Post Irma Fishing Report
In the week following the storm, the water clarity was off as one would expect it to be after Tampa Bay was nearly emptied and refilled by the storm. The fishing is still lights out right now.
There are still a fair amount of snook stacked up off of the beaches right now, as well as back in some of the bigger inlet mangroves. There are quite a few reports of good redfish days out there as well right now so look to the mangroves at high tide and the flats at low tide. And don’t forget about docks. When using conventional tackle, use 20 lb. fluorocarbon leaders with size 4 hooks. Use large shiners for bait (plenty can still be found off the beaches right now).
If targeting these snook on the fly, your best bet is to hit one of the dock lights at night as there are a lot of them piled up there once the sun goes down. Use 20# leader and the smallest flies you have.
Also, if you can find the right spots (think tucked away), the sunset bite for juvenile tarpon right now is really kicking–and there’s no better way to hook them than on light tackle or on the fly! I keep my rigs the same as above using clean 20# leaders and haven’t had a problem keeping them on.
When fishing for these tarpon on the fly you’ll want to wait until you see a roll or a boil on the surface and cast immediately in front of it. Sight-casting has been far more effective than blind casting for these tarpon. Use a small or medium sized bait fish pattern and make every cast count.
Capt. Scott Kinsman