What's hot: Shallow water fishing for trout, reds and snook continues to accelerate as our area waters cool. Daily late afternoon thunderstorms are diminishing, and evening fishing opportunities will become more attractive. The last couple hours before sundown have been productive recently and present great opportunities for weekday fishing after work. As long as the water is moving, fish will be active.
Techniques: To become one of the 10 percent who catch 90 percent of the fish, use a fishing log, where information for each trip is cataloged. I use a composition book. Water temperature and clarity, tide information, wind direction and speed, location of feeding birds (either diving or wading) and successful baits or flies used will give you a good start on choosing your fishing location as well as tactics. Constantly fishing in the same spot where you once had a great day is a prescription for failure. Information collected from previous years for today's conditions will eliminate a lot of guesswork and save time.
Mullet schools have been a good location where redfish as well as large trout have been hanging out. As weeds and grass diminish, topwater lures and poppers for your fly rod have provided exciting and explosive strikes. Reds, because of their low-slung mouths, have difficulty eating surface presentations, so delay setting the hook until you actually feel the fish. This means eliminating slack and having a straight line or flyline between you and the fish will increase hookups.
Fly fisherman Pat Damico charters lower Tampa Bay and can be reached at captpat.com or (727) 504-8649.