The ‘Salty Fly’ 2016 Tampa Bay Tarpon Fly Fishing Report
Well, as I predicted our tarpon season ran late due to late arriving cold fronts dropping and keeping the water temp at 74 degrees. Now that the water temps are back at their normal 80’s range, at present (June 5th) I’d say we’re just starting to peak with many schools showing up daily and many being the larger fish over 100 lbs. or more. At the start of the season, especially after the last cold front around the 2nd week of May, the fish were practically non-existent. When they did move back in, it was easy to see the sizes rapidly change from youngsters (40 to 60 lbs.) to the larger 80 lb.+ fish and about average for our area. Around the 3rd and 4th week we started seeing more of the larger females which are usually fish above 100 lbs. Many of those schools running and looking like 20, 30 or more per school, sometimes reaching 50 or more throughout each day.
As of June 3rd, I’d say we’ve just started to peak in quantity and now I’m seeing more fish, especially smaller schools and also singles and doubles which I prefer on the hunting side of our sport. Personally, I think they eat especially well when not around their school mates or while thinking of poon sexing (or whatever you want to call it)!
As you can see, our local waters for tarpon fly fishing are especially clean to a little off color, giving us fantastic tarpon sight fishing opportunities, something the tarpon fly fishing anglers dream of, I know I do!
With the approach of tropical storm Colin, look for the fish to push offshore or back into the many, deep pass channels surrounding our area. Of course, it all depends on what direction the winds come from, and at what severity this storm brings, as to whether this will happen at all.
Back to tying tarpon bugs for me.
Captain Russ Shirley
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