Dan P. Tampa Bay Fly Fishing Trip
Daniel came down from Pennsylvania in hopes of catching a Tampa Bay Redfish on fly. That is pretty much a species on many anglers’ bucket lists from all over the world. To accomplish this, one must have series patience and to also be able to accept occasional rejection.
Redfish, Red Drum, Bull Reds, whatever you want to call them are one of the most skittish, stubborn yet intelligent fish to roam the waters of Tampa Bay. One must be at the right tide, in the right position and using the right lure and let’s not forget the right size leader, before having even the slightest chance in catching one. That may be the reason anglers from all over come here to get a shot at one of our “Mangrove Pumpkins” on fly.
Moments after launch we stopped along a very productive shallow cove that is protected by overhung Mangroves adjacent to a slight drop off. I directed him to get out of the kayak and approach the cove but to stay low. Being a 30 year fly fishing veteran, Dan knew exactly what to do and crouched down low ready to shoot his line on command. I gave him a target and 2 swift roll casts later BAM, SNOOK ON!
Dan landed this 26” beauty like a champ but not before getting his floating line tangled in the mangroves, a fisherman’s nightmare! I quickly jumped out of my kayak and rushed in to save the day. Once the line was free the Snook zipped in between my legs before giving up. He was no stranger to Snook, though. He frequently fishes in Belize for Juvenile Tarpon and monster Snook so we continued our hunt for Reds.
The rest of the day was not so easy, Dan had a few short strikes and several shots with no takers before we found the payload. A small pod of BIG Redfish guarding a shaded creek mouth.
Once again, Dan the man, got in position and tossed the fly right on target! (Man I need to learn from this guy) Strip, strip, pause…., BOOM! Redfish, Baby! He fought the fish for about 10 minutes as it darted up, down and all around the shoreline in search of deeper water or structure. No can do, this baby wasn’t going anywhere. He was as determined as I to land this fish and he did.
After a few photos we decided to end the trip and head back to launch. Dan was super excited to have caught his first Redfish which left me feeling accomplished. “Congrats Dan!”