Fishing this week was rated very good in our area. A break from the cool weather helped make the fish more active. Good tides were produced by the new moon early in the week. Primary species caught were seatrout, redfish and ladyfish.
David Chapman and his future son-in-law from Toronto, Canada, caught several large trout in the deep holes north of Bull Bay and along the shores of Turtle Bay on DOA jigs. Darker colours worked the best. Both David and Rob caught redfish on Johnson Sprite spoons with the largest being a 30 inch fish taken from a small hole just north of Bull Bay. David also caught a medium sized snook near Sand Fly Key in Gasparilla Sound. Bill Kintz and his gorgeous wife Darlene, fly fished the back country with me taking seatrout and ladyfish on a flat calm day. Bill's fishing was difficult due to extremely clear, calm water, but his excellent casting made a big difference. We used mostly Clouser minnow patterns and a few Puglisi style flies that I tie myself.
Anglers fishing next week will face a variety of conditions from warm and rainy to cold and sunny. The moon phase will be in the first quarter making for slower tides. This may produce good fishing for tailing redfish over the shallow grass flats of Whiddens Creek and Turtle Bay. I also expect increased activity in the near shore Gulf of Mexico. This will depend on the strength and direction of the wind. Snook fishing is on the up-swing due to rising water temperatures. This trend should continue. Normally, the weather here breaks around the 15th of February giving us much warmer conditions. When the water temperature reaches 72 degrees we may have some tarpon show up in the protected areas of the back-country. This could occur as early as March 1st.
Capt. Pete Greenan www.floridaflyfishing.com