Fly fishing Tampa Bay is great even in August. By far the best way to beat the heat and catch a bunch of fish on fly was to go night fishing. I like to start my trips around 9pm and go till 1 or 2am. But it all depends on the tide. Having good moving water is a must when fly fishing at night.
We pulled on plenty of nice snook and small tarpon, and as many seatrout as one would want to catch this month. Sometimes the snook or tarpon would eat the fly as soon as it hit the water. But most of the time a good clean fly presentation was required. When it comes to fly selection, fish seem to key in on a certain size. We used small 1 1/2 to 2 inch bait fish patterns.
Tarpon are still available but have slimmed out. You can still get shots at fish if you put your time in. You might end up getting a few shots at another species while you wait. I had David from Georgia on the boat with me last week. We saw a dozen tarpon and had a few almosts. But the highlight of the day was when we found a group of 6 cobia on the back of a bull shark. After a few casts we finally connected to a 30 inch cobia. After a photo we found the shark again. We only had a few more chances and the shark headed out to sea. We both really wanted to hook the one cobia that looked about 40 pounds!
We’ve been getting into some groups of poons feeding on bait inside the bay. When we find area with some fish rolling we start casting. Doa baitbusters and plugs seem to work best. But sink tip fly lines and bulky baitfish flies will get it done for a good fly caster. Hope everyone can get out and wet a line!!!
Capt. Nick Angelo