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Captain's Corner

Captain's Corner: Sand holes on flats harbor large trout

If you like sleeping in, you can catch the larger "gator" trout (more than 20 inches) in shallow water on a fly rod after the water from the incoming tide has been warmed by the high sun.

Several years ago a client was casting a weighted fly in a deep trough adjacent to a shallow flat and catching many relatively small trout. Behind us in the shallows a large fish was attacking baitfish. We switched to a fly rod rigged with a floating line and an unweighted bend back fly. When the fly hit the disturbed area, he caught a large yellowmouth trout. We caught three others in short order concentrating on the shallows. Some were sitting in sand holes waiting to ambush easy prey.

This occurs every winter. Stealth is the key. A kayak or canoe is quieter than a boat, but wading carefully is best. Use your paddle craft to get to the flat, then leave it anchored or a line around your waist will move it along. Good polarized glasses allow you to see fish. Check every sand hole, as even small ones may hold a large fish. Make careful presentations using baitfish patterns, or cast a white or tan-colored gurgler.

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

Captain's Corner: Sand holes on flats harbor large trout 01/20/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 20, 2010 7:13pm]
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