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. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Friday's Rays-Yankees game

    The Heater

    Did the Rays make the right call in picking RHP Austin Pruitt rather than top prospect Brent Honeywell? Though Honeywell had tweeted he was as ready as he'd ever be, the Rays felt better going with Pruitt, who gave them the five innings they were seeking.

  2. Damion Lowe returns to Rowdies after eventful Gold Cup


    ST. PETERSBURG — Pretty well emotionally spent, and not at all rested physically having just finished a life-changing stint with his native Jamaica in the Gold Cup, Damion Lowe wants the Rowdies to know he's ready.

    Damion Lowe, right, returns to the Rowdies — though he is likely to get a rest in tonight’s 7:30 home game against Pittsburgh — after an eventful six Gold Cup matches.
  3. Rays journal: Lineup dominated by Masahiro Tanaka in loss to Yankees (w/video)

    The Heater

    NEW YORK — Sometimes you just have to dig out the good news, and for the Rays on Friday it may well have been that they didn't get no-hit in a 6-1 loss.

    Austin Pruitt waits for Brett Gardner to round the bases after leading off the first with one of three homers Pruitt gives up.
  4. Rays at Yankees, 1:05 p.m. Saturday, New York

    The Heater

    Today: at Yankees

    1:05, Yankee Stadium, New York

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell throws against the Rockies during the first inning Tuesday. He left after allowing just one hit and striking out nine in six shutout innings.  {Associated Press}
  5. Steve Cishek latest bullpen upgrade for Rays, who now must translate that to wins

    The Heater

    NEW YORK — The Rays made another addition to change the look of their bullpen Friday in acquiring veteran side-armer and former closer Steve Cishek from Seattle.

    Reliever Steve Cishek has a 3.15 ERA in 20 games after recovering from offseason hip surgery and a 1.86 ERA since a rocky second outing of the season.