Tampa Bay Fly Fishing/Light Tackle Report - December
Capt. Ethan Kiburz
January 14, 2022
Tampa Bay - Saltwater Fishing Report
December has been UN-seasonably warm and has the fish a little confused. Some days, the flats are littered with snook and the water quality is becoming to fade. Other days. the sky is blue bird and visibility seems unlimited. Cold fronts should become more consistent in the next couple months which will really drop temperatures!
Redfishing has been really good on strong tidal days. Your approach in relation to the tide/wind is everything when it comes to spooky fish. Boat displacement could be compared to as a noise and mother nature likes to throw it in different directions. Stronger tidal days do a good job at concealing this noise if you can work your way into it and the same goes for wind! Long and light leaders are a must the next couple months with as minimal sections as possible if configuring your own.. Small crab and shrimp imitations are a go-to as the bait is almost non-existent on the flats. Size 4 and 6 seems to match the forage and will also allow you to get enough weight on the hook without making it look awkward.
Snook can be found poking their heads out on some of the warmer days but they won't be far from deeper water. Northern shorelines always get more sun this time of year because our sun is tilted to the south during winter solstice. This can force them to warm up quicker and makes it a place snook want to lay up and get warm. This isn't a "feeding" behavior but it is possible to catch them and makes for a ton of fun on a fly or artificial.
Tripletail have been making their way into the area with the passing of cold fronts. They aren't the smartest critter that swims so if you find one that won't bite, back off, switch your presentation/selection, and repeat. Speckled seatrout got hit really hard during this past summers red tide. We haven't been seeing nearly the numbers like years past and they should be handled with care/released!
More Fishing Reports: