Tampa Bay Fly Fishing Club

October 2017 Fishing Report and Forecast

"What a Great time to go Fishing!"

Capt. Pat Damico provides this report from his Captain’s Corner: Most of us are still recovering from Hurricane Irma. This phenomena has set many records, most of which we would rather forget. Thankfully, the end result for many of us was less devastating than anticipated. One of the most unusual events was the blowing out of water in Tampa Bay that left exposed shorelines and flats devoid of water. Some manatees were stranded. How many fish were left high and dry? Probably, none. Fish have an uncanny ability to know when to head to deeper water sanctuaries to wait out drastic changes. Our shallow-water fishery incurred some drastic topographic changes from the high winds and water action. While shallow-water fish that we usually pursue are adjusting to the changes, we will have to do the same. Initial trips should be slow and cautious. There will be floating and submerged obstacles. Pick a sunny day with little wind and visit your favorite flats to look for bait and fish. Wading birds that feed on worms, crabs, shrimp and baitfish already have this figured out. They can be a great indicator of where you want to fish. Irregularities in flats will harbor fish necessitating good Polaroid glasses and a hat with a dark brim to improve visibility. Pat’s number is (727) 504-8649.

Capt. Rick Grassett reports The area including Tampa Bay, Sarasota Bay, Charlotte Harbor and the coastal Gulf of Mexico will turn on this month. Schools of reds begin to break up and scatter on shallow flats. There should also be good action with snook and big trout in shallow water. Snook will gorge themselves at night around lighted docks in the ICW. There will also be good action in the coastal gulf with Spanish mackerel, false albacore (little tunny), tripletail and cobia. You might also still find tarpon anywhere from upper Charlotte Harbor and Tampa Bay to along the beaches.
Snook will move away from passes as water temperature cools and days get shorter. They will stage around docks and bridges in the ICW and along sand bars, potholes and along mangrove shorelines. They may blow up on fly poppers in shallow water early or late in the day. Small white flies or Gurglers should work well around lighted docks and bridge fenders. I like larger flies, like Lefty’s Deceiver and EP flies, for snook on the flats due to the larger bait usually found there. Fish peak tidal flows for the best action.

Kayak guide Neil Taylor reports excellent fishing for late summer is about to get really good. This has been the best year I have ever seen for pompano, something that continues to be very strong. Trout action, solid. Redfish action, decent and about to get much easier. I like how the fishing has been but I am looking forward to what is dead ahead.

Walt Durkin fished the MacDill flat on a .6 low tide and found a few reds, black drum and sheepshead. Condition of the flat looked good with some grass dying and more pot holes and sand. I hope the flat will fish well this winter.

















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