Anglers fishing with me recently, out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, had good action catching and releasing snook, trout and reds on CAL jigs with shad tails and trout on Clouser flies in lower Tampa Bay and reds on CAL jigs with shad tails in Gasparilla Sound.
AMI winter resident Bill Morrison and Don Morrison, from MA, had some action catching and releasing trout on CAL jigs with shad tails and Clouser flies fished on sink tip fly lines over deep grass in lower Tampa Bay with me. Bill and another guest also had a similar action on another trip in the same area.
Bill Aucoin, from St Pete, and his grandson Leif, from CO, also had good action with me in that area, catching and releasing trout on Clouser flies and CAL jigs with shad tails.
Dave Reinhart, from MA, fished a couple of days with me and had good action with reds and snook. We fished the backcountry of Gasparilla Sound near Boca Grande on one trip and he caught and released several reds on CAL jigs with shad tails.
On another trip in lower Tampa Bay, he had a great day catching and releasing numerous snook, several nice reds including one over slot and a couple of trout to complete his slam. A great way to end a vacation! I’ve said this many times before; fishing hard often pays off!
Fishing shallow flats usually require persistence to find and catch fish but it is worth the effort. You may not catch big numbers of fish but you may catch some good ones. Look for migratory species, such as Spanish mackerel, in bays, passes, and the coastal gulf as we head into spring.
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!