Driftless Trout Anglers

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#1 Posted : Wednesday, April 5, 2017 8:00:36 PM(UTC)
Rank: Caddis Fly

Joined: 2/22/2015(UTC)
Posts: 133
Location: St. Paul

Was thanked: 2 time(s) in 2 post(s)
Hey DTA, I'm wondering if anyone has any experience fly fishing in the surf in Florida. Round trip tickets to Tampa are super cheap along with a car rental. I've been reading that snook is really popular in the summer months but jacks, redfish and many others are a possibility on the Gulf side. It's a long shot but I'd love to hear if anyone has advice or experience fishing the surf.

#2 Posted : Wednesday, April 5, 2017 11:59:28 PM(UTC)
Rank: Midge

Joined: 7/17/2016(UTC)
Posts: 4
Location: Iowa

I fly fish that area a few times a year and it's a lot of fun. You can sight fish for snook along the shore in the early morning with success. Most of my experience has been fishing the flats and the grass flats for trout and redfish, as well as the intercostal waterway. You can do this by wading, but perhaps the best way is to rent a kayak for a day and cover a lot of water. Our condo is in the St. Pete/ Clearwater area so some of my spots could potentially be a bit of a drive depending on where you stay. PM me with some details of where you'll be staying and I can do my best to get you started in the right direction!
#3 Posted : Thursday, April 6, 2017 6:19:16 AM(UTC)
Rank: Caddis Fly

Joined: 7/28/2014(UTC)
Posts: 160
Location: Milwaukee

I've done a little fishing down on Marcos Island off the beach. I had the best luck in the mornings between sunrise and about 10am. Basically I just waded out past where the waves broke in about waist deep water, and cast out as far as I could. The current will bring your line and fly parallel with the shoreline so you need to cast out at like a 45deg angle to accommodate for that. Look for birds, there will always be fish there...but watch out for the birds going after your fly. I was there in December, so I'm not sure how the fish/current/weather patterns affect everything, so take this info for what it is.

Caught dozens of ladyfish anywhere between 10"-24"...gross slimy fish but a blast to catch, as they hammer the fly and then zip around jumping out of the water like crazy...lost many more. A few lizardfish, which are neat but have nasty teeth. Lots of little jack cravelle and some nice spanish mackerel (which I think were migrating thru at the time). Was bitten off numerous times, I'm guessing by mackerel or small cudas, so bring a wire leader in case this starts happening.

Saw some snook, but couldn't manage any. You can usually see them much closer towards shore. They like to sit in the channel of water between the beach and the first sand bar. Oh and I was fishing an 8wt, which was more than enough for most of the fish I got into.
#4 Posted : Friday, April 7, 2017 6:45:08 AM(UTC)
Rank: Midge

Joined: 1/15/2017(UTC)
Posts: 4
Location: Madison

de soto State Park has giant snook. definitely worth the trip.
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