What's hot: Cooler water triggers shallow-water feeding activity. The more comfortable air temperature means good fishing can occur any time of day. Consult tide charts when planning flats trips. Snook, trout and reds all love moving water to bring food to them. The bothersome floating and suspended grass of summer is dissipating, so it's easier and productive to use artificial baits and flies now.
Technique: When approaching a favorite shallow-water spot, shut down the motor and drift parallel to the grassy edge using the wind or tide to move the boat. Start deeper and work the outside edge first. An electric motor used sparingly and at slow speeds helps. Cast both toward the drop off and ahead of the boat to find fish that are staging on their way to the shallows. Keep baits close to the bottom. A 1/8-ounce jig head with a scented body imitating a shrimp or baitfish is ideal. When a concentration of fish is found, stop the boat with a quiet anchoring system and probe the productive water. Make the next drift closer and shallower. Look for clear areas in the grass representing potholes, deeper water where large fish like to hide in ambush. Drop the fly or jig into every pothole.
Fly fisherman Pat Damico charters lower Tampa Bay and can be reached at captpat.com or (727) 504-8649.