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Tampa Bay Fly Fishing Report

Great Conditions for Fishing!

Over the last week we have had mostly sunny weather with daytime highs right around 80 and light winds. This weather has really done a lot for the fishing around the Bay. I have been out every day either with clients or family. The fishing action has been very good and there are lots of options for the angler at this time.

With the recent run of great weather, water temperatures are on the rise. Over the last few days the amount of bait returning to the the flats has been steadily increasing. Yesterday we were finding lots of water on the flats and in the back country pushing into the 70's.

Lots of options

Right now fishermen have lots of choice when planning a trip. The flats are coming to life quickly. Over the last week, Spotted Trout have been the most reliable species to target. I have been drifting the flats and back bays and putting together steady action for my clients. Both Clouser minnows and Shrimp style flies have been bending the rod. With light tackle gulp baits and paddle tail baitfish have been getting it done. There have been some good sized Trout around and this week we have had a lot of 20" range fish. If you work the grass in 2' to 4' of water running the numbers up should be easy. At low tide the deeper water along the flats and the passes have been producing some fast action. Recently while trout fishing Flounder have been showing up on my clients lines pretty often. While I don't target them specifically, we have been getting a few each day.

With the warmer water the life on the flats has been increasing quickly. The last few days I have been poling the flats more each day. Each day I have been seeing an increase in the amount of Snook and Redfish cruising the skinny water. Yesterday we had several nice, aggressive snook that we took from knee deep water. Currently skinny water in the bright sun has been better than up under the mangroves especially for larger Snook. You can see in the photos below that these fish were not tight to structure.

Recently the Sheepshead have been moving around the flats in steady numbers. We have had shots at quite a few really giant Sheep lately. No connections on the big ones with the fly but the opportunity is high now.

With the increasing baitfish the predators that follow them have been on the rise. This week we have been getting shots at Jack Crevales on the fly every day. Recently we have had them from the size of your hand up to 20 pounders. A few Spanish Mackerel have been popping up along with schools of Ladyfish. Some areas are thick with ladyfish at this time. I have been working over one area recently that has been holding really big ladyfish and fishing them on #5 and #6 weight fly rods.

Even though the bay waters are warming quickly there is still some action outside the power plant. There are lots of Sharks on the flats and they are hard fighters. Cobia are the main attraction and they have been about in decent numbers. Giant Jacks are always a possibility there and we have fought some real bruisers recently on #8 weight tackle. There should also be some small windows of opportunity where Tarpon move in and out of the warm waters. We have had a few shots recently but the fish we spotted had no interest in feeding. Just out for a stroll.

Below is Baxter House guide Richard McCombie with a nice Cobia. Michele and Casey with some shark.

Now is an excellent time to get out for a trip. Give us a call today to get on the schedule. 607-290-4022

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