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Fisherboy0301

Tampa Fl Area

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The girlfriend and I will be in the Tampa area June 1-8. Looking to maybe get into some fishing. Exotics (cichlids, tilapia, etc.) and saltwater surf/beach are my main goals. Anyone willing to shoot me some spots and/or meet up in that time frame? Got a 3 wt and a 7 wt! :)

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You may want a decent 8wt for the beach, as it can get pretty windy. However, you're 7wt might get the job done, just practice casting. You're on the west coast so it won't be as bad as over here on the east coast, but still... definitely practice your double haul into the wind. Sometimes if you are blind casting and trying to get a jack, mackerel, bluefish, etc many casts will be required, so also get used to casting a lot. It may be to early for the beach snook run to be in full force, but you should see some. Throw small white flies (Schminnows, DT Special, anything in the #4-#1 area and small, white, and baitfishy...). These are spooky and smart, long leaders (preferably flouro) are helpful, just make sure you don't let them see you and approach them with your shadow going the other way.

 

For the exotics, you will have a blast. I know there are some peacock bass in that area, but they will be scarce and not as plentiful as in South Florida. You will still find all kinds of cichlids, bass, grass carp, etc. I like to throw small clousers with a lot of flash. Just make sure to NOT overthink it. The key to exotic fishing (for me) is simply finding where the fish are holding and/or willing to eat flies. Spend some time on google earth and find some spots to get you started.

 

Good luck on your trip!

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Tampa is too far north for many of the invasive species of Southern Florida. Blue Tilapia are everywhere, but hard to entice into biting. Small crayfish and insect larvae patterns might work, but I'm still trying to find a consistently effective pattern.

I am more than 100 miles from Tampa and right in the middle of Government Class season. I won't be able to get over there.

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I agree with Mike, too far north for most of the exotics. You might find an errant Myan since they seem to be the most hardy of the bunch, but I doubt it. For beach fishing, like Flats mentioned small white flies. Your 7wt will be just fine for most of the snook on the beach (inlets/passes are another story). If your feet are in the water then you are standing on the fish. Cast parallel to the shore. Get out early, before the sun worshipers show up.

 

I can put you on some exotics (mostly Oscars and Myans), but it's 2-3 hrs to me from Tampa and then further south from here to the areas that I am familiar with. There are peacocks (and Mayans/Oscars) in Naples, but I've only fished there once or twice. Islander727 might be able to give some advice for the area a little north of me.

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You'd be 2-3 hours north of me too. I certainly could take y'all out on Okeechobee for bass and big bluegill. Or, I have many bank fishing spots loaded with aggresive cichlids if you wanted to drive down for the day.

 

I'd be of no help with the salt stuff, and I'm too far north for peacocks.

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If you want to take your girlfriend fishing one day, consider City Pier in Anna Maria Island. Just across the street is an excellent ice cream shop and a nice beach around it. Also some good fishing, throw spoons and you'll catch a bunch of spanish mackerel. Lots of good memories there...

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Thanks for the replies everyone! I think we will stick to the salt as $120 for us to fish both is a bit much.

 

The idea of a snook in the surf sounds great. I remember seeing them right against the shore last time I was there swimming. But jacks, trout, even ladyfish would be cool. Any recommendations on beaches that arent too crowded to fish? Focus on baitfish flies or shrimps, crabs, and sands fleas too?

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Will any beach in the area work as long as I get out before he Crowds? Obviously other than those that say no fishing...

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I'm a couple hours south of there but everytime we drive through I day dream of hitting the beaches along the Sunshine Skyway. Lots of wind surfers there, I think two rest areas to park at along with parking all along the highway with open spots in the trees to gain access. Its a very windy spot though.

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Something that you should know about FL is that "no fishing zones" are usually good spots. Just use common sense and get there early. Once the beachgoers and snowbirds arrive, it's usually a sign that the snook are going to turn off. Saltybum made a trip there last year I believe, so he may be able to help you out with beach locations.

 

I would focus on throwing heavier baitfish flies in the beach for jacks, ladyfish, trout, etc. Think clousers, deceivers, even a popper if you're seeing action on top. There are plenty of sand fleas in that region, so it may be worth a shot to bounce an imitation on the bottom...

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​Off Gandy Blvd to the left is good fishing from Weeden Island. I have waded most of the area some years past. Lady Fish, Small Jacks, and Spotted Sea Trout. It Is open from sun-up to sun-down, was free to enter but you may have to pay now. Seven and Eight weight rods floating lines, 9 to 10 foot leaders are good. Clousers, Bendbacks, White baits are good.

 

​Hope this helps

Wademan

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It's been over a decade since I've been up that way. Ft. Desoto has some good flats opportunities.

 

Honeymoon Island, south in Dunedin is a good spot for beach snook. Also, the island is surrounded by a no motor zone. I've done well wading behind the beach chasing redfish and snook. There's a fee to cross the causeway, but it's well worth it. Bring bug spray if you plan on hiking the trail to the bay. They get thick.

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Anna Maria had a load of snook on the beach but hard to get hits.

This one was barely off the sand and almost invisible. So close I didn't cast...just flipped it to it.

 

post-44758-0-07156700-1525870927_thumb.jpg

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I think Florida is a fantastic place to try saltwater fly fishing. Beaches and wadable grass flats are readily available and don't require to much equipment to get going. Good Luck, hope the second day is better than the first.

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