Tampa Bay Fly Fishing Report - January
Capt. Ethan Kiburz
February 4, 2019
Tampa Bay - Saltwater Fishing Report
January has been a great month to fish as long as the weather cooperates. The cold fronts have about a 3-5 day spacing and usually provide 1 or 2 good days following. The strong north wind along with our big low tides that come with a new/full moon can provide some of the best sight fishing for redfish and trout we get all year. Redfish have been in large schools and will continue to primarily eat crab and shrimp imitations this time of year. Our water is abnormally clean these next couple months so dropping down to a 12 or 15 pound fluorocarbon will help get you more strikes. It's important to let the fish make the approach and strip your fly slow, NEVER allowing it to come off the bottom.
Approach is everything this time of year because it seems all the fish have a para scope watching our every move. Visibility is the most important variable when targeting redfish. So in the morning, pick flats that have you looking to the north-northwest (putting the sun directly behind you). The afternoon would be completely opposite but still looking to the north. Our winter sun has a southern tilt and projects to the north. The second most important variable is your displacement. Which way is the tide carrying my sound/displacement? This is commonly over looked and can make the difference between getting into range and blowing the school.
Big trout will be up shallow these next couple months, especially on the super cold days and will school up before their spawn in the spring. I've seen them feed on adult mullet this time of year but their diet primarily consists of shrimp, pinfish, and needlefish/ballyhoo. They aren't easy when they are shallow so long casts and long leads are necessary for these under rated gamefish.
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