View Full Version : Suggestions for Sea Trout in Tampa Area

01-05-2007, 06:57 PM
Happy New Year to All!

I will be in Tampa later this month and I would like to add a few more notches on to my fly rod. I have never fly fished salt water and plan on not going offshore. Any suggestions for patterns, places would be a big help. Hopefully I can post a few pictures when I get back to my beloved hills.


Byron Begley
01-06-2007, 05:06 PM

I don't know much about the fishing in the Tampa Bay area but I do fish quite a bit north of there in Sewannee and in the Panhandle around St. Marks, St. Joe and Appalachacola. We usually find speckled trout on Turtle Grass flats in 2 to 12 feet of water. We rarely catch them on sand bottoms. For flies I like a Sand Shrimp, Bleeding Baitfish, Copperhead and for a popper I use a Crease Fly. Now, to tell you the truth I think a Speckled Trout will hit just about anything. I've also used Clousers and Puglisi Minnows. If you use Clousers don't buy or tie the heavily weighted version. Use those tied with bead chain eyes so they don't sink so fast and get caught in the grass.

Good Luck and have a great trip.


01-06-2007, 06:26 PM

Now, to tell you the truth I think a Speckled Trout will hit just about anything.

That is definitely true - and at times it really doesn't matter what you throw at them. However, there are other times when you almost have to "match the hatch". I'm thinking in particular times like May/June, when the brown shrimp are thick. The trout, at least the school trout, are looking for that shrimp, and nothing else. Breton Sound here in Louisiana is notorious for finicky trout, which is why a lot of people here are live bait fishermen that time of year.

I would like to come up with something for fly fishing that is similar to a casting bait that is popular around here, called the "Speckulizer"...it is a weighted, rattling cork with a plastic shrimp suspended about 2ft down. It simulates "popcorning" trout. Brown shrimp burrow in the mud on the bottom, and the trout go down and root them out, driving them to the surface. The trout smash them there, and the gulls hammer them from above; fishing "under the birds" is a blast. Anyway, I would like to come up with something for a fly rod that would present a shrimp imitation, yet also have this surface noise stimulation just ahead of the fly. Perhaps a big popper, with the fly trailing as a dropper...hmmm, maybe I'll have to get into fly tying ;)

Byron Begley
01-06-2007, 08:21 PM

You are bringing back memories of my childhood. When I was a kid my Dad hired a guide in the Everglades. We fished with shrimp and a float. We would jerk the float to make the noise and the trout would attack the shrimp. I gave some Crease Flies with rattles in them to Gary Taylor (not the one in Louisiana) who was guiding at the time at St. Joe, Florida. He said the trout ate them up. I think you are on to something here. When you all are back in town let me know ahead of time and lets spend a couple of hours together. Tying saltwater flies is easy. I'm always here at the shop unless I'm fishing.


01-06-2007, 08:42 PM

PM'd ya...it's fun to talk about this, particularly this time of year, when the winds can mess up any fishing opportunities around here.