What's hot: Early starts have found slow fishing, but from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., shallow-water fishing has been great. The latter period coincides with lower tides and skinny water for the next few days. Some of our best locations have been around river mouths protected from wind. Marbled bottoms with a combination of grass and sand holes will hold fish. Finding warmer water has been the key to success lately with trout, reds and snook. Your boat temperature gauge should be carefully observed. A pool thermometer placed in your live well or over the side of a kayak is very effective if you don't have electronics.
Tips: Casting a baitfish or a crustacean imitation with a fly rod to a fish you see and getting a solid take are a thrill. Pick days that are cloudless and water that is clear. Long, accurate casts with minimum false casting will improve your chances. To establish accuracy, cast off to the side rather than vertically, then make a soft delivery. A hat with a dark, wide brim and good Polaroid glasses in an amber color are necessary. Tilting your head from side to side will often reveal fish that are not seen otherwise.
Pat Damico charters lower Tampa Bay and can be reached at captpat.com or (727) 504-8649.