The warming trend that covered the state, last weekend, made for some excellent fishing. The cloud cover that was associated with it, truned on the topwater bite in Northern Sarasota Bay. Redfish, trout and catch-and-release snook were all prime targets on both spin and fly using topwater baits. On spin, Mirr-O-Lure's Mirror-Mullet was a top choice for plugs. Redfish, snook, and trout smashed the plug with wreckless abandon. The key is to use the Mirror-Mullet on a calm day and work it very slowly. That action will allow the plug to move in an exaggerated side-to-side motion. With the calm, foggy conditions in the early morning hours, that plug was deadly. The plug was also a top choice due to it's size. Gamefish are starting to focus their feeding on smaller baits due to their slowdown in metabolism. The Mirror-Mullet is one of the smallest topwater plugs out there, so for the winter time, it remains a top choice for anglers looking to score some topwater action during the winter. We fished the lower end of the incoming tides, in order to see pushes and wakes, and worked the plug over broken bottom. As the tide got higher, we switched to Mirro-Dines and DOA CAL weedless shadtails (Golden Bream and Gold Rush). Trout up to 23" were caught as were reds up to 29".
On the fly, topwater sliders, such as Heidi'sWhitey, were scoring lots of action on reds, trout and snook. Black/Purple, Red/White, and Olive were color patterns that were getting hit. The key to throwing sliders and getting action was to use an all mono leader. Mono rides higher in the water and keeps the fly on the surface. A steady retrieve, makes the fly push a wake which gets the attention of the gamefish. If that retrieve doesn't work, go to a more erratic strip retrieve. 6-8 wt rods were used with tippets scaling down to 12 pounds. Olive Sea Ducers and Dupree's Spoon Flies also got hit.