During the recent warm snap fishing has been really good in Northern Sarasota Bay and Eastern Tampa Bay. Redfish and snook can be found cruising and laid up along sand patches on rising tides. These fish can be taken very easily with a DOA jerkbait, a live shrimp or a well place crab/shrimp fly pattern. The key to catching these guys is stealth. They will be in a foot of water or less and they are extremely spooky. Trolling motors will not cut it in this situation. Slow poling your skiff is the only way you will even get a shot at these fish. It is also important to keep your casts effective with as little movement as possible, whether you are throwing spin or fly.
In the deeper cuts, trout and ladyfish are an easy proposition on Mirr-O-Lure's new Mirro-Dine twitch bait. The black back over chartreuse pattern has been getting hit with great consistency.
Out on the flats, bonnethead sharks up to 3 feet long are all over the flats. They are suckers for a large live shrimp. Sacrifice a few shrimp by cutting them up and throwing the pieces around the boat. Fresh dead shrimp will work, too. You just need to get the scent in the water. It takes no more than 10 minutes and you will be surrounded by the sharks. They are great fun on light spin tackle and fly tackle. Use a 3/0 circle hook, bite the tail off of your shrimp and you are in business. They do have teeth, but they are small, so a 20 pound fluorocarbon leader will suffice. On 1/10/09, Rod Tyre of Lakeland came out for a day of flats fishing. The snook and reds were tough, but the sharks were plentiful. These little guys are a great day saver or a great target when you have kids on the boat.
On the East Coast of Florida, juvenile tarpon are active in the backcountry creeks and rivers that line the Indian River. DOA shrimp and small baitfish fly patterns will get the job done. On 1/2/09, Joanne Merkle of Avon Park, jumped her first ever tarpon. It was a 10 pounder and got off the line, but not after putting on a great aerial display. She was throwing a Near Clear 1/4oz. DOA shrimp. In the same area, fat snook, swordspine snook, and common snook were caught using the same baits.
Enjoy the pics...
A nice TB Trout
Rod Tyre's first Bonnethead
Some Indian River Backcountry Fat Snook
Lindsay Raley and his son, Sam, on a Fly Fishing/Instruction Trip