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Tampa Bay - Saltwater

Capt. Matt Ercoli
December 4, 2001
Tampa Bay - Saltwater Fishing Report

Well who knows, maybe we won't have any kind of winter down here in the sunshine state at all this year. I think it was two years ago that winter only lasted two weeks. With air temps in the eighties and water temps on the flats in the mid seventies it sure looks like we may be heading that way again. The weather forecast is calling for much of the same throughout the week. I may be a little early to predict a mild winter but yesterday we were 10 degrees above average, who knows? All I know is I'm not complaining.

Mild temperatures have made for some excellent fishing for snook and redfish. We are averaging between 20 and 30 snook per day including a few keeper sizes. The snook fishing could not be any better, especially for December. With relatively few boats on the water fishing pressure has been light. With perfect water temps in the low to mid 70's it's paying off big time for those of us willing to take off some time from Christmas shopping to take advantage of the great fishing and weather.

Redfishing is equally as good with some days exceeding 20 redfish per day, with most off them in the 24 to 27 inch class. Not quite as consistent as snook on a day to day bases, but when you're on them man your killing them. We've had some real nice days with redfish on the fly the past couple of weeks, boating as many as 6 or 7 in a day. Combining that with a few little tunny in the 7 to 8 pound range, including a few nice jacks makes for a real nice mix for fly fishing.

As for cobia they seem to be scattered. Although I am still finding a few fish, they just don't seem to be around like they where a few weeks ago. And for other fish, I haven't been chasing much of anything else. Most people come to flats fish, snook and reds are great action on the flats and when they're biting there isn't much reason to look further.

Wish I had more to say but, clear water, 10-pound test tackle, drag-screaming snook, bull-dogging redfish and sunny skies, what else could there be.

Hope to see you on the water! Capt. Matt Ercoli

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Offering half to full day flats fishing charters aboard his custom 24' Sheaffer flats/tower boat. Fishing the backwater flats from Tampa to Sarasota Bays, Capt. Matt Ercoli has the knowledge and personality to ensure that you have a great fishing experience. Providing both inshore flats fishing for tarpon, snook, redfish, trout and offshore fishing for permit, kingfish, bonita, grouper or shark. Capt. Matt accommodates both lite tackle and fly fishermen.

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Phone: 800-521-2872
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