What's hot: The weather. Fishing at night is the best option. Lighted docks and bridge fenders are magnets for all game fish that feed on baitfish. Recent trips have been rewarded with trout, redfish, ladyfish, jacks, mangrove snapper and baby tarpon.
Plan well: Success depends on careful planning. Moving water is key. Select lighted areas where there is maximum flow, such as points on open water. Plan time on the water according to peak tidal flow. Incoming or outgoing doesn't seem to make a difference with feeding activity, but fish will position themselves facing the current. This can improve or make more difficult their location and your ability to put an offering in their mouth. Rather than anchor, use an electric motor run at a low speed to get in an ideal casting position. It will be beneficial when you hook a large fish to help you get away from barnacle-encrusted structure that destroys terminal tackle and breaks off large fish.
Match the hatch: Use a fly rod with baitfish patterns that will be the same size and shape as what you see around the lights. White synthetic flies such as EP fibers, deceivers and a bead butt baitfish will work with a floating weight forward line. Shrimp patterns are effective as well. Use a No. 30 fluorocarbon shock tippet with a 9-weight rod. The first cast should position the fly so it swings into the outside edge of the lighted area. Gradually work the fly closer to the center of the light and hang on.
Pat Damico of Fly Guy Charters can be reached at captpat.com or (727) 504-8649.