Night Fly Fishing Guide
Tampa Bay is unique in the sense that we are surrounded in with an urban atmosphere with Tampa being a big business district along with St. Petersburg. A lot of people transit to and from work/home and over time our cities have built big bridges in demand for the population increase in our area. These bridges have lights on them along with all the people who live on the water and put lights out on the end of their dock. These lights do a lot of things depending on their location but the main attraction to them is bait and we all know what follows the bait!
Night fishing revolves entirely around the moon and what it’s doing. The species we are targeting (tarpon and snook) feed primarily at night and rely on the light that is around to see their prey. In an urban setting, there is an abundance of artificial light (dock lights and street lights) that our quarry uses to ambush their prey and we use to see them! If there is a Full Moon, the abundance of natural light can sometimes impede our ability to see them or allow them to move off into areas where they have a better ambush point to feed effectively. In a rural setting, this would be reversed like down in the everglades or the keys. The full moon can do supernatural things to an environment not tainted by big buildings and lights but that’s not what we’re here to talk about! Solunar periods play a huge role in activity whether you’re out during the day or night. Major periods last for two hours and occur when the moon is directly above and below the earth and minors last for an hour and happen when the moon is just about above/below the horizon. These periods are times in which we can expect to see more activity and when timed with a strong tide, they can make it seem like all the stars have aligned!
We are so fortunate to have so many snook in our area and available year round for us to fish for at night. It’s a fish we see on most of our dock lights in the canal systems created for people to navigate their boats to and from their houses. Snook will fluctuate in and out of the canals depending on the time of year and what the water temperature is doing. During the winter months, we can expect them to be in the back, where there isn’t a ton of tidal exchange and the water can warm up during the day. In our summer months, look for dock lights that receive a lot of water flow which will in return, bring a lot of food to them. Their metabolism is directly affected by the temperature and we can even use this as guide when it comes to fly selection too. The angler at which we present our fly can make a big difference as well. The tide brings food and oxygen to these fish so they will always be positioned with their noses straight into the current. Casting up tide and retrieving with the direction the water is moving will produce more fish than the opposite.
We are so fortunate to be surrounded by a seemingly unlimited amount of canal systems and lights to fish for snook. Not only is it a blast catching fish but the ambience alone is worth a trip. Come out and enough a night under the stars!
1/2-Day Exclusive Fishing Charter. One Price books the boat. Up to 4 people. No fishing license required.
Choose your type of charter for a full 8 hour day. One Price books the boat. Up to 4 people. No fishing license required.
Full Day Exclusive Tarpon Fishing Charter. One Price books the boat. Up to 4 people. No fishing license required.