What's hot: Improvement in the weather will make inshore fishing more pleasant for both fishermen and fish. If you find a spot that is comfortable for you, chances are the fish will be there too. Warmer water temperature will be a key. If your boat doesn't have a temperature gauge, pick up an inexpensive pool thermometer. Keep it in your live well or hold it over the side. Variations in temperature will surprise you.
Avoid the wind: Tucking in the lee side of an island has been successful as we have found nice reds basking in the sun and anxious to take a well presented fly or unweighted scented plastic artificial. These fish have been in very shallow warmer water. Several large reds were almost buried in the soft bottom.
The clear water needed to see these fish means longer casts. With small size 4 or 6 unweighted flies that imitate crabs or shrimp use a 12-foot leader tapered to 10-pound fluorocarbon. Minimize false casting and learn to cast to the side to avoid spooking fish.
Watch your shadow: Bright sun close to the horizon will cast a long shadow on the water alerting fish to your presence. If you see tailing redfish, look them over carefully. They may turn out to be large sheepshead that are a tasty challenge to catch with a fly rod.
Fly fisherman Pat Damico charters out St. Pete Beach. Call (727) 504-8649 or visit www.captpat.com.