What's hot: Wading opportunities have never been better, especially if you want to sight-fish redfish with a fly rod. Many shallow flats are a short walk from where you park your car to fish, making this ideal for times when only a few fishing hours are available. Pick a shallow area that has a lot of wading birds. The birds are feeding on the morsels reds enjoy: small crabs, shrimp and crustaceans. As the tide comes in, reds will follow. If you fish the same flat often, you can predict their path.
Tackle tips: Tackle depends on wind conditions. If it's calm, a 7-weight rod with floating weight forward line may need at least a 9-foot tapered leader. Windy conditions may require an 8- or 9-weight rod. Use small crab patterns, such as Toads, Kwans or Merkins, in size 4 with small, bead-chain eyes.
Method: Cast when the reds' tails are showing and their heads are down in the soft bottom. Accuracy is necessary to place your fly close to their nose. Move the crab pattern inches when the fish become horizontal to get a strike as they pounce.
Pat Damico charters lower Tampa Bay and can be reached at captpat.com or (727)504-8649.