Anglers fishing with me, out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, had some action catching and releasing trout on flies and trout, reds and snook on CAL Shad tails and topwater plugs in Tampa Bay recently.
Anna Maria Island winter resident, Bill Morrison, fished with me on Weds and caught a few trout on an Ultra Hair Clouser fly. Jerry Roth, from Sanford, FL, fished with me on Thursday and had some action catching and releasing snook on a topwater plug. It’s always fun to watch a snook "blow up" on a topwater plug!
The best trip was on Friday, with the worst conditions, when Jon Yenari and Kyle Ruffing, from Sarasota, fished with me. The weather forecast was for wind and rain late in the day, which was wrong as it rained on us almost the entire day.
When it finally quit raining the wind bumped up to above 20-mph. Despite that, they caught and released 3 reds, about 10 trout, and a snook to complete their slam on CAL shad tails. Great job!
Fishing dock lights in the evening is usually a good option for catch and release snook fishing this time of year, although it is dependent on tide and conditions. Fishing shallow flats is both challenging and rewarding. It usually requires fishing hard to find and catch fish.
One of the keys to success is finding clean water, whether it is on the flats or in the ICW. Our natural resources are under constant pressure from red tides fueled by agricultural and residential runoff, freezes, increasing fishing pressure and habitat loss and degradation, please limit your kill, don’t kill your limit!