Inshore and nearshore, there are a variety of gamefish taking advantage of the plentiful baitfish supply. Reds, trout, jacks, snook, bluefish and mackerel are all available. Once your targeted species is located, how can you increase the chances for success?
Tackle: The right fly pattern in color and size will work best when it is in front of the fish's face. Early morning with calm conditions will show redfish and trout in the shallows, where surface or shallow presentations are effective. If the same fish are on the bottom in a pothole that is 4 to 6 feet deep, a shallow presentation will not work. Adding a lot of weight to the fly will help but destroys the action and makes casting a chore. Floating weight-forward fly lines are used by everyone, but having a second line rigged on another rod that has a clear sinking tip should be your next line purchase. Rio, Cortland and SA all make these excellent products that have a 9- to 12-foot clear tip that will sink and get your fly in the proper strike zone. Add a 4-foot piece of 20-pound fluorocarbon leader between the fly and line end and you have a deadly combination that will cast easily and give you a depth advantage.
Pro's tip: Tungsten wire wrapped on the hook shank before tying the fly or adding dumbbell eyes in varying sizes will add a small amount of weight to the fly where it is needed. After the fly hits the water, use a countdown method, counting slowly until fish are located, and repeat the technique on successive casts.
Pat Damico of Fly Guy Charters can be reached at captpat.com or (727) 504-8649.