recently the warmer water has lots bait fish back on the flats. This is where we have been finding the bigger Trout. This is slower action but the bigger fish are there if you look. We have had a good amount of light wind days lately so visibility is good. We have taken some nice trout by moving in on potholes where nervous bait fish are flashing on the surface.

The warmer water also has lots of Jacks working the flats again. Every day we have had jacks crush our flies and soft baits while targeting trout. Most of these have been small. (a few pounds)

One last tip on targeting trout now. On some of the best trout flats the ladyfish are so thick that you can't get your imitation past them. It is best to move your fly very slow. As soon as you strip fast the ladies will be on you. This is not fail safe but it works some. The other options include moving on or my favorite which is busting out some 5 weight rods and enjoying the acrobatics.

2 at a time on the #6 weight

With the fast Trout action and most of my trips being half days lately I have not put much time on hunting Reds or working the mangroves or docks for snook. When I have targeted snook the bite has been good. I am still using 5" bait fish imitations. The back bays are loaded with small mullet now so anything that looks like this species is a good choice.

We are getting a weather change starting tomorrow. There is a cold front moving in that is forecast to drop daytime temperatures to the low 70's. This will probably feel extreme after the run of hot weather we've been having but I don't expect any major change to the fishing. The remainder of the month will provide lots of low water to get out of the skiff and hunt on foot. There is a great period of moving water from the 18th through the 22nd. At this time of year wind is about the only factor that can make for tough fishing with the fly rod.

Give me a call today to plan a trip. 607-290-4022

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