Monday, March 19, 2018

Captain's Corner: Cold makes fishing tougher, but not impossible

Frequent cold fronts can make shallow saltwater species very difficult this time of year. Windy overcast days and unreliable tides make it hard to establish a pattern. Don't spend a lot of time at an unproductive location. Pick a grassy flat that has been productive in the past, or has a lot of bird activity, and work your boat in deeper water parallel to the grass edge. Consider wind and tide movement before beginning. A bow-mounted electric motor occasionally run very slowly helps boat control. Cast to the deep edges of the grass, allowing your fly, usually weighted, to sink close to the bottom and then retrieve slowly. Two experienced fly fishers can fish simultaneously at each end of the boat. Pay attention to accurately casting to any irregularities in the grass edge where trout and reds will wait for easy prey. These lethargic fish must have the fly in front of their face to react. If successful, repeat at the same depth. A sea anchor can be employed to move the boat slower. Repeat the drift, only this time drift the grass edge and cast shallower. Most casts will be over grass, but target sand holes, lighter colored areas in the grass that are a little deeper. Large trout and reds will use these as ambush points. Again, allow the fly to sink close to the bottom. Longer casts cover more water. Baitfish fly patterns with the hook pointed up, to avoid weeds, in chartreuse and white, chartreuse and pink, and black over red are good choices.

Fly fisherman Pat Damico charters lower Tampa Bay and can be reached at or (727)504-8649.


Captainís Corner: Spring fishing is fast approaching

Spring is trying to move in, with just a few cold fronts mixed in. The up-and-down air temperatures will slightly affect the water temperature and also affect the fishing. Fishing has been mostly incredible in North Pinellas. All of the species we ex...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Captainís Corner: Cold causes spiny lobsters to go into hiding

The cold front that ended Wednesday drove the offshore bottom temperatures back down into the low 60s. On dives Friday, my dive computer read 62 degrees at the bottom in 54 feet of water. On the next dive it read 60 in 62 feet. We were looking for ho...
Published: 03/18/18

Captainís Corner: Snook are the hot bite

Surface water temperatures have dipped into the low 60s, but the fish donít seem to mind. The longer days get the temperature up and helps keep it from getting into the danger zone at night. Snook have been the hot bite this past week and, believe it...
Published: 03/16/18
Updated: 03/17/18

It has been a crazy month regarding all the drastic weather changes. We experienced a record-breaking warming trend in February, followed by an endless amount of cold weather this month. The arrival times for many spring migrations of fish has been i...
Published: 03/16/18

Captainís Corner: Big trout moving out of the shallows

February seemed like March with record-breaking heat, but now March seems like February with below-average temperatures. This is a good thing. Spring fishing has started way too early in the past few years. The cold-water temperature we have now will...
Published: 03/14/18
Updated: 03/15/18

Captainís Corner: Temperature changes affect fly fishing

Having a fantastic river trip one day where we caught a lot of snook in shallow water on a fly and going back to the same location three days later and not finding any cooperative fish can be very puzzling. What happened? Recent warm weather was repl...
Published: 03/11/18
Updated: 03/14/18

Captainís Corner: Warming trend increasing activity over grass flats

Water temperatures have finally started to climb into the low 70s on the flats. The temperatures have been fluctuating with the past few cold fronts moving through. Large schools of reds should start showing up on the flats in the Pinellas Point area...
Published: 03/11/18
Updated: 03/13/18
Captainís Corner: Favorable water temperatures approaching

Captainís Corner: Favorable water temperatures approaching

We traditionally look at two holidays to signal the start of trolling season for kingfish and Spanish mackerel along with their attendant migratory companions, blackfin tuna, cobia and barracuda. These are St. Patrickís Day (March 17) and Columbus Da...
Published: 03/11/18
Updated: 03/12/18

Captainís Corner: Spring fishing is getting close

When the weather settles down in the bay area, spring fishing should shift quickly into high gear. Just before the recent heavy winds arrived and churned the nearshore gulf into a muddy mess, seasonal migratory fish were showing up all over town. For...
Published: 03/10/18
Updated: 03/11/18

Captainís Corner: Trout return to their early spring areas

Cool air has filtered down, giving us hopefully the last cold blow for awhile. Recent fronts have shaken things up. But fishing has been good considering the weather. Trout have pushed into their early spring areas, basically where they were five wee...
Published: 03/10/18