Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Captain's Corner: Grand time for fly fishermen

What's hot: An inshore grand slam (trout, snook and redfish) is a challenge for fly fishermen. There is one location this time of year that nearly always will assure success — casting baitfish imitations around lighted docks at night. The abundance of baitfish in Tampa Bay and surrounding waters has never been better. The light draws plankton, the primary food of baitfish. The schools bring in the opportunistic trout, snook and redfish, as well as jacks, ladyfish, snapper and occasionally small tarpon.

How to prepare: Pick a good moving tide and fish areas you are familiar with in the daytime. Darkness has a way of distorting landmarks and distance. Pre-rig fly rods with 30-pound fluorocarbon shock tippets and flies the size and color of the available forage. Snook especially can be size specific when selecting their food. My most recent success has been with a pattern called Mushmouth. Softex, a clear flexible coating, is incorporated into the pattern as it is tied, producing a fly that will not foul while casting. Other patterns such as Lefty's Deceiver and EP fiber high ties also are suitable. Flies that are predominately white succeed at night.

Stealth is key: Long, accurate casts are required in most locations. Work the outside shaded areas before hitting the light, where most fish will be visible. The fly should lightly touch the water, and have good line control so you can strip immediately when it hits the surface. Use your electric motor to move away from the structure when a large fish is hooked.

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

Captain's Corner: Grand time for fly fishermen 06/25/08 [Last modified: Monday, November 1, 2010 1:25pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Tiki Barber will join his brother, Ronde, on Fox broadcast for Bucs-Giants


    FOX announced Monday night that former Bucs cornerback Ronde Barber will have a familiar face joining him as a guest analyst for the Oct. 1 Bucs-Giants game in Tampa: his twin brother Tiki, who will join …

    Tiki Barber, right, will join his brother, Ronde, left, as a guest analyst on the Oct. 1 Bucs-Giants broadcast on FOX. [Times files (2006)]
  2. Cannons will fire again when Bucs return to Raymond James Stadium


    As good as the Bucs looked in their season-opening 29-7 win against the Bears on Sunday, fans couldn't help but notice that the success didn't sound the same at Raymond James Stadium.

     Ron Gutschmidt is perched on top of the Buccaneer pirate ship ready to activate the ship's cannons with the press of a button after a Buccaneer touchdown. [LUIS SANTANA | Times]
  3. Rick and Tom podcast: How should Joe Maddon be remembered tonight?

    The Heater

    Rick Stroud and Tom Jones talk about Joe Maddon's return to Tropicana Field for the first time since he left the Rays in 2014 in the latest edition of our Rick and Tom podcast. They discuss the mixed emotions …

    Joe Maddon returns to Tropicana Field tonight for the first time since he left the Rays in 2014. [Getty Images]
  4. Cubs bring some other ex-Rays to Trop such as Wade Davis, Ben Zobrist


    Joe Maddon's first trip back to the Trop is getting most of the headlines tonight, but there are several other familiar faces among the eight former Rays now wearing Cubs uniforms.

    Two-time Rays MVP Ben Zobrist is finishing strong after a slow start to his second season in Chicago.
  5. Oleg Sosunov brings intrigue to Lightning exhibition opener


    When Hall of Famer Phil Esposito first saw Lightning prospect Oleg Sosunov, he joked he thought the 6-foot-8 Russian would hit the ceiling of Amalie Arena.

    Oleg Sosunov's ability to skate for his size, his reach, and his style have drawn comparisons to Zdeno Chara.