Its almost March and the red fishing in both Tampa Bay and Sarasota Bay have been strong.
Picking the low tides around the new and full moon really concentrates the fish and makes it easy for anglers to see the wary game fish.
As the tide rises along the shallow flats inside Tampa Bay the red fish push in towards the mangrove lined shores and spread out. I have noticed that many times it is better to fish higher tides around mid day in order to find small groups and single fish. Larger schools can be vary wary and uptight. If one fish from a large school rejects your offering most of the time the whole school will ignore it and many times spook off the flat.
A late start to the day allows the sun to get high in the sky letting the shallow flat warm up. It is known that shallow water not only cools down faster than deeper water but it also warms up quicker. Often times you may see fish early in the morning that are tough to feed, as the day progresses the red fish have warmed up which ultimately speeds up their metabolism making them very hungry!
Flies of choice in the cooler months have been smaller bait fish patterns, crab and shrimp flies.
While red fishing in Tampa Bay you may find that red fish even prefer to crawl in shallow water with their backs exposed making it an easy way to spot these fish.
Pre-front conditions can really get the bite going as the fish seem to know that it is about to get cold once more!
Here is a quick clip of a friend and fellow angler feeding a shallow water red fish in Tampa Bay.