Fly rod action: Little tunny, or false albacore, are hammering large schools of baitfish close to shore. Most action is close to passes and channels, where tidal flow is strongest. Relatively calm conditions allow you to see the action from a distance because diving terns and gulls will mark the spots. Some schools will number in the hundreds.
Technique: Use your outboard if necessary to get close. Then shut off the gas motor and position the boat so the fish come to you, taking wind and tide into consideration. At least a 9-weight fly rod is needed with a good reel holding at least 150 yards of 30-pound backing. Sinking-tip and full-sinking lines are preferred because larger fish are often deeper in the water column. After casting into the feeding fish, retrieve the fly very fast. Small synthetic chartreuse and white patterns are best; they are more durable. A 30-pound shock tippet of hard monofilament prevents cutoffs from sharp teeth.
Fly fisherman Pat Damico runs charters in lower Tampa Bay and can be reached at captpat.com and (727) 504-8649.