This month has been unseasonably warm with record high temperatures for the day being reached. Water clarity has already begun to diminish, adopting the summer time look due to the abundance of algae. Fishing around the lower tides has presented our best sight fishing opportunity over the recent month whether fishing in Hernando County all the way down to Tampa Bay.
With water temperatures on the rise, snook have moved out of their deep temperature stable zones and onto the flats. Fly anglers do well with the puglisi baitfish due to their silent entry and ability to be tied in any color/size variation. Bite tippets should range any where from a 20-40 pound, depending on structure, fly size, and pressure. Light tackle anglers have had success on larger paddle tails on weighted swim bait hooks retrieved with haste.
Redfish have become much more aggressive with the warmer temperatures and their willingness to eat a larger fly has been a treat. If we can, I like to throw a fly that’s utilitarian for all species, retrieve rates coinciding with the target and depth. As mentioned above, puglisi’s do a great job along with larger bend backs and flat wings.
Spotted sea trout have been residing in a little deeper water this “winter” as water temperatures never stayed cold. We start to see big numbers of fish in shallow around and below the 65 degree mark. Let the depth dictate the fly pattern as the fish are always close to or on the bottom. Trout are “suckers” for a presentation that rises and falls. When a fly/bait falls or sinks in front of a fish, we often get what’s called a “reaction strike.”
Moon or Lunar phases can almost define the day before it starts along with how to approach it. All of the species we target are predators and when given the chance, will feed at night when natural light is in abundance (digesting during the day). Digesting fish become hyper sensitive to any changes in their environment therefore making your approach direction vital. Wind and tide will carry a boats displacement, footsteps, voices, etc. five times faster underwater than above. Try to always put your target up wind and up tide when possible.