What's hot: Fishing lighted areas at night, especially during this week's strong tides, will be a blast. Hungry predators will shake off the winter by feeding very actively where food is plentiful and easy to catch. Redfish, trout and snook will lazily inhale plankton-feeding baitfish as the tide sweeps them into gaping mouths.
Technique: Fish lighted docks and bridge fenders that are familiar during the day so you can plan your approach. A bow-mounted electric is preferred rather than anchoring because larger fish head for barnacle-encrusted structures that ruins fly lines and leaders. An electric motor helps get you away when fighting larger fish. Keep your fly rod tip close to the water and avoid high-sticking, which can break long rods. Rig two 8- or 9-weight rods, one with a floating line and the second with a clear sinking tip. Twenty-five pound fluorocarbon tippets and loop knots tied to size 2-4 white baitfish imitations will produce, especially when cast uptide of the fish. Match available baitfish size.
Tip: Strip set with your line hand when the fish is felt, do not raise the rod tip to set the hook. When you see an interested fish following the fly, increase your retrieve speed to encourage a strike.
Fly fisherman Pat Damico charters lower Tampa Bay and can be reached at captpat.com and (727) 504-8649.